The Addams Family (1991) Poster


Cher wanted to play the role of "Morticia", but Anjelica Huston was cast instead.
Jump to: Director Cameo (1)
By the time this movie was made, all of the adult cast members from the original series had died except John Astin, who had played Gomez. Astin ironically also outlived the movie Gomez, Raul Julia, who died in 1994.
Producer Scott Rudin got the idea of making the movie after shuttling various studio executives around in a van one day. One of them spontaneously started humming the theme song from The Addams Family (1964) series, and the rest of the van's occupants started singing the lyrics. This led Rudin to believe that there was sufficient residual interest in the show and cartoon for him to attempt a feature film.
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.
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.
The Addams' house was built for $100,000 (USD).
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.
The splash of tar from the opening gag is visible on the front of the Addams house through the rest of the movie.
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!"
The name Wednesday is a reference to the line in the Mother Goose poem that goes, "Wednesday's child is full of woe."
Mercedes McNab, who plays the Girl Scout selling her cookies, went on to play Amanda Buckman in Addams Family Values (1993).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 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.
One of the carolers in the opening sequence is Diane Burt, daughter of Alfred Burt, who wrote many famous Christmas carols.
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".
Due to rights issues, the film was never released on DVD in countries outside North America (except for Great Britain) until 2013.
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.
Anthony Hopkins turned down the role of Uncle Fester.
Barry Sonnenfeld's directorial debut.
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.
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.
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.
Uncle Fester powering a light bulb with his mouth is a reference to the original TV series, where he does the same thing.
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).
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."
Writer Paul Rudnick did rewrites on the film and subsequently wrote the sequel, Addams Family Values (1993).
Thing's wagonful of "personal possessions" are all "hand related", like different types of gloves, handwear-themed catalogs/notebooks, etc.
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.
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.
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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 Addams' family car is a 1932 Packard Twin Six.
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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.
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.
A billboard for Tombstone Pizza can be seen behind Lurch when he tries the "lemonade" made by Wednesday and Pugsley.
Kim Basinger was set to play Morticia, but dropped out to do another film.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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