Family Plot (1976)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Drama


Family Plot (1976) Poster

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


6.8/10
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  • "Family Plot," Karen Black. 1976 Universal
  • Katherine Helmond in Family Plot (1976)
  • "Family Plot," Director Alfred Hitchcock with costume designer Edith Head on set. 1976 Universal
  • "Family Plot," Director Alfred Hitchcock on the set. 1976 Universal Pictures
  • William Devane in Family Plot (1976)
  • Bruce Dern in Family Plot (1976)

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8 January 2007 | bkoganbing
7
| A Tale Of Two Con Games
Alfred Hitchcock's final film Family Plot is a story of two male and female criminal partnerships. The first pair is Bruce Dern and Barbara Harris who are a pair of small time grifters and we meet them in the process of fleecing a rich old spinster Cathleen Nesbitt with a phony psychic act.

The second pair are William Devane and Karen Black who have a lovely line in ransom kidnappings. They've really got it worked out to a science, including a soundproof hidden room in Devane's basement where the victims can be stashed until the ransom is paid.

Nesbitt confesses that she had her late sister give up an out of wedlock child during a séance and now she'd like to make amends by finding him and making him her heir. So with a finder's fee in mind Dern and Harris start digging.

Their paths cross Devane and Black as the police are hunting them so it becomes quite an interesting set of circumstances as Devane and Black suspect the others of being police operatives.

Hitchcock cleverly interweaves the stories of the two couples into a very cohesive plot. The players all hit the mark with their roles,] especially Devane, a smooth talking killer in the Hitchcock tradition of Otto Kruger in Saboteur, Tom Helmore in Vertigo, and James Mason in North By Northwest.

The ending is a bit of a surprise though, it comes rather abruptly. I have to confess I didn't like it at first, but it does kind of grow on you with repeated viewings.

Family Plot is a good for the master of suspense to go out on.

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