The Addams Family (1991) Poster


Jump to: Director Cameo (1)
By the time this movie was made, all of the adult cast members from The Addams Family (1964) had died except for John Astin, who had played Gomez. Astin also outlived the movie Gomez, Raul Julia, who died in 1994.
The idea for the film came during a car ride. Scott Rudin, head of production at 20th Century Fox, was riding in a van with other company executives one day after a movie screening. "Everyone was there-(studio chiefs) Barry Diller and Leonard Goldberg and (marketing chief) Tom Sherak-when Tom's kid started singing The Addams Family (1964) theme," Rudin told the LA Times. "And suddenly everyone in the van was singing the theme, letter perfect, note for note." The next day, Rudin proposed to Diller and Goldberg that they make an Addams Family movie-and they went for it.
After the movie premiered, children would frequently recognize Raul Julia as Gomez Addams out in public, which according to him, always brought a smile to his face.
Bruno Kirby offered his fat suit from The Godfather: Part II (1974) to Christopher Lloyd in order to play Uncle Fester.
The Addams' house was built for $100,000 (USD).
To make Anjelica Huston's eyes look slanted like the original Morticia, the make-up artists had to attach strings with spirit gum to the outside corners of her eyes and anchor the strings on her head.
In the original TV series Grandmama was Gomez's mother and her name was Eudora Addams. In the films she is Morticia's mother and her name was changed to Esmerelda Frump (Morticia's mother in the series was Hestor Frump). This provided a joke for The Addams Family musical. Morticia, angry at Gomez, brings up the time his mother came to visit for a week, "And she's still here, living in the attic." Gomez responds, "My mother? I thought she was your mother!"
In the television series, Fester was Morticia's uncle (and hence not technically an Addams), but in the films, he is Gomez's brother and is referred to as Fester Addams.
In order to gain Morticia's figure, Anjelica Huston wore a metal corset. She also had to get gauze eye lifts, neck tucks and fake nails daily. She told Entertainment Weekly, "Come afternoon, I could be prone to a really good headache from my various bondages. And because I couldn't lie down (in the corset) or rest, it was fairly exhausting".
The name Wednesday is a reference to the line in the Mother Goose poem that goes, "Wednesday's child is full of woe."
The splash of tar from the opening gag is visible on the front of the Addams house through the rest of the movie.
Several scenes reference original Charles Addams illustrations, most notably the introduction sequence where the Addams family pours a cauldron of oil on the Christmas carolers, the passenger on Gomez's toy train, the octopus painted on the footboard of Wednesday's bed, and Pugsley with the road sign.
The auction scene in which Morticia and Gomez take turns bidding for an item they themselves donated is based on a similar scene from the episode "Morticia's Favorite Charity" from The Addams Family (1964).
Mercedes McNab, who plays the Girl Scout selling her cookies, went on to play Amanda Buckman in Addams Family Values (1993).
Originally the "Mamushka" scene was supposed to be longer, with a full song describing brotherly love, and both Gomez and Fester naming other famous brothers. Test screenings revealed that audiences felt this song brought the movie to a stand-still. The film shows an edited version with only Gomez and Fester dancing, and Gomez throwing the knives at Fester. The full song can be found on the motion picture soundtrack.
Anjelica Huston drew inspiration for her portrayal of Morticia Adams not from Carolyn Jones from the TV series but by watching Grey Gardens (1975), David Maysles and Albert Maysles's documentary about two eccentric old women found living in a decaying mansion. The women, Edith Bouvier Beale (AKA "Big Edie") and Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, are, respectively, the aunt and cousin of the late Jacqueline Kennedy.
Cher wanted to play the role of "Morticia", but Anjelica Huston was cast instead. Olivia Hussey was briefly considered for the role.
One of the carolers in the opening sequence is Diane Burt, daughter of Alfred Burt, who wrote many famous Christmas carols.
The scene when Morticia trims the blooms off the roses is a direct reference to the television series. Also when the Addams family are evicted from the house Morticia is carrying a plant. Though shorter, the plant is identical to 'Cleopatra' Morticia's meat eating, African strangler plant.
Early makeup designs for Gomez included dark circles around his eyes, similar to Fester's. This was eliminated before filming, but can still be seen on the film's posters and other publicity material.
