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Film / Our Mother's House

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A 1967 film adaptation of Julian Gloag's 1963 novel, directed by Jack Clayton. The cast includes Dirk Bogarde, Pamela Franklin, Phoebe Nicholls, Mark Lester, and Yootha Joyce.

The movie stays fairly faithful to the book with a few changes, most defiantly resolved around the ending.

The movie provides examples of:

  • A House Divided: The Hook house becomes divided more than once, First with Elsa and Hubert against Diana and Dunstan, and then later Elsa vs Charlie.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: In the book, the children are caught burying Charlie, and as such are being forced to go to the orphanage. The cliffhanger is whether they will go. In the movie, after the death of Charlie, they agree to turn themselves in.
  • Adaptational Modesty: In the book, Gertie's crime is letting a mechanic sexually touch her in exchange for a ride on his motorcycle. In the movie, she simply accepts the motorcycle ride.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Edna Hook raised the children this way including the singing of religious songs at the piano.
  • Berserk Button: Diana snaps upon hearing the truth and Charlie 'ook berate their mother and kills him with the fireplace poker.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Mrs. Hook raises seven children and there are lots of issues among them.
  • Chekhov's Skill: It is established Jiminee can forge his mother's signature, as it's how the children cash the checks. Charlie later uses him to forge the signature to let him sell the house out from under the children.
  • Daddy's Girl: Diana tries to be this to her newfound father. It falls apart when she finds him in bed with a loose woman.
  • Dark Secret: What is hinted at throughout the movie (Although less than in the book) comes about in the revelation of how the children's father hasn't been around. All seven Hook children are illegitimate children from Edna's various affairs and hooking. None of them are Charlie's blood.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Gertie accepts a ride on a motorcycle from a local mechanic. "Mother" orders she be punished by having her hair cut, not talked to, having her most prized possession taken away, limiting how much she can eat/drink....... luckily in this version she gets better.
  • Don't Split Us Up: The children avoid telling anyone of Mother's death fearing they will be split up by the system.
  • Faceā€“Heel Turn: At first Charlie seems like a good guy but then his true side of wasting money, hooking up with any girl, and gambling comes out.
  • Hypocrite: To an extent of a life change. As Edna Hook grows older she converts to being highly religious and indoctrinates her children in it, even though the only reason all seven children were born was she spent most of her life being far from religious.
  • Insufferable Genius: Dunstan comes off like this.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The children have "Mother Time" a seance to contact Mother's spirit. It is through Diana she speaks, at first it is left ambiguous whether this is real or not. But after the seance where Louis is allowed to stay, Diana confesses to Hubert that she did Mother's voice this time, but proclaimed the previous times Mother had really come to speak through her.
  • Only Sane Man: Hubert and Dunstan both think of themselves this way. Dunstan in at first being the one to stand up for Mother's rules when he thinks the others aren't. And Hubert when he contacts Charlie thinking it'll be for the better.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: "Mother's Spirit" speaks through Diana at Mother Time. At least at first, the chair does move by itself at one point.
  • Parental Abandonment: While not as an on-purpose example but Mother dying is what kicks off the plot.
  • Pet the Dog: Charlie is given some moments where it looks like he may be kind.
  • Sex Is Evil: Mother's rule.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: And how Mother gave birth to seven children.
  • Spared By Adaptation: Gertie does not die in the movie like she did in the book.
  • Teenage Wasteland: While not all of the children are in their teens this trope applies.
  • Traumatic Haircut: After Gertie is revealed to be a harlot, Mother's "spirit" orders she be given one.