Combustible Celluloid
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With: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane, Ed Lauter, Cathleen Nesbitt, Katherine Helmond, Warren J. Kemmerling, Edith Atwater, William Prince, Nicholas Colasanto, Marge Redmond, John Lehne, Charles Tyner, Alexander Lockwood
Written by: Ernest Lehman, based on a novel by Victor Canning
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 120
Date: 09/04/1976

Family Plot (1976)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Medium Sized

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Buy Family Plot on DVD

Hitchcock's final film boasts the oddly beautiful and always weird Karen Black as a kidnapper/thief in a blonde wig. But the film also suffers from a shrill, overcooked performance by Barbara Harris as a phony medium. An old woman hires her to find her only heir so that he can inherit her fortune. Bruce Dern shines as a cab driver posing as a rumpled detective, puffing on a pipe and not fooling anyone. It's not exactly top-tier Hitchcock, but it features enough good stuff to make it at least worth one viewing. Screenwriter Ernest Lehman had previously worked with Hitchcock on North by Northwest.

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