In a drab, working-class part of London live embittered old Max (Rogers), his effeminate chauffeur brother Sam (Cusack), and Max's two sons, hateful pimp Lenny (Holm) and dunderheaded amateur boxer Joey (Rigby). One evening, long-estranged eldest son Teddy (Jayston), a philosophy professor in the States, arrives for an unexpected visit with his enigmatic, sexually permissive wife, Ruth (Merchant). As the lone woman in a house of scornful, acid-tongued men, Ruth rouses her in-laws' basest masculine instincts.
One of Harold Pinter's most corrosive stage dramas, this American Film Theatre production of "The Homecoming" excels thanks to director Hall and cinematographer David Watkin, who create a visual atmosphere to match the play's rage, pain, and claustrophobia. The cast is absolutely top-notch, too: of particular interest is Irish actor Rogers, who's all bile and spittle as the venomous patriarch, while Holm and Merchant reprise their intriguing, deliciously amoral London stage roles. Bleak, black comic, and defiantly ambiguous, "Homecoming" is a powerful cinematic interpretation of one of our finest modern dramatists.