Family Plot

1976

Action / Comedy / Thriller

27
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 61%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 17610

Synopsis


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October 24, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Cast

Alfred Hitchcock as Silhouette at Office of Vital Statistics
Bruce Dern as George Lumley
William Devane as Arthur Adamson
Karen Black as Fran
720p.BLU
849.99 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 0 min
P/S 4 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Hitchcoc 7 / 10

Not So Bad, Really!

I first saw this when it opened in my home town movie theater. I had no appreciation of Hitchcock at the time, and have, over the years, put him at the top of my director's list. Finally, seeing it again, I realized my hesitation came from all the reviews that said Hitchcock's last film was a great disappointment. The thing is, when one has such a magnificent filmography, good or decent are seen as disappointments. This film has two plots working toward each other. Bruce Dern (a cab driver) and Barbara Harris (a flakey, phony psychic) are trying to bilk an old lady out of 10,000 dollars. Meanwhile, William Devane and Karen Black are deadly jewel thieves. Dern' discovery of a phony gravestone, accidentally puts him in danger (without his knowledge). Devane and his female partner decide to waste the couple, but this actually works to the advantage of the lightweights. While there wasn't the great suspense here and a bevy of unique scenes, it still kept my interest to the end.

Reviewed by gavin6942 8 / 10

One of Hitchcock's Best

Lighthearted suspense film about a phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend who encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California.

When you think of Hitchcock's best films, you think "Vertigo", "Psycho" and "Rear Window", to name a few. You very rarely hear "Family Plot" mentioned, but I would argue it is among his best and a fine way to retire.

The humor is nice, especially with the wonderful Bruce Dern. But really, this is just pure mystery and suspense. Is the missing child alive? If yes, who is he? And who is chasing who? This is such a great mystery film it deserves a second or third viewing.

Reviewed by calvinnme 7 / 10

quite enjoyable and comical

This last Hitchcock film may seem out of step with all of the others, but then it has to be. The sexual/cultural revolution is over. The cynical 70s are in full swing. You can't just insinuate "the act" anymore and cut to the seashore.

Into this environment comes "Family Plot". It is basically two sets of crimes, one minor and one major, hitting an intersection with one group of criminals having no idea what the other group is up to.

Blanche Tyler (Barbara Harris) is a fake psychic. She has her cabbie boyfriend get information for her based on the hints she gets from the séances. In this case a wealthy woman, Julia Rainbird, claims her sister's spirit and her own conscience torment her because in 1933 she made her sister put her illegitimate child up for adoption because of the scandal that would have occurred given the conventions of the times. Nobody knows what happened to him since the adoption was closed. Now Julia Rainbird, in her old age, wants to accept her nephew into the family and leave the entire estate to him. There is 10K in it for Blanche if she can find him.

What Blanche and cabbie lover George (Bruce Dern) don't know is that the long lost heir is basically Lex Luther with hair - William Devane as Arthur Adamson, a true sociopath who loves thumbing his nose at conventions and loves crime. Together he and his girlfriend, Fran (Karen Black) kidnap wealthy people in exchange for jewels. Adamson has a legitimate business as a jeweler as a front.

The misunderstandings come in when Adamson discovers that somebody is digging into his past, specifically his faked death which was a cover for the murder of his adoptive parents back in 1950. Blanche and George can't figure out why they would be getting attempts on their life. Adamson has no idea of his true identity and has no idea why these two amateurs are trying to find him, figuring it has either to do with his current kidnappings or the past murder of his parents.

It all comes together in a suspenseful and comical way. I'll let you watch and find out how.

Blanche and George are a hilarious couple just perfect for 1975. In one scene, at the end of the day, she is basically ordering him to come inside the house and sexually service her. George replies she is wearing him out and he has to work tomorrow. She asks "what are you saving it for?". This is a long way from the stolen glances, passionate kisses, and hand holding in "Dial M For Murder", but this is a different time and they are just right for it.

Even at the end Hitchcock did know how to change with the times. I'd recommend it.

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