13 user 4 critic

The Turning (1992)

R | | Drama | 2 May 1992 (USA)
A white supremacist returns to his hometown for the first time in years to try and save his parents' relationship.


L.A. Puopolo


L.A. Puopolo (screenplay), Chris Ceraso (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Karen Allen ... Glory Lawson
Raymond J. Barry ... Mark Harnish
Michael Dolan Michael Dolan ... Clifford Harnish
Tess Harper ... Martha Harnish
Gillian Anderson ... April Cavanaugh
Jim Simmons Jim Simmons ... Mayor
Madison Arnold ... Mr. Cavanaugh
Tannis Benedict ... Vivian Sinott
John Newton John Newton ... Mr. Creasy
William B. O'Boyle William B. O'Boyle ... Pete Tarosky (as Bill O'Boyle)
Murphy Larson Murphy Larson ... Rita Smithson
Michael P. Moran Michael P. Moran ... Jim McCutcheon


After 4 years, Clifford Harnish returns to his hometown of Pocahontas, Virginia, hoping to save his family and make for himself the happy childhood he never had. Unfortunately, he has arrived just in time to see his parents' divorce made final. He also gets to watch his mother sink into an alcoholic depression while his father builds a new life with a new woman. Soon Cliff decides to take matters into his own hands, using the methods he learned while traipsing the country with Neo-Nazis. Adapted from the play "Home Fires Burning." Written by Chris Holland <stomptokyo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ruby Ridge... Waco... Oklahoma City... Now, he's coming home. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some terror and language, and for a scene of sexuality. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

2 May 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Home Fires Burning See more »

Filming Locations:

Pocahontas, Virginia, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Gillian Anderson. See more »


References Modern Times (1936) See more »


Another Winter Without You
Written by Marty Morgan and Eddie Alexander
Performed by Stephanie Bentley
Courtesy of Sack Full of Songs
See more »

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User Reviews

The Turning...OFF
12 January 2002 | by darrylb500See all my reviews

Ho ho ho! Ho ho ho! Ho ho...ho HUM.

No, this movie doesn't have anything to do with Christmas; however, I am currently writing this just fresh from the holidays (are those New Year's resolutions forgotten already?), and it was pretty much the Scrooge of my Christmas week, which is when I rented it, unfortunately.

Yes, Gillian Anderson has her infamous/famous (?) topless scene. Yes, this is probably a five day rental at your local Blockbuster. And yes, you'll probably need the whole five days to watch it; one of those "half an hour at a time" movies.

Actually, it's not THAT bad, but it's not that good, either. It could've made a decent drama...MAYBE.

The problem is, it takes place in a small town, where it's typical that nothing happens there...which goes for this movie as well. After being gone for several years, a local finally returns to his mother due to an unsettling incident.

There. That's the plot, pretty much. So as you can see, it's no big deal pretty much just to start with...plus a lot of the mother/son dialog is one to roll your eyes over, and I feel sorry for Karen Allen for being in this. She can actually act, but never became a huge star, as she either has had roles here and there over the years or she's been in a lot of films that didn't make it, like when Brenden Fraser was starting to make his splash in the goofy Encino Man, yet that was already about his 30th movie at the time, and then he got huge with George of the Jungle and the two recent Mummy movies. I hope Allen doesn't have to do any other films like this, but then again, this was made 10 years ago, and I've seen in her Law and Order in the last year or two, so hang in there girl!

About all that had going for this movie (somewhat) was her brightening it up (a tiny bit) by being a part of the sub-plot as a local real estate agent. She's the girlfriend of the returning wanderer's father, and that was The Reason the wandering bum came home: he thinks his wrongdoings from the past can keep his parents from splitting.

Puh-LEAZE! In real life, whenever I hear of an amateur and/or stupid criminals-type bit on the news, most of the time I mumble to myself "probably some dumb kids"...but then sometimes I catch myself and remember when <<I>> was a teenager and hated it whenever people said that about MY type. Sometimes we don't give kids the credit they deserve; in general, they're not that bad.

Six year olds also don't understand why their parents are getting divorced; they think mommy and daddy are separating because of something they did. But if it's explained to them they'll understand in time.

This is one of the problems I had with this movie: this guy is in his, what, 20s or 30s, and he's so brain-dead he can't figure THIS out?! I mean, in a way, I suppose it's kind of sweet, but here it was so unrealistically dumb I didn't buy it.

His mom as an alcoholic, chain-smoking part-time writer was kind of interesting, and yes, Anderson has her topless scene, yes, it's nice, no, it's not for very long, and no, you don't even get to see it all. So if that's the only reason to check out this movie, fast forward it to the 50 or 60 minute mark and skip the rest.

After all, I meant to rent another movie that I hadn't really heard of, with "actresses" I never heard of, but they're showing skin on the cover...so chances are it's a bad movie but with a lot of nudity. Occasionally I rent one of those (I'm a GUY, ok?), but the movie wasn't there. Oh well.

Oh, and what was the Recommendation here? Maybe it was left blank, meaning ANYTHING'S better than this.

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