×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Addams Family

Despite inspired casting and nifty visual trappings, the eagerly awaited Addams Family figures as a major disappointment. First-time director Barry Sonnenfeld never really gets past the skeletal plot, which plays like a collection of sitcom one-liners augmented by feature-film special effects. Script is one visual joke or pun after another based on the decidedly different family Charles Addams created in his New Yorker cartoons. The ABC TV series ran from 1964 to 1966.

With:
Anjelica Huston Raul Julia Christopher Lloyd Dan Hedaya Elizabeth Wilson Christina Ricci

Despite inspired casting and nifty visual trappings, the eagerly awaited Addams Family figures as a major disappointment. First-time director Barry Sonnenfeld never really gets past the skeletal plot, which plays like a collection of sitcom one-liners augmented by feature-film special effects. Script is one visual joke or pun after another based on the decidedly different family Charles Addams created in his New Yorker cartoons. The ABC TV series ran from 1964 to 1966.

The performers work gamely, but how many times are we expected to laugh at Morticia (Anjelica Huston) speaking wistfully about torture or Gomez (Raul Julia) imploring the disembodied digits Thing to ‘lend a hand?’

The disjointed plot turns on the long-missing Uncle Fester and an attempt by the family lawyer (Dan Hedaya) to cash in on Fester’s absence – and gain access to Gomez’s hidden fortune – by passing off the son of a loan-sharking client (Elizabeth Wilson) as Fester. After becoming acclimated to the ooky-kooky-spooky clan, the son (Christopher Lloyd) grows increasingly fond of them, prompting his conspirators to engage in drastic tactics.

The only moment that lives up to the film’s potential involves tots Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) enacting a scene from Hamlet for the school talent show. Huston is properly ethereal as Morticia, and Julia makes a swashbuckling Gomez, though neither can do much with the roles. Ricci is a perfect, somber Wednesday.

1991: Nomination: Best Costume Design

The Addams Family

Production: Paramount. Director Barry Sonnenfeld; Producer Scott Rudin; Writer Caroline Thompson, Larry Wilson; Camera Owen Roizman Editor Dede Allen, Jim Miller; Music Marc Shaiman Art Richard MacDonald

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1991. Running time: 99 MIN.

With: Anjelica Huston Raul Julia Christopher Lloyd Dan Hedaya Elizabeth Wilson Christina Ricci

More Film

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

  • Clint Eastwood May Direct 'The Ballad

    Clint Eastwood May Direct 'The Ballad of Richard Jewell'

    Clint Eastwood may direct “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” a look at a security guard whose life gets turned upside down after media reports identified him as a possible suspect in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing. The film is currently set up at Disney/Fox and could reunite Eastwood with Alan Horn, the current Disney Studios [...]

  • Hagazussa: A Heathen's Curse

    Film Review: 'Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse'

    If “The Witch” had been directed by the early-career Werner Herzog of “Aguirre,” “Heart of Glass,” and “Even Dwarfs Started Small,” the result might have been something in the spirit of “Hagazussa,” Lukas Feigelfeld’s wholly arresting feature debut. Given the extended U.S. title “A Heathen’s Curse” to underline saleable supernatural elements, this enigmatic folktale-cum-horror is [...]

  • Alex Ross Perry

    Alex Ross Perry to Write and Direct Stephen King's 'Rest Stop' for Legendary

    Alex Ross Perry will write and direct Legendary’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s short story “Rest Stop.” King’s short, first published in Esquire magazine in 2003, won the national magazine award for fiction in 2004, and was later included in King’s 2008 collection, “Just After Sunset.” The movie is described as a propulsive cat-and-mouse thriller [...]

  • Hobbs & Shaw trailer

    'Hobbs & Shaw' New Trailer Touts More High-Intensity Fights

    A new “Hobbs & Shaw” trailer packs in the international action with fast cars and high-intensity fight scenes.  When the first trailer dropped in February, viewers were introduced to the genetically-enhanced villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba, as well as a newly cordial relationship between old enemies Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason [...]

  • ralph Fiennes WHITE CROW Directing BTS

    Ralph Fiennes Examines Rudolf Nureyev's Complicated Life in 'The White Crow'

    The story of “The White Crow,” Ralph Fiennes’ latest directorial effort, is as topical as anything currently sitting on the desk of a studio head. It tells of a rebellious artist grappling with his sexuality during turbulent political times rife with tensions between the United States and an agitated Russia.  But though the upcoming film, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content