Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Family Plot


It’s too bad Hitchcock couldn’t have gone out on an higher note than this. It’s a good film, but doesn’t show a lot of the Hitchcock trademarks. A lot of it is pretty funny. At one point Bruce Dern is driving a car down out of the mountains when the accelerator gets stuck and the brakes go out. Barbara Harris panics, and is all over the car. I imagine that in 1976 the scene was pretty harrowing, with POV shots with the camera down low to the ground, but today it looks like what it is: jerky fast motion doctoring in the editing room. The real pleasures here are the actors, including Karen Black, but most of all Harris and William Devane, a hugely underrated guy. Remember him in Marathon Man?