Family Plot (1976)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Thriller  |  9 April 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 14,543 users  
Reviews: 107 user | 64 critic

Lighthearted suspense film about a phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend who encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cathleen Nesbitt ...
Warren J. Kemmerling ...
Edith Atwater ...
Marge Redmond ...
John Lehne ...
Alexander Lockwood ...


The trickster Madam Blanche Tyler lures the elder millionaire Julia Rainbird that believes she is a spiritualist. After a séance, she discovers that Julia is tormented by her past, when she forced her sister and single mother Harriet to deliver her baby for adoption to avoid a family scandal. Julia promises the small fortune of ten thousand-dollar to Blanche if she finds her nephew and heir of her fortune using her phony powers. Blanche asks her boyfriend George Lumley, who is an unemployed actor working as cab driver, to investigate the whereabouts of Julia's nephew. Meanwhile, the greedy jeweler and collector Arthur Adamson kidnaps wealthy people with his girlfriend Fran to increase his collection of diamonds with the ransom. When George concludes that Arthur Adamson might be the heir of Julia Rainbird, the reckless Blanche gets in trouble with the kidnappers. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


From the devious mind of Alfred Hitchcock, a diabolically entertaining motion picture. See more »


Comedy | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 April 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deceit  »

Box Office


$4,490,375 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alfred Hitchcock was famous for making his actors follow the script to the word, but in this movie he let the characters improvise and use their own dialogue. See more »


During the runaway car scene George is almost strangled by Blanche as she hangs on to his tie while flailing around in the back of the car. George's tie is clearly loose around his neck in several shots. When he crashes and climbs out of the car the tie knot is perfect. See more »


Blanche: Don't start to fret, George, or our waterbed will be no fun at all tonight; as an actor, you should know that fretting will ruin a performance.
George: You don't have to worry about my performance tonight, honey - as a matter of fact, this very evening, you're gonna see a standing ovation!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Universal logo does not appear anywhere on this film. See more »


Referenced in The Ring (2002) See more »


Rejoice, the Lord Is King
(1744) (uncredited)
Music by John Darwall
Lyrics by Charles Wesley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fun parody
14 August 1999 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Hitchcock was a better director of suspense than comedy.

This is a not altogether successful attempt at a send-up of Hitchcock's classic thrillers. The plot is as convoluted as ever, except that it borders on the silly.

As a stand-alone movie, it's beautifully shot, but too ridiculous to take seriously, without managing to be actually funny.

But if you take the plot as simply a line to hang the parody on, it's nicely amusing. It's a kaleidoscope of scenes from other Hitchcock movies which were scary the first time round, but this time they're caricatures. Relive bits from North By Northwest, Psycho, To Catch A Thief, and many more, grinning as you recognise where they came from.

23 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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