Home Town Story
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 1999
I found "Hometown Story" to be an enjoyable little movie that chronicles an overly-aggressive reporter and the people he encounters. Marilyn Monroe has a small but amusing part, and Alan Hale Jr. (the Skipper from Gilligan's Island) is also in the film. Hale's character even flirts with Marilyn a few times, but fails to woo her.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Hometown Story (1951) features Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest roles, and while Marilyn probably fuels most of the sells for this item, the movie itself is actually quite good in its own right. Jeffrey Lynn plays Blake Washburn, a newly un-elected state senator who returns home with quite an electoral chip on his shoulder. He's not above punching a guy for joking about the election, and even his old friends are likely to be met with a cold shoulder. Washburn takes over his uncle's newspaper, but all he cares about is starting an editorial crusade that will help him win his Senate seat back. Slim Haskins (a young Alan Hale, Jr. of Gilligan's Island fame), his best friend and lead reporter, grows increasingly frustrated at Washburn's politicized agenda, and even Washburn's long-suffering fiancé Janice (Marjorie Reynolds) cannot get through to him, even when she threatens to call the whole thing off. Undaunted, Washburn rakes big business up and down the coals of his editorial pages, even after one local businessman, John McFarland (Donald Crisp), gives him an Economics 101 lecture on the importance of big business and its products in everyday life.
Then Washburn's little sister Katie (Melinda Plowman) enters an old mine to retrieve her new puppy and becomes the victim of a terrible cave-in. The wealthy Mr. McFarland comes to Katie's aid in a very big way, as does big business itself through a number of its mechanical and life-saving products. Hometown Story carries an important message, and it delivers this message in a quite moving and certainly entertaining manner. As for Marilyn Monroe, she plays Washburn's secretary Iris; it is by no means a large part, but she does appear in several scenes. Her acting skills are not very polished at this stage of her career, but she certainly accomplishes her main task of making tight sweaters look absolutely amazing. Alan Hale's character has the hots for Iris, and I cannot help but get a kick out of watching "the Skipper" trying to put the moves on Marilyn Monroe.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2005
This is a film about media ethics. It shows that not all would-be muckrakers are right, that assumptions can be wrong. Objectivity in journalism is the theme of the story. Jeffrey Lynne plays Blake Washburn, a politician who has been defeated in a recent election. He returns to his hometown to edit the local newspaper. In the process, his subjectivity distorts his decision making.

Alan Hale, Jr. (the Skipper of "Gilligan's Island) is a reporter working for Washburn who sees what is happening to his friend and boss. He tries unsuccessfully to help him see that he has a distorted view of reality. Washburn doesn't listen and continues to turn out negative content. He criticizes local businesses and one of the owners approaches him to discuss fairness.

In the end, Washburn's younger sister is saved by the very corporation he defamed. Washburn learns the error of his ways and changes. Marily Monroe is one of the secretaries. Alan Hale, Jr.'s character tries to get a relationship going with her, but doesn't make it happen. Overall this is a well done film.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2006
Check out the various versions on the Amazon search facility and you'll mostly see Marilyn featured as the main image on most of the DVD boxes, the reality is that she appears for less than five minutes and her dialogue could be read in about two.

I found my copy in a supermarket at such a low price that I wondered if anyone was making anything on it, they were of course. The reason I bought it was the title and the fact that it was made in the early fifties and I was right, it does show everyday life in small-city USA. You'll get to see middle class domestic housing, interior decor, fashions, buses, trains, planes (even a newspaper delivery boy on one of those Cushman motor scooters) and a simple homey story with a bit of economic theory chucked in as well...and that's it.

Without a photo of Ms Monroe on the front nobody would be interested (apart from me of course). It will probably continue to be re-released every few years to attract another wave of new MM fans but it really should have been forgotten decades ago.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2002
This two-tape set is a must for Marilyn Monroe completists everywhere. 1) The 1951 film "Hometown Story" stars Jeffrey Lynn as a bitter ex-politician who goes to work for his uncle's newspaper. Monroe has a small but very amusing and memorable role in the picture. 2) "The Marilyn Monroe Story" is one of the best documentaries about the legendary sex goddess ever put together. John Huston, who directed Marilyn in her first really well-known film(THE ASPHALT JUNGLE) as well as her last film(THE MISFITS), takes us on an incredible journey through this remarkable woman's life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2013
Home Town Story, 1950 film

The story starts with a view of a city from an airplane. Those buildings look like a movie studio. Passengers deplane from a DC-3. A defeated state Senator doesn't like criticism, or the campaign tactics that defeated him. Blake Washburn returns home with a puppy for his young sister. He dines out with Janice. Blake will work for the local newspaper as the Editor. A boy delivers newspapers on a motor scooter. A school bus picks up children. [No local schools?] Another state passed a bill to end stream pollution. Does it happen here? [Note the trolley tracks in the street.] Iris has a message for Hoskins. People believe what they read in the `Fairfax Herald'. [Have you ever read a story about an incident that you knew about? How accurate was it?] The newspaper will investigate local stream pollution from factory discharges. Nothing is dumped into the river, the factory owner says so. A crusade will build up circulation. Katie will go on a field trip. People comment on a successful business. Blake gets an idea. "Business Profits Too High" is the headline. This causes a higher cost of living. "Who Gets the Big Profits?"

