A Home of Our Own

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A Home of Our Own
A Home of Our Own (1993 film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tony Bill
Starring Kathy Bates
Edward Furlong
Soon-Tek Oh
Tony Campisi
Clarissa Lassig
Music by Michael Convertino
Distributed by Gramercy Pictures
Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Release dates
November 5, 1993
Running time
103 mins.
Language English
Box office $1,677,807

A Home of Our Own is a 1993 drama film directed by Tony Bill, starring Kathy Bates and Edward Furlong. It is the story of a mother and her six children trying to establish a home in the small town of Hankston, Idaho in 1962.


The film begins in Los Angeles, CA in 1962. It is narrated by the oldest son, Shayne Patrick Lacey. The family is very poor, and living in a small apartment. Frances Lacey, a widow, works at a factory. She is fired when one of the men gropes her, and she hits him in return. The same day, her son is brought home by the police, for stealing change from payphones, but they don't press charges. Shortly after this, Frances decides that LA is not the place to raise a family. She packs the kids up, sells everything they can carry, and starts driving. She figures she'll know where she's going when she sees it.

When the car breaks down, Frances trades her wedding ring to pay for the repairs. She claims it does not have sentimental value, and calls her husband a "no good, vagabond, Irish Catholic son-of-a-bitch." However, she is clearly upset about giving the ring away. When they finally stop, in Hankston, Idaho, it is because she has seen the house she wants for her family. It's a shack, really, and a half-built one at that; but she sees potential there. The owner of the property, Mr. Munimura, is reluctant to sell, especially because the Lacey family clearly has no money, but Frances is stubborn and persuades him. She offers to clean his dishes and wash his laundry and have her children do any other chores for him.

He reluctantly agrees, but soon finds joy in helping the family build up the little house. He eventually tells Frances that the house was supposed to be for his son and daughter-in-law. He never finished it though, because his son died in the Korean war. One of the boys, Murray, has gotten a job helping a man who owns a salvage shop. He gets used items, like couches, or French doors, in return for his work, and brings home any items that can help with the building of the house. All of the Lacey tribe are helping to improve the home, but when their youngest brother falls from a rafter onto on a nail one day while Mr. Munimura is fetching Frances from town, Shayne has to carry his brother halfway to the hospital, before meeting them on the road.

Eventually Frances gets a job as a waitress at the local bowling alley, where she is very happy, and here the townspeople get to know the Lacey Family. When school starts, the family goes to the local church to buy clothes. The priest tries to get them to come to Sunday services, but they are not very religious. He also offers Frances weekly food donations and other assistance, but she refuses. She is too proud to accept charity, especially from someone who is condescending to her. She gets most upset when he specifically calls her family "needy," even though they are. The children have trouble at school because their clothes are obviously second hand, and some of them are handmade. Shayne is not allowed to participate in gym with the boys because he needs a white shirt, and his only one got dyed pink in the wash by accident. When Christmas rolls around, Frances tells the children that they should all ask Santa for presents for the house instead of toys. They write the letter, but Shayne is certain that Frances has plans to get them some real presents anyway. Lynn knits socks for her mother, and the other children buy her a shirt that she liked from the church. The priest comes to their door on Christmas Eve and offers Frances presents for the "needy family." Again, she refuses his help.

On Christmas morning, all they have are tools and nails instead of toys. The children really thought they would get something more and begin to cry. Shane gets very upset and tells his mother that she cares more about the house and her own pride than her children. Mr. Munimura comes over, just as she is about to hit Shane with the belt. He takes her to town to see if the church has any presents left, but there are none.

The same night that Shayne goes on his first date, Frances goes out with Norm, one of the men who works at the bowling alley who has taken her dancing a few times. He takes her to a motel, but Frances is offended at his presumption and refuses him. He tries to force her inside, grabbing her arm, and says that he can make her do what he wants. She says "You can try," and the scene cuts to when Shayne is returning home from the dance, where he finds Frances sitting in the car in the snowy front yard. Shayne sees she is crying and has a cut lip and bloody nose. Inside he helps to clean her up, and they talk about Shayne's father. She tells Shayne that his father was a great man, and he was never mean to her; but ever since he died, she has only been able to find bastards who want to take advantage of her.

The next day, Shayne goes to the Bowling Alley and sees Norm. Shayne tackles him, accusing him of beating his mother, and the two fight as the townspeople call for the Sheriff. Norm pushes Shayne into the bathroom, where Shayne asks him how he got the scratches on his face. Norm responds that she fights like her son, punches Shayne, and storms out. Later, Frances arrives at the bowling alley to tell her boss that she has to quit, because of what he did to her son. The boss tells her that Norm has been fired, and that if he was the only problem, then he hopes she has no reason to quit.

One day Murray brings home an indoor toilet from his job at the salvage shop. The family is excited because they have been using an outhouse for some time. Murray decides to burn down the eyesore, but a spark ignites the canvas roof of their home. The entire home burns to the ground. The fire department arrived too late to do anything.

The family is picking through the charred remains of the house when Frances finds their meager savings in a blackened jar. Hope is reborn for Frances but Shayne angrily demands a reality check. When rebuilding seems impossible, Mr. Munimura arrives with professional town folk and supplies to rebuild. Whether stubborn independent Frances likes it or not, rebuilding has started as Mr. Munimura gives her a comforting hug. Frances relents, but true to character, she states that all will be paid back. Toys, clothes, and blankets are also provided for the children. Frances only lets them build the house as far as it was before the fire. Shayne, narrating, says that it took them six months to finish the rest of the house, and four years to pay everyone back, but that it brought them all closer together as a family. Even though he hated Idaho at first, he still lives there, and has never been back to LA.


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