The Addams Family

1991 "Weird Is Relative"
6.9| 1h42m| PG-13| en| More Info
Released: 22 November 1991 Released
Producted By: Orion Pictures
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Budget: 0
Revenue: 0
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When a man claiming to be long-lost Uncle Fester reappears after 25 years lost, the family plans a celebration to wake the dead. But the kids barely have time to warm up the electric chair before Morticia begins to suspect Fester is fraud when he can't recall any of the details of Fester's life.

Genre

Fantasy, Comedy

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Director

Barry Sonnenfeld

Production Companies

Orion Pictures

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The Addams Family Audience Reviews

SpuffyWeb Sadly Over-hyped
Mjeteconer Just perfect...
Nayan Gough A great movie, one of the best of this year. There was a bit of confusion at one point in the plot, but nothing serious.
Deanna There are moments in this movie where the great movie it could've been peek out... They're fleeting, here, but they're worth savoring, and they happen often enough to make it worth your while.
MaximumMadness For some reason, the 90's and early 2000's were a bit of a heyday when it came to contemporary adaptations of kitschy old TV-shows and stories. Everything from "The Flintstones" to "Charlie's Angels"... from "The Brady Bunch" to "Dudley Do-Right"... they all got remade, rebooted and re-imagined for then-modern audiences. But strangely, almost all of them were redone in typically either a self-satirical or self-deprecating way. Almost like the filmmakers were ashamed of the properties they were meant to be paying tribute to. But one particular film among them stands out for doing quite the opposite. For creating a respectful, honorable and faithful adaptation that kept changes to a necessary minimum while simply delivering a bigger and wilder version of what came before.And oddly enough... that film was "The Addams Family", directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and released in 1991. Loosely inspired by the original comics of creator Charles Addams, while taking many cues and nods from the beloved 1960's sitcom, Sonnenfeld crafted a delicious and delightful comedic throwback that's filled to burst with classic Addams humor... with dark visual references, creepy double-entendres and plenty of cynical gallows humor gags. All the while, treating audiences to top-notch visuals and fantastic comedic turns from an all-star cast. "The Addams Family" might not be a perfect film... but it's darned entertaining and is a great riff on a classic piece of source material.The very creepy and kooky Addams Family is getting along fine, though Gomez Addams (the late and great Raul Julia) still laments the disappearance of his brother Fester 25 years earlier. But things take an interesting turn when the Addams' lawyer Tully (Dan Hedaya) ends up in too deep with devious loan shark Abigail (Elizabeth Wilson)... Out of time, Tully hatches a plan to pay off his debt- To disguise Abigail's oafish son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd) as the long-lost Fester, of whom he is the spitting image, so that he can infiltrate the Addams clan and discover their secret vault, which holds an immense treasure. Gordon is welcomed "back" into the clan under the pretense of suffering amnesia. Though the more time he spends with the devilish family, the more he grows attached to them, and the more he doubts he'll be able to go through with the plan...The peculiar thing about both this film and it's immediate follow-up "Addams Family Values" is that in many ways, they come across more as a series of clever but only tenuously connected vignettes than as singular, cohesive narratives... and yet, they both function quite well. The story lines are kept almost as an after-thought and only serve the basis of building and contriving funny situations to find our heroes in. And I think it actually works better this way given the nature of the material. The humor of the Addams Family was almost always about contrast and subversion of modern American ideals. And structuring the film in such a way to base much of the humor on almost random interactions with standard members of middle-class culture was a good way to go. It keeps the pacing light and refreshing, and only bogs itself down with the intricacies of plot and character development when needed.Visually, the film is a delightfully Gothic masterwork of manic energy thanks to Sonnenfeld's breezy and slick cinematography and use of movement and flow. It's got an energy to it that's all its own, and feels unique and even special in a weird way. This is complimented by the remarkable and even awe-inspiring set and costume design and Marc Shaiman's fabulous score, which incorporates that classic theme we all know and love and makes good use of it for varying levels of humor and suspense.And then there's the cast. My lord, this is just an exceptional ensemble of performers. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston frequently steal the show as the demented obsessive lovers Gomez and Mortitia, and their chemistry is out of this world. Particularly admirable is the childlike energy Julia exudes in every scene. Lloyd is a blast and a half as the would-be Fester, and he really nails the character in the best of ways. Jimmy Workman, Carel Struycken and Judith Malina round out the clan in fine supporting roles. And then- newcomer Christina Ricci is a complete joy as the sardonic daughter Wednesday in a wonderful performance. Hedaya and Wilson also do quite well as our devious and bumbling villains, and have some good scenes to shine.In all honesty, it's really hard to say anything critical of the film, because so much of it feels like it's accomplishing and excelling at every goal it sets out to achieve. And yet, there's just something about it that holds it just shy of perfection. Mainly lying in the intrusions of plot that pop in now and again and feel tacked on, and the fact that the film does feel very short and sometimes rushed. There's just some very small squabbles I have that are noticeable enough to hold it back a teeny bit. But even beyond those minor issues, I can't help but give "The Addams Family" a whole- hearted recommendation. It's fantastically fun and darkly hilarious, and I love every single second of it. And so I give it a very good 8 out of 10!
