Family Plot

  • Film
  • Thrillers
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With his last film, Hitchcock made a triumphant return to form in the comic thriller. His most relaxed, witty and urbane movie since North by Northwest (also scripted by Ernest Lehman), it's a dense but extremely entertaining collection of symmetric patterns, doubles and rhymes. One couple (Dern/Harris) are amiable fakes, dealing in bogus spiritualism; another (Black/Devane) are sinister fakes, trading in the physical merchandise of kidnapped diplomats and ransomed jewels. Linking these two pairs is an illegitimate child, an empty grave, and a mountain of misunderstandings. Hitchcock ties together the complex strands in a delightful way, with a series of symbols and set pieces which demonstrate that the Old Master had lost his touch not one jot. Beneath all the fun, there's a vision of humans as essentially greedy and dishonest, presented with a gorgeously amoral wink from Hitchcock, and performed to perfection by an excellent cast.

Release details

Duration: 120 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenwriter: Ernest Lehman
Cast: Katherine Helmond
Barbara Harris
William Devane
Cathleen Nesbitt
Karen Black
Bruce Dern
Ed Lauter
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