Circulation is up. [A hidden agenda?] Katie got a list of names. Is Blake using his newspaper to get back to the State Senate? "What's wrong with trying to get votes?" Was his election as a war hero a mistake? School children go on a bus to visit Copper Hill. John McFarland visits Editor Washburn for a talk. He explains how business works, the buyer gets value for what he bought. Is being Big also Bad? McFarland explains what is good. That school bus goes into a dangerous area. [Whose idea was this?] That puppy runs into a cave, Katy and Allen follow. There is a cave-in! Can they remove that load of rocks and dirt with a bulldozer? They call a doctor and more help to clear away the fallen debris. Katie is rescued alive! But she needs an immediate operation. The ambulance races to the airport to fly Katie to the hospital. The resuscitator supplies oxygen to Katie. Another ambulance carries Katie to the hospital. Will the operation save her? [Successful movies need a happy ending.] A lot of things saved Katie. Blake writes a new editorial. Has he learned something?

There was a famous event around 1950 in the Los Angeles area when a young girl was trapped in a hole in the ground. This may have inspired this movie. Would a local newspaper attack a local industry that has big payroll that supports local small businesses that advertise in the local newspaper? No, because of the power of local society or the ruling class. An industry that provides a lot of jobs will be treated with due respect. I once read that the job of a movie critic on a local newspaper was to recommend the products shown at the theaters that advertised in the paper. This movie makes a point that a decorated war hero may not make a good politician. Was this a comment on a current situation?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Before HOME TOWN STORY, Marilyn Monroe had minor parts in a dozen pictures, most notably THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950) and ALL ABOUT EVE (1950). With her Triton Oil TV spot straight-haired coif, Marilyn's role is peripheral here, as well. "Home Town Story" is a ''B" grade MGM programmer.

SYNOPSIS--
Newly out-of-office Blake Washburn (Lynn) believes the son of a wealthy businessman tricked the electorate into voting for him. Blake uses his editor's position on the family newspaper to search for dirt on his victorious opponent. His columns attack the new senator and companies owned by the man's dad.

Blake's hostilities soon extend to local corporations. Star reporter Slim Haskins (Hale) doesn't like it and gets punished for saying so with menial story assignments. When Blake admits to fiancée Janice Hunt (Reynolds) that he's broken a promise to work for the people and is using the paper only to get re-elected, she threatens to leave him. Slim and Blake argue and start throwing punches. Their personal business is interrupted by a visitor, plus news of a school outing tragedy involving Blake's kid sister.

ALPHA VIDEO is a provider of vintage programming that's often unavailable elsewhere. Alpha's prices are fair, but so is transfer quality of some of their offerings. None have undergone restoration, yet this product's rareness and reasonable cost make it a worthwhile purchase.

Also from ALPHA:
DELINQUENT DAUGHTERS (1944) features glamorous Fifi D'Orsay. Known as the French Bombshell, Fifi was actually Canadian.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.

(5.3) Home Town Story (1951) - Jeffrey Lynn/Donald Crisp/Marjorie Reynolds/Alan Hale Jr./Marlyn Monroe (uncredited: Hugh Beaumont/John Archer/Hal Taggart/Tom Keene)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Hometown Story (1951) features Marilyn Monroe in one of her earliest roles, and while Marilyn probably fuels most of the sells for this item, the movie itself is actually quite good in its own right. Jeffrey Lynn plays Blake Washburn, a newly un-elected state senator who returns home with quite an electoral chip on his shoulder. He's not above punching a guy for joking about the election, and even his old friends are likely to be met with a cold shoulder. Washburn takes over his uncle's newspaper, but all he cares about is starting an editorial crusade that will help him win his Senate seat back. Slim Haskins (a young Alan Hale, Jr. of Gilligan's Island fame), his best friend and lead reporter, grows increasingly frustrated at Washburn's politicized agenda, and even Washburn's long-suffering fiance Janice (Marjorie Reynolds) cannot get through to him, even when she threatens to call the whole thing off. Undaunted, Washburn rakes big business up and down the coals of his editorial pages, even after one local businessman, John McFarland (Donald Crisp), gives him an Economics 101 lecture on the importance of big business and its products in everyday life.

Then Washburn's little sister Katie (Melinda Plowman) enters an old mine to retrieve her new puppy and becomes the victim of a terrible cave-in. The wealthy Mr. McFarland comes to Katie's aid in a very big way, as does big business itself through a number of its mechanical and life-saving products. Hometown Story carries an important message, and it delivers this message in a quite moving and certainly entertaining manner. As for Marilyn Monroe, she plays Washburn's secretary Iris; it is by no means a large part, but she does appear in several scenes. Her acting skills are not very polished at this stage of her career, but she certainly accomplishes her main task of making tight sweaters look absolutely amazing. Alan Hale's character has the hots for Iris, and I cannot help but get a kick out of watching "the Skipper" trying to put the moves on Marilyn Monroe.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2001
There seems to be some confusion here. There are apparently two movies called Hometown Story. One with Marilyn Monroe and one with John Wayne. This is the one with Marilyn.
It was filmed early in her career and she only has a small role in it. She plays the secretary to a newspaper editor that is trying to take down what he thinks is a corrupt businessman. The story is a typical post-WWII melodrama and doesn't really have any hold any cinematic history other than casting Marilyn.
A must-have for the true Marilyn fan (in DVD, which is rare in the first place), other more popular movies might be better for the casual fan.
Another person to look for is Alan Hale Jr. as the veteran reporter. He played the Skipper on Gilligan's Island years later and is very young here.
Overall, Marilyn fans and film buffs will enjoy, others may just find it boring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2001
The 1951 film, Home Town Story, was never released commercially. This film was produced by General Motors with the intent to propagandize American industry. Home Town Story is about a secretary (Marilyn Monroe) to a politician who is convicted that Big Business is behind his election loss. Marilyn does not have a significant amount of screen time. Out of 61 minutes, Marilyn is only present in approximately 1 minute and 40 seconds. However, this film is not utterly nor completely horrible. Perhaps Home Town Story is not a great first impression of a Marilyn Monroe film, but for an avid fan it is not her worst work.
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