Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Hi, Mom! (1970)

Hi, Mom! (1970)

This comedy starring Robert De Niro (in one of his earliest roles) as Jon Rubin, a directionless Vietnam vet and would-be ‘erotic filmmaker’, established Brian De Palma as a formidable directorial talent and premier social satirist.

Convincing local porn guru John Banner (Allen Garfield) to finance his ‘peep art’, Rubin sets up his camera to film the nocturnal activities of his unsuspecting neighbours through their apartment windows and in short order, goes from voyeur to participant to a full-fledged urban guerilla.

 

When his porn-career plan fails, the disillusioned Rubin turns to a radical theatre group simply to fit in somewhere. Cue the famous “Be Black, Baby” section, shot in a documentary style that could be a movie unto itself.

Scripted by De Palma from a story he co-wrote with Charles Hirsch, this social commentary is bursting with incisive parodies of home movies. TV documentaries and 60s off-Broadway “encounter theatre” groups.

Structurally, the wild and ungainly narrative falls apart, but Hi, Mom! is a complex and ambitious send-up of political extremism, white guilt and media perception, even when it doesn’t work.

Released in some markets as Confessions Of A Peeping John.

Jon Rubin
Robert De Niro
Judy Bishop
Jennifer Salt
Gerrit Wood
Gerrit Graham
Joe Banner
Allen Garfield
Superintendent 
Charles Durning
Jeannie Mitchell
Lara Parker
Jimmy Mitchell
Bruce Price
Ricky Mitchell
Ricky Parker
Andy Mitchell
Andy Parker
Uncle Tom Wood
Paul Bartel

Director
Brian De Palma

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