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The Addams Family (1991) Poster

Trivia

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, as well as the actor who played his son Pugsley, Ken Weatherwax, who died in 2014.
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, Leonard Goldberg, and (marketing chief) Tom Sherak, when Tom's kid started singing The Addams Family (1964) theme," Rudin told the Los Angeles 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 one hundred thousand dollars.
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 series, Grandmama was Gomez's mother, and her name was Eudora Addams. In the movies, 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 movies, 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."
Several scenes reference original Charles Addams illustrations, most notably the introductory 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 splash of tar from the opening gag is visible on the front of the Addams house through the rest of the movie.
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 Addams Family (1964) season one, episode twenty-nine, "Morticia's Favorite Charity".
Mercedes McNab, who played the Girl Scout selling her cookies, played 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 standstill. 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.
Cher wanted to play the role of Morticia. Olivia Hussey was briefly considered for the role.
Anjelica Huston drew inspiration for her portrayal of Morticia Adams, not from Carolyn Jones from the 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 ("Big Edie") and Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, are, respectively, the aunt and cousin of the late Jacqueline Kennedy.
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 make-up 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.
The actors and actresses 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 cast members 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 cast member to not care, was Christopher Lloyd, the man playing Fester.
Tim Burton was originally set to direct. He had worked with Screenwriters 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 Executively Produced The Addams Family (1964), filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures after the film was released. He claimed that many Addams Family character "trademarks" used in the film, including Gomez's 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 series, and not part of the original Charles Addams cartoons, for which Paramount Pictures 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.
The Addams' family car is a 1932 Packard Twin Six.
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 reference to the famous photographer Ansel Adams.
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 television series, the Addams' take issue with the Grimms fairy tales being read in school, because of how violent they were toward dragons and witches.
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.
Sir Anthony Hopkins turned down the role of Uncle Fester.
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.
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, 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. Sonnenfeld was an accomplished cinematographer before becoming a successful director, so he knew what he was doing.
One of Christina Ricci's favorite characters that she ever played is Wednesday Addams.
The house set was built on Stage 3/8, the same stage as the house set from the series. When the series was being shot there, it was known as General Service Studios, and when the movie was being shot there, it was called Hollywood Center Studios.
Paul Rudnick did re-writes on the script, and subsequently wrote Addams Family Values (1993).
Some additional characters shown as Addams (relatives which had more emphasis in the original script, but less screentime) 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).
Uncle Fester powering a light bulb with his mouth is a reference to the original series, where he did the same thing.
Christina Ricci was eleven years old when the movie came out.
Thing's wagonful of "personal possessions" are all "hand related", like different types of gloves, handwear-themed catalogues and notebooks, et cetera.
Director of Photography Owen Roizman 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 Pictures was interested in purchasing the film from Orion Pictures, until Paramount Pictures acquired it.
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.
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.
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 Pictures, which owned the rights to the Filmways TV library, and hence the television series. However, during production, Orion Pictures' financial troubles, which ultimately led to the studio's demise and purchase by MGM, began. Paramount Pictures bought the film rights, finished the production, and even produced a sequel. Although Orion Pictures 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.
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 City.
Initially, the film's sole distributor was to be Orion Pictures, which owned the 1960s television series at the time. Because of Orion Pictures' continued financial problems, they sold the U.S. rights to Paramount Pictures, which would release the sequel worldwide. This marked the only time, since severing ties with Warner Brothers, that Orion Pictures co-produced one of its films with another major studio, before merging with MGM (who would not co-produce a film with Paramount Pictures until 2005) in 1997.
According to Anjelica Houston, Christina Ricci came up with Wednesday's sleeping position (with her arms folded across her chest) herself.
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In the scene where Morticia suggests to Gomez that they go for a drive, his response is "and miss Gilligan?" Gilligan's Island (1964) debuted the same year as the original series.
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 Alive (1993), a joint production with Touchstone Pictures (Disney).
Directorial debut of Barry Sonnenfeld.
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Carel Struycken (Lurch) guest-starred in a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), as Mr. Homn, the valet of Lwaxana Troi, played by Majel Barrett. Ted Cassidy, who played Lurch in The Addams Family (1964), worked on three episodes of Star Trek (1966), most notably as Ruk in season one, episode seven, "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", which also prominently featured Barrett.
Many people have confused this film as being made by Tim Burton. He actually had nothing to do with this film at all, but this movie is quite visually similar to something Burton would create.
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On the original show, the Addams' had a pet lion named Kitty. Though Kitty doesn't appear in this movie, Gomez can be heard cracking a whip and saying, "Down, Kitty!" as a roar is heard, when he goes to the vault early on.
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Although Jimmy Workman plays one of the title family members, and is one of the first characters seen on-screen, he does not say a word until around twenty-three minutes into the movie.
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The advertisement for the movie was shown during the ITV premiere of Bettlejuice (1988) on December 30, 1991. The film was released in the UK on December 13, 1991.
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Co-stars (three), known to have attended the most densely packed (UK non-Award), celebrity event "Save the Rose Theatre" campaigns, public PR day, May 1989. Where they did a small impromptu skit upon the characters, as were declared early 1989 as cast. Several television conference cosplayers performed in a short parade, including a prop-model of "Thing", and a fully costumed "Cousin Itt".
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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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Some scenes in the videos and photos from Gomez and Fester's childhood, such as their wearing shark fins in a lake and returning from camp in animal carriers, are also taken from the original cartoons (only those featured Wednesday and Pugsley instead.)
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