FAMILY PLOT (1976) C widescreen 120m dir: Alfred Hitchcock
w/Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane, Ed Lauter, Cathleen Nesbitt, Katherine Helmond, Warren J. Kemmerling, Edith Atwater, William Prince
From Variety's review of the film: "Family Plot is a dazzling achievement for Alfred Hitchcock masterfully controlling shifts from comedy to drama throughout a highly complex plot. Witty screenplay, transplanting Victor Canning's British novel, The Rainbird Pattern, to a California setting, is a model of construction, and the cast is uniformly superb.
"Bruce Dern and Barbara Harris are the couple who receive primary attention, a cabbie and a phony psychic trying to find the long-lost heir to the Rainbird fortune.
"Dern is a more than slightly absurd figure, oddly appealing; Harris is sensational.
"William Devane takes a high place in the roster of Hitchcockian rogues, while Karen Black gives a deep resonance to her relationship with the mercurial Devane."
From The Movie Guide: "With two parallel plots running throughout, Alfred Hitchcock's final film is a brilliantly constructed mystery-thriller. ...
"The film is a dense but extremely entertaining collection of symmetric patterns, doubles, and rhymes. The performances are first-rate (finally free of the casting constraints, Hitchcock displayed --- in 1972's FRENZY as well --- a deliciously offbeat taste in performers) and the screenplay by Ernest Lehman (NORTH BY NORTHWEST) is a witty model of construction. The humor is more obvious and subversive than any of Hitchcock's films since THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. Hitch's final, tongue-in-cheek wink at his audience was one of his most memorable cameos --- a broad shadow obscured behind a glass door on which may be read 'Registrar of Births and Deaths.' Based on a British novel by Victor Canning, the film was scripted under the title 'One Plus One Equals One,' and went into production as 'Deceit,' before a studio worker hit on the final title."