Gooooood evening. In this months episode of Presenting Hitchcock, Cory and Aaron temp fate, coincidence and greed as they discuss “Family Plot”.
Picture Title: Family Plot
Written by: Ernest Lehman. Based on the novel “The Rainbird Pattern” by Victor Canning
Starring: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane, Ed Lauter and Cathleen Nesbitt
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Year Released: 1976
Our Favourite Trivia:
DIRECTOR CAMEO: In silhouette behind the door at the registrar of births and deaths.
This was Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s final movie before his death on April 29, 1980 at the age of eighty.
Roy Scheider and Burt Reynolds were considered for the part of Arthur Adamson a.k.a. Edward Shoebridge. The role eventually went to William Devane after Devane replaced Roy Thinnes.
Faye Dunaway was offered the role of Fran.
Liza Minnelli, Beverly Sills, and Goldie Hawn were all considered for the role of Blanche. Barbara Harris eventually was cast in the role. Apparently, Sir Alfred Hitchcock was happy with the casting of Harris, as he had tried to hire her before.
At one point during filming, Bruce Dern questioned Sir Alfred Hitchcock about why he was cast in the movie. Hitchcock replied, “Because Mr. Packinow wanted a million dollars, and Hitch doesn’t pay a million dollars.” It took Dern awhile to realize that “Mr. Packinow” was Al Pacino.
Sir Alfred Hitchcock was not happy with Karen Black during shooting, and would often hint to co-star William Devane that he would be cutting her scenes by making a neck cutting gesture to him while they were filming.
When Fran and Arthur Adamson are spying on Blanche’s apartment, she passes a street sign that says “Castle Heights Rd. and Bates Ave.” This is a reference to Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), in which a character is named “Norman Bates”. “Bates Avenue” is also a real-life street.
This is the only Sir Alfred Hitchcock movie with a score composed by John Williams.
As a publicity stunt to promote this movie, Sir Alfred Hitchcock held a press conference junket in a mocked-up fake cemetery. Journalists had their names embossed on mock gravestones, and the whole event was a reference to this movie’s cemeterial title.
The Random Draw for Next Picture:
Next up, we’ll be discussing one of Hitch’s early silent films, “The Farmer’s Wife.”
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