Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Hitchcock: Family Plot (1976)

This is famously Hitchcock's last film and pretty universally regarded as terrible failure.  Although it is definitely not one his best by any standards, I've never been quite able to understand why it is held in such low esteem.  Hitchcock had done silly stuff in his career before, starting all the way back in the 1920's.  Granted, by the mid 1970's he had been elevated to the status as one of the greatest directors in emerge from early film, and he was getting up in age with serious health trouble due to his weight.  That may have had something to do with the way that the public received this film.  Also, I should mention that the soundtrack does detract from the plot (sorry, couldn't resist)--it's very cheesy for a Hitchcock film...almost cartoonishly so; the music doesn't really rise above the level of what was slapped on a television mystery movie of the day....and the harpsichord.....need I say more.  Having said all that, I admit to having a soft spot for this movie.  I actually like it's herky jerky quirkiness.  The plot of Plot revolves around a couple of con artists, one posing as a physic and one who is actually a cab driver (Barbara Harris and Bruce Dern respectively), stumbling into the realm of a kidnap ring run by a mysterious woman (Karen Black).  All sorts of mayhem ensues.

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