3.48 – FAMILY PLOT and Reinvention

The final Hitchcock film in our mini-series is his last motion picture, 1976’s FAMILY PLOT. After differing reviews — interesting, given our previous ideas about Hitchcock’s oeuvre — we talk about everything from camp thrillers to how this was nearly an example of slacker cinema, and how this may have been a response to a mid-1970s shift in cinematic output. We also close with something of a retrospective on Hitchcock’s work, and discuss how his previous work allowed him to in some ways reinvent himself in this movie.

Next Week
Our show next week will be the first of our two play-offs, bringing Season 3 to a close: pitting our favourite 30 films (and 2 audience picks) against each other.

This Week’s Media
DEATH OF A SALESMAN (1949, 2018): Arthur Miller; Sarah Frankcom, Don Warrington
HALLOWEEN 4, 5, 6 (1988, 1989, 1995): Dwight H. Little, Dominique Othenin-Girard, Joe Chapelle

ADDAMS FAMILY (TV: 1964–66): David Levy, Carolyn Jones, John Astin
WEST SIDE STORY (film: 1961): Jerome Robbins, Leonard Bernstein, Natalie Wood
SILENT RUNNING (1972): Douglas Trumbull, Bruce Dern, Cliff Potts
GROSSE POINT BLANK (1997): George Armitage, John Cusack, Minnie Driver

We start this week’s episode — in particularly spoilerish fashion — by discussing the end of the film, which means that this article deserves another look: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall. When talking about the history of 1970s cinema, as Sam does at one point this week, consulting this is a good idea: books.google.co.uk/books?id=DsGTm5DfY1kC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false. The reviews for FAMILY PLOT, as Rob says, are pretty good: www.rottentomatoes.com/m/family_plot, www.rogerebert.com/reviews/family-plot-1976, www.imdb.com/title/tt0074512/reviews. And here’s more on the alternative casting choices, as well as other trivia about the film: www.imdb.com/title/tt0074512/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv. Finally, as a conclusion to this month’s films, here are 5 hours of interviews with the director, from various points in his career, dealing with many aspects of his cinematic output: www.openculture.com/2016/09/5-hours-of-free-alfred-hitchcock-interviews-discover-his-theories-of-film-editing-creating-suspense-more.html.