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Household Saints is a 1993 film starring Tracey Ullman, Vincent D'Onofrio and Lili Taylor. It was based on the novel by Francine Prose and directed by Nancy Savoca.[1] The film explores the lives of three generations of Italian-American women over the course of the latter half of the 20th century. The film's executive producer is Jonathan Demme, a long-time friend of Savoca's, and her first real employer in the world of film.[2]

Household Saints
Directed byNancy Savoca
Written byNancy Savoca
Richard Guay
StarringTracey Ullman
Vincent D'Onofrio
Lili Taylor
Distributed byFirst Line Features
Release date
  • September¬†15,¬†1993¬†(1993-09-15)
Running time
124 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$712,418



The film follows the courtship and marriage of Catherine Falconetti (Ullman) to local butcher Joseph Santangelo (D'Onofrio), as well as Catherine's relationship with her overbearing Old World mother-in-law (Judith Malina).

The film also focuses on Catherine and Joseph's daughter Teresa (Taylor), a devout Catholic more similar to her superstitious grandmother than with her modernized and secularized parents. As a child and young adult she puts herself through a series of trials so that she might one day be canonized as a saint. Teresa's teenage fantasy to become a nun is strained after starting a relationship with a marriage-minded young man (Michael Imperioli).

The film explores both family dynamics over the course of time as well as, on a larger level, the relationship between religious faith in miracles and modernity.


The film was on the "Best Films" list of over 20 national critics and was nominated for a Spirit Award for Best Screenplay by Savoca and Guay. Taylor won Best Supporting Female for the film at that year's Independent Spirit Awards.[3]


Savoca cast many favorite New York City actors for the film which was shot in DeLaurentis/Carolco (now EUE Screen Gems) Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina.[4] The film reunited Lili Taylor with Savoca, with whom she'd previously worked on Dogfight, and Vincent D'Onofrio, with whom she'd appeared in 1988's Mystic Pizza.

Tracey Ullman and Vincent D'Onofrio, as Lili Taylor's screen parents, are only eight years older than she is.

DVD releaseEdit

Although the film met critical success and features several well-known actors, so far it has only been released on VHS with no public plans for a DVD release.


  1. ^ Wilmington, Michael (October 1, 1993). "`Household' Elevates the Ordinary Through the Mundane". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  2. ^ Beale, Lewis (July 12, 2012). "Nancy Savoca talks about 'Union Square'". Newsday. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  3. ^ Fox, David J. (March 21, 1994). "Spirit Awards--a Hollywood Maverick Gets Tamed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  4. ^ "What are the top 10 movies ever made in Wilmington?". Star-News. January 26, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2018.

External linksEdit