A Family Thing

7.11 h 49 min1996X-RayPG-13
A white Southerner's identity is shaken when he learns that his natural mother was African American and travels to meet his unknown until now half brother living in Chicago.
Richard Pearce
Robert DuvallJames Earl JonesMichael Beach
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Supporting actors
Irma P HallGrace ZabriskieRegina TaylorMary JacksonPaula MarshallJames Harrell
Robert DuvallTodd BlackRanda Haines
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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4.6 out of 5 stars

154 global ratings

  1. 85% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 4% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 2% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 4% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Barbara HartwellReviewed in the United States on September 26, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Hidden Gem
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Most people have never heard of this movie, I saw it first a few years ago and watched it again. We NEED this kind of movie in the climate we live in as it teaches respect, understanding, trust and what may seem so IS not so. Between Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones it takes time to get there but they build that trust and understanding based on what they, Jones, KNOWS is true and what, Duvall, learns IS true. They build a bond that is strong, loving and trusting. Why this movie hasn't been viewed more is a mystery to me as it teaches above all else - acceptance and love - everything else is just stuff that gets in the way.
11 people found this helpful
Luvts4evrReviewed in the United States on September 16, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
And the Winner is.
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You really can't go wrong with Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones. These two were incredibly paired in this movie. Duvall is reeling from finding out that his birth mother was African American. Jones is forced to acknowledge his caucasian brother whom he knew about . His deep seated anger at Earls father did not allow for a connection until Earl literally showed up at his workplace. The dynamics of the aunt, Raphs son and the two brothers is beautiful and funny at times . I wish there had been a scene or two at the end when the roles were reversed and Ralph meets Earls family. One can only imagine and perhaps that is the writers intent. It's a great film and one I may watch again.
4 people found this helpful
Claire Anderson Graham KellermanReviewed in the United States on September 25, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful family ~ a healing journey, I'm still crying, so touching, and lovely.
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The depth of pain in our cells, in our society, and in our ancestors' Souls is healed in the Grace of Truth and Love, as demonstrated in this dynamic, peaceful, cherished film. I will always remember Aunty T myself for her presence of strength and poise and deep love, and Earl for his coming out well after being spun in a washer of emotional newness, and his brother and nephew really gave their best and grew into the family that is best for us all, unified, honest, revealing and beautiful. I am so grateful I found this film. I am still crying, because it makes me sad, how much unnecessary insulting, loss and suffering has gone on. Love is real, proven here. Aloha, Claire
3 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on September 22, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
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I absolutely loved this movie! So well written and produced and directed. You could see all the racial tension in the day and see it all fall away as they all got to know each other and care about each other. I felt love flood my soul watching it and felt whoever made this movie accomplished what they wanted to accomplish. LOVE Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones and the woman who played Aunt Tee. Great movie for both men and women.....something for all! Forgiveness and love change everything. I feel bad that there aren't more reviews and people seeing this film. There should be thousands! They're missing out!!!
2 people found this helpful
Johnny W. BakerReviewed in the United States on October 1, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
More truth to this than many white folk know.
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I come from a very mixed family, English, Irish, Black, and so forth. I know for a fact that I have kin that I have never met and most likely ever will but, but, but, I can so see this happening to so many people who just don't want to lay their feelings down and realize "It is what it is and you can make the best of it, no matter what it is." We all bleed red, we all breath the same air, eat the same foods, drink the same drinks, produce babies the same way, and so on. The same hopes and aspirations for each of us. Watch this movie, you will enjoy it what with Jame Earl Jones in it, it's fantastic and worth your time.
DeirdreReviewed in the United States on June 16, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Even better than we Remembered
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I bought this DVD as a Mother's Way gift for my Mom. She, my cousin, and I watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It had been many years since we watched it (on VHS). There was so much my mother and I had forgotten. That made watching it even more enjoyable. We couldn't stop laughing, though there were some poignant moments.

The picture was clear and the color sharp. During a time of cries for racial / social justice this older movie is actually rather timely. I can't recommend it highly enough.
3 people found this helpful
elkeReviewed in the United States on September 18, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Beautifully Directed Story With Heart!
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James Earl Jones, Robert Duvall and Irma P. Hall make this movie fine watching. Even it's unusual storyline becomes believable with the soft touch these three actors give. Amazing movie!
3 people found this helpful
MarkAntneyReviewed in the United States on April 6, 2011
4.0 out of 5 stars
Hidden Gem of a Movie on a Very Real Topic (In the South)
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Can't add much to the great reviews, only I'm from the South (MS) and my mother, aunts,..others informed me of such an issue when I became a grown man and ended up back home for a few years.

That said, there isn't a wasted performance, line, scene,... in the entire movie, just a steady paced Southern Tale of Reconciliation.

Others here give the bigger nod to the Aunt, mine is reserved for Mr. Steady (Duvall), if you want to see pure genius in ONE scene, find the one when he takes the letter and reads it to his (back sliddin) Daddy.

The emotion he emits in that scene is simply compelling. It's a movie for grownups, for I don't see a youngin being able to sit through a Movie with no (REAL) violence, bombs, tight skirts, short-shorts, fake boobs/foreheads/eyebrows,...Two other good scenes: Duvall and his older (black) nephew, telling him how he found out "Life Ain't about you,..." and the Blind Aunt telling them of Duvall's birth.

Great Movie, start to finish.

A solid 4 Stars, actually a few 10ths more, not quite enough for 5, because it's not "edge of your seat" but a VERY good movie.
14 people found this helpful
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