brandonshedder The Adams Family movie is one of the best TV to film adaptations ever made. Based off of the beloved television series of the same name, the film follows the odd band of Adams's through a zany tale of mischief and lost memory. The Adams Whamily comes to the big screen with a wham of nostalgia for old fans, and will surely excite newcomers. All of the performances here are excellent, with Angelica Huston and Christopher Lloyd really shining. Christina Ricci is also great, especially for a child actress. Everyone else is superb, as each player brings their roles to life.The film tells the story of father Gomez, who is visited by an oddball stranger claiming to be his long-lost brother, Fester, played brilliantly by Christopher Lloyd. The imposter Fester has been sent in by his supposed mother to steal a legendary treasure that is stored in the Adams house. This leads to much hilarity ensuing. The production does a great job of recapturing a more modern feel of the TV show, as well as with casting.Notable scenes include the mamushka dance number, the ginger woman falling in love with Cousin It, Gomez's fantastic sword fight with who I believe was his accountant or attorney, and when the family digs up their loved ones at the end of the film.In addition, costume choices and set design were both superb. It was great to see a huge set for the family house, and accurate receations and nods to the show.As for negatives, the Adams Family does include a number of scenes with "stupid humor." These are moments that are ridiculous, but that are meant to be this way. It takes a special person to appreciate these jokes. The filmmakers seemed to want viewers to separate themselves from these moments and have fun with them.Overall, The Adams Family is a great deal of fun for fans and the uninitiated. I would greatly recommend it to anyone. Cousin It is bae.
Python Hyena The Addams Family (1991): Dir: Barry Sonnenfeld / Cast: Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, Elizabeth Wilson, Dan Hedaya: Big screen adaptation of the classic TV show about the monstrous family that are totally outside traditional values. Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston look the parts of Gomez and Morticia, the head couple with Pugsley and Wednesday as their two demented children who have the disturbing past time of finding methods of execution. Christopher Lloyd plays Uncle Fester who went missing twenty-five years ago. He turns up with a couple of the most forgettable villains the screenwriter can conjure up. Elizabeth Wilson poises as a psychiatrist claiming that Fester was lost in the Bermuda Triangle and lost his memory. He is told that he is Gordon who she brought him in. Lloyd as Fester is sent to possess the Addams fortune but predictable elements occurs such as his growing close to the family. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld who presents the film's look and the special effects and art direction hold appeal with a black and white mostly presentation. While the Addams cast play their roles with appeal but the villains played by Wilson and Dan Hedaya have less personality than the severed life hand, Thing. This is not a great film but for those who loved the TV show, they will enjoy the recreation and bizarre nature of this odd family. Score: 7 ½ / 10
mark.waltz Certainly there are going to be those who take this comic variation on "Tales From the Darkside" as something that was influenced by the devil with its irreverent take on family structure and focus on characters who obviously seem to take great pleasure in following some seemingly morbid characteristics. Yes, they are indeed absolutely ookie, with gorgeous mom Morticia (that's Anjelica Huston, not Cher...), extremely sexy dad Gomez (a very dreamy Raul Julia), the witch-like Grandma (Judith Malina), portly Pugsly (Jimmy Workman) and the very dour Wednesday (a delightful Christina Ricci) not the Brady Bunch, not the Cunninghams, not the Cleavers, and very far even from the Munsters. Gomez has been mourning the disappearance of his brother Fester (which means "to rot") for years, and every year like clockwork on the anniversary of his disappearance, they do a séance to try and find out where he is. Thanks to some con-artist clients of the family attorney (Dan Heydara), "Fester" does show up during the séance, actually the son of a hard-hearted con-artist (a very funny Elizabeth Wilson). She pretends to be his psychiatrist, having "discovered" him in the midst of the Bermuda triangle. Cynical Wednesday is suspicious, and this eventually leads to the Addams being removed from their own home so "Fester" and mommie dearest can find out where the family fortune is being hidden.Lavishly filmed with fun special effects and gorgeously morbid art direction, the film version of the famous comic strip and 1960's T.V. series is perfectly cast. It seems that nobody could replaced Carolyn Jones as the luscious Morticia, but Ms. Huston does a phenomenal job and is obviously having a ton of fun, especially after being haggard as an evil witch just a few years earlier. Raul Julia is not as tongue-in-cheek as John Astin was, but his Gomez is certainly unforgettable with an undeniable sex appeal. Anjelica and Raul have amazing chemistry, making it clear that this morbidly old married couple are very much in love. Those who saw Raul in the original Broadway cast of "Nine" will agree that after playing that role, nobody else could have done this role justice.Some people are going to confuse Dana Ivey, the talented stage actress who plays Heydara's neglected wife Margaret Alford, with the legendary Maggie Smith as they do have similar facial features. Lots of old friends truly thought Ivey's character in "The Color Purple" was Maggie Smith until I pointed out her name in the credits. What happens to her character here is truly bizarre, but in a magnificently funny way. Carel Struycken is an amusing Lurch, but unfortunately never gets to say Ted Cassidy's famous line, "You Rang?", only being silent with the exception of a few grunts when things don't seem right to him. Take the satanic references with a grain of salt or you might find yourself as crazy and ookie as the bizarre characters (both dead and alive) here. The film also features a magnificent party sequence which utilizes a classic movie tradition of switching from two characters dancing alone to the switch to the party in full swing. When Julia and Lloyd break into "The Mamushka", the film becomes absolutely delightful. There's really nothing offensive in the things the Addams family does. It's just all silly fun, and if you watch it with that in mind, you won't need to "cleanse" yourself afterwords with a hot shower.