|Family Plot (DVD, 2001)|
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|Family Plot (DVD, 2001) Anamorphic widescreen! BARBARA HARRIS & WILLIAM DEVANE|
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Arlington, TX, USA
Average review score based on 6 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
Not Hitchcock's best film, but still an enjoyable movie. Barbara Harris plays a medium rare in a world where the stakes are high ;)
Some reviewers say Family Plot is not Hitchcock material. I disagree. This movie has all the suspense and excitement we've come to expect from the Master. A young Barbara Harris portrays Madam Blanche, a totally fake, totally hot, sex starved medium, who pretends to reveal intimate details of her clients through psychic means. In actuality, her boyfriend George is doing the research for her. That would be Bruce Dern, who plays an aspiring actor playing a cab driver playing a private eye masquerading as a lawyer. As the film begins, Blanche has the biggest opportunity of her career, tracking down an unknown heir to the multi-million dollar Rainbird family fortune. But the person in question doesn't want to be located.
Hitchcock makes good use of plot devices he pioneered. Such as, through the course of the story, Blanche and George's paths converge and ultimately collide with an upscale jewel thief (William Devane) and his kidnapper wife (Karen Black). There are also many lighter moments, such as George complimenting Blanche's "pretty little behind".
My favorite part occurs after Blanche and George are to have met with a source at a cafe high in the mountains. You know something is going to happen, but what? Slightly buzzed with 2 beers, George begins driving down the mountain road only to find their car has been sabotaged, resulting in a wild, high speed ride. The deadly nature of this out-of-control jaunt is balanced by Blanche's reaction to the ordeal, antics so hysterical they become hilarious. If this is vaguely reminiscent of Cary Grant's drunken drive in North by Northwest, it could be because scripts for both movies were penned by the same writer, Ernest Lehman. In true Hitchcock Karma, Blanche and George survive, but the perpetrator dies in a freak accident.
Something Hitch has always mastered is putting viewers at home in the time period without overstating it. In Family Plot we see Blanche's mint 1966 Mustang throughout the movie. Black does a great job of addressing the early stages of the Feminist Movement, first by surprising her ransom payers who were expecting the kidnapper to be a man. Then when a helicopter pilot tries to minimize her forcefulness by remarking, "that gun probably isn't even loaded", she shows him differently. And toward the end, we hear that now outdated phrase, "Operator, get me the police."
Bonus features include 2 full length theatrical trailers narrated by Hitchcock, storyboards for the "wild ride", and a large collection of stills showing the director and cast during filming. This could have been better with music and commentary, but I'm happy to get what there is. Family Plot proves you can have mystery and suspense without murder. How appropriate for Hitch's last film. The final shot is Blanche giving us the wink. She is also speaking for the director.
The only negative thing I would say is that the film starts a bit slowly. But from there on it's all uphill. And, on a personal note, when I watch a DVD I find myself periodically checking the elapsed time, with the first instance usually around 25 minutes in. With Family Plot, I was over an hour and a half into the movie! Family Plot easily ranks in my 5 favorite Hitchcock motion pictures.
PLOT: CLEVER "classy " KIDNAPPERS collect their loot (mostly diamonds) ADD 2 phony psychics who stumble along look for a missing heir merge in this BLACK COMEDY is a lesser known Hitchcock Gem~
We see the Classy COUPLE complete a brilliant kidnap plot at the start and a married "team" of kidnappers William Devane and Karen Black collect the "loot' a gorgeous Diamond~ and they plan for the next victim~ along the way see A FAKE PSYCHIC (Barbara Harris) and her whiner boyfriend Bruce Dern~ plan to bilk a Wealthy old lady out of her money when she HIRES them to find her missing "nephew" she talks with during a FAKE session with Harris as the "medium". so the search is on for the missing Heir~ when Dern stumbles across a "plot" to hide the fake death of the nephew ....suddenly someone is out to KILL Dern and Harris to prevent them from "digging' up the family secrets!~ great over head shot at a cemetary~ Harris is charming and cute as the sex starved Medium and Dern is less than likeable as her boyfriend but the plotS hit HIGH gear when the search for the missing HEIR and a KIDNAP PLOT "MERGE" BY ACCIDENT. A great run away car scene as scary as it is is funny~ Devane is good the Sneaky Jeweler/ kidnapper and His lovely Wife Karen Black are FUN~criminals as they seem to 'enjoy' the thrill of the their own success~
THIS WAS HITCHCOCK LAST MOVIE~ I STILL GIVE IT A 8 OUT OF 10 FOR "PLOTS" AND 10 FOR THE "MASTER" AT HIS ANGLES HE FILMS THIS MOVIE WHICH keeps us wanting to see how it ends~
IF YOU FOUND THIS REVIEW HELPFUL PLEASE REMEMBER TO VOTE~
The 1976 classic Alfred Hitchcock movie. The last movie he directed, and definitely not on par with his early days. Not as suspensful as he is known for, this is more of a lighthearted suspense. Nominated for a Golden Globe, it also won an Edgar Allan Poe award.
Fake medium Madam Blanche (Barbara Harris) and her taxi driver boyfriend George (Bruce Dern) make a living by scaming people with her phoney powers. They are hired by an aging widow, Julia Rainbird, to find her nephew who was given away for adoption many years earlier following a family scandal. Meanwhile, an extremely clever couple, diamond merchant Arthur Adamson (William Devine) and his attractive girlfriend Fran (Karen Black), are behind a series of kidnappings of various VIPs in the San Francisco area. The two couples paths soon cross and chaos results in Hitchcock's last film.