David Levy, who executive produced The Addams Family (1964), filed a lawsuit against Paramount after the film was released. He claimed that many Addams Family character "trademarks" used in the film, including Gomez' fascination with blowing up model trains, the characters of Thing and Cousin Itt, Lurch's fondness for playing the harpsichord, and the passionate tangos danced by Morticia and Gomez, were original ideas created by him exclusively for the TV series and not part of the original Charles Addams cartoons, for which Paramount had purchased the movie rights. The lawsuit was later settled out of court.
Tim Burton was originally set to direct. He had worked with both writers Caroline Thompson and Larry Wilson individually. Thompson on Edward Scissorhands (1990) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and Wilson on Beetlejuice (1988).
Near the end of the movie when the family is playing the "Wake the Dead" game in the family cemetery one headstone in the foreground says Ansel Addams - a clear reference to the famous photographer Ansel Adams.
The actors were concerned about the ambiguity of the big Fester storyline in the script. Initially, it was going to be unknown if Gordon, the man suffering from memory loss that looked just like Uncle Fester, was actually Fester. The actors nominated Christina Ricci, to give an impassioned plea to Scott Rudin and Barry Sonnenfeld two weeks before shooting that Fester should not be an imposter. Sonnenfeld remembered that the only actor to not care was Christopher Lloyd, the man playing Fester.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld had not originally planned to use the theme music from the television series in the movie. He included it in the opening sequence after positive reactions to the early trailer, which included the theme.
The Addams' family car is a 1932 Packard Twin Six.
The house set was built on Stage 3/8, the same stage as the house set from The Addams Family (1964) TV series. When the series was being shot there it was known as General Service Studios, and when the film was being shot there it was called Hollywood Center Studios.
Due to rights issues, the film was never released on DVD in countries outside North America (except for Great Britain) until 2013.
Barry Sonnenfeld's directorial debut.
Anthony Hopkins turned down the role of Uncle Fester.
The original director of photography, Owen Roizman, quit the production after about a month to go work on another film. His replacement, Gale Tattersall, had his contribution cut short not long afterwards when he had to quit after being rushed to hospital with a severe sinus infection. Fed up with the situation, director Barry Sonnenfeld took over the cinematography himself, reasoning that if anything happened to him then production would be shut down, so he didn't have much to lose.
Toward the end of the movie, Morticia is seen telling the Grimms Fairy tale 'Hansel & Gretel' to a group of children. In the first episode of the 1960s Addams Family TV series, the Addams' take issue with the Grimms Fairy tales being read in school because of how violent they were toward dragons and witches.
The Lady Colyton, who is thanked at the beginning of the credits, is Barbara Barb, who was married to Charles Addams from 1954 to 1956. When the couple divorced, she received copyrights to some of his work as part of the divorce settlement. She later remarried to Henry Hopkinson, Baron Colyton - hence the title.
Some additional characters shown as Addams (relatives which had more emphasis in the original script, but less screen-time) were: Dexter and Donald Addams (the two-headed cousin in matching turtlenecks); cousin Ophelia Addams (revealed to Morticia's sister who looks like a Tennessee Williams heroine); Slosh Addams (a great, fat, toad-like man who was revealed in the script to have "made many a killing on Wall Street"); his child-sized wife, Lois; Digit Addams (a four-armed Addams with an over-aged Heidi-look-alike, complete with thick blonde braids, as his date); and Lumpy Addams (a teenage hunchback cousin in a loud blazer).
Writer Paul Rudnick did rewrites on the film and subsequently wrote the sequel, Addams Family Values (1993).
Uncle Fester powering a light bulb with his mouth is a reference to the original TV series, where he does the same thing.
Thing's wagonful of "personal possessions" are all "hand related", like different types of gloves, handwear-themed catalogs/notebooks, etc.
After Barry Sonnenfeld's agent told him that he would lick a carpet if he couldn't find him a directing job within one year, he found Sonnenfeld a seemingly plum first time assignment helming a high profile movie (in less than a year). As a joke, Scott Rudin let it be known to Sonnenfeld that he wasn't his first choice by putting a different director's name on the back of the director's chair every morning on set. Some of the names that replaced Sonnenfeld's were Joe Dante, Terry Gilliam, David Lynch, and Rudin's first choice, Tim Burton.
