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Barbara Harris shines as Blanche Tyler, a phony psychic who hits it big when one of her wealthy clients offers her $10,000 to track down her dead sister's adopted child who is the last remaining heir to the millions she will pass along. With the help of her boyfriend George (Bruce Dern), the two set out to find the nephew, going by the name Arthur Adamson (played brilliantly by William Devane), who has blossomed into a prominant jeweler, diamond thief, and murderer. Eventually Blanche and George track down Arthur and his girlfriend Fran (Karen Black), but with a chilling conclusion that is pure Hitchcock magic.
The film delights with its strong lead performances and witty dialogue. Although obviously not Hitchcock's best work, the film is solid, and keeps the viewer enthralled throughout.
The DVD contains a digitally remastered version of the film, with improved audio and video from its original state. The bonus features on the disc include an imformative 48-minute documentary entitled "Plotting Family Plot," which chronicles the making of the film from pre-production to casting and filming. It also includes behind-the-scenes footage and stills as well as interviews with cast members Bruce Dern, Karen Black, William Devane, composer John Williams, and Hitch's daughter Pat Hitchcock O'Connell. In addition, there are two original theatrical trailers for the film, some storyboards for the car chase scene, and production notes, photographs, and posters.
Hitchcock bowed out on an interesting note by concluding his brilliant career with "Family Plot" in 1976. He was mightily assisted in his efforts by one of Hollywood's most skilled screenplay authors, Ernest Lehman. It was the second time they had teamed up, the earlier effort being one of Hitchcock's most successful films, the 1958 classic "North by Northwest" starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason.
In "Family Plot" Hitchcock's grand tease was built around a variation of the theme that helped make "Vertigo" perhaps the director's finest effort. That impressive 1957 release was structured around a bogus effort on the part of mastermind criminal Gavin Elster, played by Tom Helmore, to convince retired policeman James Stewart that his putative wife, played by Kim Novak, was under the possessive influence of prominent nineteenth century San Franciscan Carlotta Valdes. Stewart is led on a bogus chase around San Francisco that includes a phony suicide attempt as Novak jumps into San Francisco Bay.
Hitchcock, a film genius who knew how to make the most of a good theme, used this basic concept from "Vertigo" in the basic plot of "Family Plot" with one essential difference - this time the con artist was not seeking a foolproof way to kill his real wife by having a fall guy reduced to useful fodder in a criminal enterprise.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice combination of comedy and suspense. Outstanding cast and lots of Hitchcock touches.Published 5 days ago by CCP
Sorry, I spent most of the movie with my Google Maps open, trying to find all the SF locations they used.Published 3 months ago by Randal Smith
Great product. Quick delivery. Will buy again....5 star....thanks.Published 8 months ago by Norma Swede
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