Jessie is an aging career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Elaine (as Rosana DeSoto)
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Marilyn Cooper ...
Salem Ludwig ...
Nat
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Judge (as James S. Tolkan)
Marilyn Sokol ...
Thomas A. Carlin ...
Tony DiBenedetto ...
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Storyline

Jessie is an aging career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a fairly shady past and is indeed no stranger to illegal activity. They both have great hope for Adam, Vito's son and Jessie's grandson, who is bright, good-looking, and without a criminal past. So when Adam approaches Jessie with a scheme for a burglary he's shocked, but not necessarily uninterested. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's nothing like a good robbery... to bring a family together.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Negocios de familia  »

Box Office

Gross:

$12,195,695 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Lawrence Gordon described this picture by saying: "Family Business (1989) is basically a rites-of-passage story. It's about a young man, Adam, who has reached an age where he's ready to establish his own identity and how his father deals with that. It's also about his father's grappling with his relationship with his own dad. He wants to do all he can to protect his son from what he rightly perceives as the dangerous influence of his old man. He doesn't see what appeals to Adam about him - the freedom, the self-assurance. To see that, he has to look more closely at his shortcomings as a father, and that's a very difficult and painful thing". See more »

Goofs

When the Detective is fingerprinting Adam's left hand, he starts with the little finger and proceeds to the thumb. The correct procedure is to always start with the thumb on either hand and proceed to the little finger. See more »

Quotes

Jessie: Come on. Let's pay our respects to the grieving widow before she falls flat on her face, drunk.
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Connections

Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Almost Like Being in Love
Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe
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User Reviews

 
Nasty, but brilliant
14 July 2010 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

When I see this film reviewed, over and over, as a comedy, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. This is one of the most brutally cynical, agonizingly tragic films I've ever seen - the story of a family caught up in the romance of crime, trying to help at least the youngest generation escape its inevitable fate.

Perhaps it helps to know Sidney Lumet's other work, especially his previous bitterly brilliant collaborations with Sean Connery: The Hill, and The Offense. Family Business is a similarly scathing attack on preconceptions. Lumet takes what looks like a tame little 'heist comedy' scenario and shows just how poisonously evil it really is. He gives us the charming scoundrel (Connery), and shows how destructive his devil-may-care attitude can be.

One might as well criticize Othello or Macbeth for having no laughs. This film is, in fact, Shakespearian in its tragic dimensions. Connery starts out with the classic Tragic Flaw, and must pay for it in the end. (There is a heroic dimension in his ultimate realization, at least.)

I can easily understand that many people won't enjoy this film. It's a nasty, venomous, painful piece of work. But it's also quite brilliant. If you want easy answers, by all means, rent Ocean's Eleven. But if you're up for a challenge, don't overlook Family Business.


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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