The Addams Family (1991)

addams family poster 1991 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Wednesday and Morticia, the entire cast and look

The plot

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Addams Family

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  November 22, 1991

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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Mamushka!!!

They’re creepy and the kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all-together ooky, the Addams Family.  Unfortunately, Gomez Addams (Raúl Juliá) is missing part of his family.  After a fight his brother Fester disappeared…and was never seen again.  When Addams’ lawyer Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya) finds he needs to pay back Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson), the two decide pass off Elizabeth’s son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd) as the missing Uncle Fester.  With Gordon try to find out where the Addams are hiding their money, the Addams could lose their money and their home forever if Gordon and Abigail are not stopped in time.

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I wish our school plays were like this…

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, The Addams Family is a comedy that adapts the famous cartoon by Charles Addams that first appeared in 1938 in The New Yorker and later were named and developed into The Addams Family which ran for sixty-four episodes from September 18, 1964 to April 8, 1966 on ABC.  The movie received average to positive reviews but a strong box office turn-out.  The movie received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design but a Razzie win for Worst Original Song for “Addams Groove” by MC Hammer.

I can remember being excited to see The Addams Family when it was released in a busy Christmas season of movies.  The movie was a lot like the series…and had the same problems and positives.

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Oh yeah, Cousin Itt is going to get some!

I always liked the idea of The Addams Family TV series more than the series.  I did really enjoy the Charles Addams cartoons which were clever one-offs.  The series gave names to the characters and more defined personalities, but the episode-to-episode stories were always pretty weak.  The same is true here.  While I love some characters, the overall story isn’t very fun, but it has moments (like the stage play by Pugsley and Wednesday).

The cast however is possibly more “Addams Family” than the TV series.  I love Anjelica Huston as Morticia with her sleek look and Raúl Juliá gets the enthusiasm that is needed for Gomez.  Judith Malina is saddled with the worst Addams Family character in Grandmama and I still think Christopher Lloyd is overshadowed by the perfect original Fester in Jackie Coogan.  Lurch (who was a favorite in the series) really doesn’t do much in the film so Carel Struycken is a bit underused.  Pugsley (played by Jimmy Workman) suffers from the straightman syndrome when he’s compared to the scene stealing Wednesday Addams played by Christina Ricci who was really launched by the movie though having significant role in Mermaids.

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Everybody needs a little hand…

The movie’s look is quite good.  I can recall that “Thing” was a big deal at the time.  The disembodied hand was a bit revolutionary in how it was shot since a lot of shots required the arm and actor (Christopher Hart) be digitally removed.  The shadowy look of the movie was great…I just wish that the movie had been up to the look.

The Addams Family is one of those comedies that almost makes it over the hump…it just isn’t quite there.  I love aspects of the film and much of the film’s look but the plot of the movie is a letdown.  I still will sit down with The Addams Family willingly, but always leave wanting more.  The Addams Family was followed by The Addams Family Values in 1993.

Related Link:

Addams Family Values (1993)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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