Family Business (1989)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  15 December 1989 (USA)
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Reviews: 37 user | 19 critic

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 »



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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Comedy | Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Negocios de familia  »

Box Office


$12,195,695 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The camera shot at the end of the film is in reverse from the shot at the beginning. See more »


Adam said he went to college on a Westinghouse Scholarship, one of only 6 students to win one. The Westinghouse Science Talent Search selects 10 students per year, not 6. First prize is a $20,000 scholarship; second and third prize is $15,000. Needless to say, the prizes do not pay for the student's entire 4 years of college. See more »


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


Referenced in Parker Lewis Can't Lose: Jerry's First Date (1991) See more »


Red Roses for a Blue Lady
Written by Roy C. Bennett and Sid Tepper
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User Reviews

What's the problem?
12 November 2001 | by See all my reviews

I can't believe the reviews for this!

If anything is open for critcism here, its the casting of Connery, Hoffman and Broderick as grandfather, father and son, but no one seems to mind that. Hoffman's wife is a Jewish woman, played by Rosana DeSoto, who was Richie Valen's mom in "La Bamba" and Edward James Olmos' wife in "Stand And Deliver". All the casting choices are questionable but I think someone along the way decided to be sarcastic about it, which of course makes the movie that much better.

Broderick is not a criminal but his elders are (or were) and he brings them all together to do a robbery. It makes perfect sense, since he's in that family and has their blood. Without even trying hard, he's a product of his environ, just like we all are. Matthew was a whiz-kid who got bored with that and doesn't seem to have any guilt about this caper. His girlfriend (Victoria Jackson) has extremely questionable morals and practically brags about that fact at dinner one afternoon. But is also in keeping with Broderick's character. He's like a wanna-be lowlife.

Hoffman is working in the meat-packing district in the West Village of Manhattan and is trying very hard to do the right thing after having served time and having had an on-again, off-again relationship with both his father and son. He demands honesty and even fires a guy (Luiz Guzman) who is caught stealing from him. The movie is also very realistic from his point-of-view since he gets involved mostly to keep an eye on the other two. Father and son do not get along and always seem to be arguing about one thing or another.

Connery is a life-long trouble maker who was never much of a father but loves his grandson very much and has some pride about their all working together. He argues with his son..father and son do not get along, again.

Some of the dialogue is very funny and there are always great character actors in Sidney Lumet's movies; this one is no exception. In very small parts are Marilyn Cooper, Deborah Rush and Marilyn Sokol. This is in addition to a great trio in the leads, all of whom register great work in this little-seen flick.

Movie has a real NYC feel to it. I'd recommend it to anyone.

29 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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