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One Came Home

September 23, 2010

By Melanie Addington

Staff Writer


Willy Bearden knew he wanted to make the leap from documentary filmmaking to narrative and after a successful run with a short film, he developed the feature “One Came Home.” An ambitious veteran story set in 1946, the movie includes familiar faces from Hollywood and a few Memphis actors. The movie will play in Oxford at the Oxford Malco tonight. The film will also play in Tupelo on Monday, Corinth on Wednesday and Southhaven on Sept. 30. Bearden also screened at the Maldison and Columbus Malco’s this week.

“One Came Home” is set in Magnolia, Miss. in 1946 and follows the Hodges family grief-stricken life after the friend of their fallen son comes to visit. While there, John Mazilli (played by Corey Parker) presents the idea of a war memorial to which the family and community open their wallets.

The movie premiered in April at the On Location: Memphis International Film and Music Fest and then had a three-week long run at the Malco Studio on the Square in Memphis. The film was shot in Holly Springs, Tupelo and Memphis.

“One Came Home is a story that is close to my heart,” Bearden said. “It has its basis in my own family’s history as my own grandmother tried to come to terms with my uncle’s death only a few weeks before the end of the war in Europe.”

At the home Mazilli, the young widow Hope (Hailey Giles) and soldier’s sister Savannah (Savannah Bearden, Willys daughter and who has the strongest performance of the film) set up a love triangle as we begin to understand more about each of their character’s dreams and nuances. Mazilli’s character comes into question early on but we are unsure of his motives. But the film has numerous comedic moments, touching upon Mississippi slang, even as far as a discussion about the outhouse. However, the story tends towards the polite message of traditional Hallmark films rather than taking on a darker edge despite the controversial character and scheming of some of the characters.

Bearden worke with co-writer David Tankersley to develop the screenplay in summer of 2008 and filmed in the summer of 2009. Produced on a budget of around $30,000, the film was shot by Ryan Parker using the Red One high-resolution digital camera with an original score by Harry Manfredini.

For more information and the trailer, visit and for the showtimes tonight visit

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