Owen Roizman, the film's cinematographer, quit to work on another movie. His replacement, Gale Tattersall, stopped production for a couple of days when he needed to be hospitalized for a sinus infection, and never returned. 'Barry Sonnenfeld ended up doing the job himself. In front of the camera, Raul Julia burst a blood vessel in his eye. These incidents led Sonnenfeld to say that say that he felt like there was a "pervasive black cloud" hanging over the movie.
Although listed in the end credits as "Granny", Judith Malina's character is never referred to as such in the film. She is only ever addressed as "Ma-Mah."
Universal Studios was interested in purchasing the film from Orion until Paramount acquired it.
Christina Ricci was eleven years old when the movie came out.
Cousin Itt's three-wheeled vehicle is a two-seater Messerschmitt "Kabinroller" (cabin car), produced in Germany during the late 1950s and early 1960s. There is some disagreement as to the particular model; most sources say the vehicle was the KR175 made between 1954 and 1956, although some have specified it as a KR200 model from the early 1960s.
Kim Basinger was set to play Morticia, but dropped out to do another film.
Production began at Orion, which owned the rights to the Filmways TV library and hence the 1960s TV series. However, during production, Orion's financial troubles, which ultimately led to the studio's demise and purchase by MGM, began. Paramount bought the film rights, finished the production, and even produced a sequel. Although Orion did retain foreign distribution rights to the film, which in turn, are now in the hands of MGM, due to their purchase of Orion Pictures.
The Broadway musical version of "The Addams Family" opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 8, 2010 and starred Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth.
One of Christina Ricci's favorite characters that she ever played is Wednesday Addams.
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Initially, the film's sole distributor was to be Orion Pictures, which owned the 1960s TV series at the time. Because of Orion's continued financial problems, they sold US rights to Paramount Pictures, which would release the sequel worldwide. This marked the only time since severing ties with Warner Bros. that Orion co-produced one of its films with another major studio, before merging with MGM (who would not co-produce a film with Paramount until 2005) in 1997.
Three weeks into directing, Barry Sonnenfeld was talking to a studio executive who was concerned about the budget for the film when he felt a "tremendous pressure" in his chest, "as if someone was blowing up a balloon inside me," then passed out. He also dealt with sciatica during filming, and had to shut down the Los Angeles production for several days when his wife needed major surgery in New York.
A billboard for Tombstone Pizza can be seen behind Lurch when he tries the "lemonade" made by Wednesday and Pugsley.
This film is only one of two Paramount Pictures releases made in conjunction with another major studio while the studio was owned by Paramount Communications (which renamed itself from Gulf+Western in 1989). The other was 1993's "Alive", a joint production with the Walt Disney Company's Touchstone Pictures.
In the scene where Morticia suggests to Gomez that they go for a drive, his response is "and miss Gilligan?" Gilligan's Island debuted the same year as the original Addams Family TV series (1964).
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Directorial debut of Barry Sonnenfeld.
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Carel Struycken, who played Lurch in the Addams Family movies, guest-starred in a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), as Lwaxana Troi's valet, Mr. Homn. Ted Cassidy, who played Lurch in The Addams Family (1964), worked on three episodes of the original Star Trek (1966) TV series, most notably as Ruk in the Season 1 episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
Many people have confused this film as being made by Tim Burton. He actually had nothing to do with this film at all, but 'The Addams Family' is quite visually similar to something Burton would create.
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The advert of the film was shown during the ITV premiere of Bettlejuice (1988) on 30th December 1991. The film was released in the UK on 13th December 1991.
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Co-stars (3), known to have attended the most densely packed (UK non-Award), celebrity event 'Save the Rose Theatre' campaigns, public PR day, May 1989. [See artist entry]. Where they did a small impromptu skit upon the characters, as were declared early 1989 as cast. Several TV conference cos-players performed in a short parade including a prop-model of 'Thing', and a fully costumed 'Cousin IT'.
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The re-release in Barcelona (Phenomena) in 2016 was in subtitled version and 35 mm. copy. Was only projected 1 day.
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Director Cameo 

Barry Sonnenfeld: the passenger on the model train that a giant Gomez looks into the window and laughs at before the two model trains crash into each other.

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