5.7/10
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37 user 19 critic

Family Business (1989)

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:
...
...
...
...
Elaine (as Rosana DeSoto)
...
Margie
...
Christine
...
Doheny
...
Michele Dempsey
Marilyn Cooper ...
Rose
Salem Ludwig ...
Nat
...
Ray Garvey
...
Judge (as James S. Tolkan)
Marilyn Sokol ...
Marie
Thomas A. Carlin ...
Neary
Tony DiBenedetto ...
Phil
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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:

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  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,130,024, 17 December 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$12,195,695
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Approximately one week of the production was shot outside New York City. Those locations included a courthouse in Jersey City, a shopping mall in Spring Valley, and an office complex in Jericho, Long Island. A few additional days of studio work were needed for some of the interiors as well. See more »

Goofs

Two stains on the right shoulder area of Adam's jacket appear and disappear during his argument with his father outside the cafe. See more »

Quotes

Jessie: Aww shit, anybody embarrassed about doing time is a goddamn snob. You do your time nice, don't rat anybody out, never take it in the ass, what's there to be embarrassed about huh?
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Soundtracks

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

 
Nasty, but brilliant
14 July 2010 | by 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.


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