The Turning (Made 1992; Released 1997) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's notes

The Turning is a movie adapted from a play ("Home Fires Burning"), and it shows. It's a "serious drama" in which five characters deliver stagy speeches on claustrophobic sets.

A young man returns to his home town after a four year absence. He doesn't seem to be a very happy fellow, given his predilection for Nazi t-shirts and his ability to antagonize everyone in town. His motivation for returning is gradually revealed to be the simple-minded hope that he can keep his parents from divorcing, and he plans to accomplish that by terrorizing dad's new girlfriend into leaving. Ignoring the reality of his parents' broken relationship, he reasons that the disappearance of the girlfriend will drive dad back into mom's alcoholic, trailer-trash arms. The kid's world-view gives the impression that he's not the brightest bulb on the family tree, but his mother doesn't seem like a candidate for the Schweitzer Chair either. In fact, she might have some trouble operating a rocking chair.

Blah, blah, blah ... Melodramatic speeches made with knives at other people's throats. Etc. It seems like one of those William Inge plays from the 1950s.

This film was made in 1992 and sat on the shelves unreleased for five years, waiting for Gillian Anderson to become a big TV star in The X-Files, at which point it was released to video in a box which featured a close up of Ms. Anderson tugging at her bodice, even though she is the fifth lead, and has a part which is not even essential to the story's main development. The film probably would never have been released at all if Gillian had never become a star. It has been more than a dozen years since The Turning was made, and the auteur of this film never had another IMDb credit, either as a writer or a director.

The film is memorable for only two things: (1) it represented 24-year-old Gillian Anderson's feature film debut; (2) it remained for fifteen years the only time Ms. Anderson had removed her bra for art. Gillian did look ripe and sexy, but she did not do an exceptional acting job in her small role, and her supposed small-town Virginia accent is actually just some kind of Generic Confederate, via Foghorn Leghorn.

I love these facts from Gillian's IMDb bio:

In high school, was voted "Class Clown" and "Most Bizarre Girl". Was voted "Most Likely to be Arrested" by her classmates in high school, and was, in fact, arrested on graduation night for trying to glue the locks shut at her high school.

I'll bet she is an interesting person.

I'm certain she is more interesting than this film.

(Original US Release) The Turning DVD Gillian Anderson (1997)


  • all region
  • no features
  • no widescreen
  • but a satisfactory transfer 4:3
  • price has been reduced. (The film sells for twice as much used!)



Gillian Anderson - breasts

Tuna's notes

The Turning (1992) was made and then shelved until a fortuitous thing happened. One of the supporting players became famous. Not only that, but this long-forgotten property contained her only on-screen nudity. The actress is Gillian Anderson, who showed her breasts. This was a compelling enough reason to release the film in 1997, five years after it was made, but if not for the fortuitous convergence between the movies' Gillian Anderson  nudity and Gillian's subsequent fame on The X-Files, the film would probably still be languishing in a can.

Raymond J. Barry returns to his home town in rural West Virginia. His drunken trailer trash mother has notified him that she and his philandering coal miner father are divorcing, because daddy has a new girlfriend. This goes against his white supremacist family values, so he resolves to go home and prevent the divorce. His training and experience as a Neo Nazi and KKK member inspires a somewhat unorthodox approach to this matchmaking. His father's new girlfriend, Tess Harper, who nailed her character, was tougher than he thought and equal to the challenge. Gillian played his former girlfriend in a small role, but one that facilitated much of his character development.

This film covers some of the same ground as American History X, but owes its origins to a stage play, "Home Fires Burning," which dooms it from the start. The subject, as American History X proved so well, is certainly fodder for compelling cinema, but this project was unable to shake its theatrical roots. I can see that the subject matter and intense but static scenes may have been compelling on a stage, especially in an intimate venue, but nothing about this screenplay was cinematic. A large part of the problem was the dialogue, probably lifted directly from the play, which was simply too large for the screen, and too flowery. Barry's character, by his own admission, was white trash. His supremacist propaganda rants could be explained by indoctrination, but the rest of his dialogue was far too flowery for poor white trash. Other characters suffered from the same stage prose problem.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No significant reviews online

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Scoop says, "Based on this description, this is an E. Completely unwatchable. It never would have been released had Gillian not shot to stardom."

Tuna says, "As an only nude appearance by an A list actress, this earns a C- for those of us interested in screen nudity, otherwise, the same themes have been covered much more effectively elsewhere."

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