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A Family Thing (1996)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  29 March 1996 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,358 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 24 user | 24 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Earl Pilcher Jr., runs an equipment rental outfit in Arkansas, lives with his wife and kids and parents, and rarely takes off his gimme cap. His mother dies, leaving a letter explaining ... See full summary »

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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Virgil
...
Aunt T.
...
Ruby
...
Ann
Mary Jackson ...
Carrie
...
Karen
James N. Harrell ...
Earl Pilcher Sr. (as James Harrell)
Lauren Leigh Phillips ...
Kindra
Ashleigh Jordan ...
Danielle
...
Sonny
Sandra Quarterman ...
Young Aunt T. (as Saundra Quarterman)
Patrice Pitman Quinn ...
Willa Mae
Don James ...
Junior Turner
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Storyline

Earl Pilcher Jr., runs an equipment rental outfit in Arkansas, lives with his wife and kids and parents, and rarely takes off his gimme cap. His mother dies, leaving a letter explaining he's not her natural son, but the son of a Black woman who died in childbirth; plus, he has a half brother Ray, in Chicago, she wants him to visit. Earl makes the trip, initially receiving a cold welcome from Ray and Ray's son, Virgil. His birth mother's sister, Aunt T., an aged and blind matriarch, takes Earl in tow and insists that the family open up to him. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

United Artists Pictures invites you on a journey... you will not soon forget. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language, brief violence and a childbirth scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brüder wider Willen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$10,118,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the storyline has James Earl Jones' character being about 6 years older than Robert Duvall's character, Duvall is actually older than Jones - by 12 days. See more »

Goofs

When Virgil and Ray are saying goodbye for the first time in front of Ray's house. Virgil is standing behind the car and the car moves before the engine starts. The next frame shows the car still in place then moving forward. See more »

Quotes

Raymond "Ray" Lee Murdock: Hey! Don't go that way, you're gonna wal straight into the worst parts!
Earl Pilcher, Jr.: I don't care! I ain't scared of you or any other tough nigger that comes up!
[a long awkward silence]
Earl Pilcher, Jr.: Look, I didn't mean it like that.
Raymond "Ray" Lee Murdock: Only one way to mean it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Memo to the Academy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Gonna Get Faded
Written by Les Pierce
Produced by Nick Trevisick and Les Pierce
Performed by Les Pierce
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Family is relative
17 January 2000 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

This is a movie that reminds one of the saying: "Just when I thought I knew the answers, they changed the questions." A Caucasian man discovers late in life that his mother was actually Black, instead of the White woman who raised him. The history of slavery in the US, and the American version of apartheid in the south that followed the Civil War until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and given the often "strained" relations that exist today; the subject matter is important and challenging. The result is that "A Family Thing" is a little gem. It speaks of bigotry, fear, the way things were and the way things are. Some White Americans will not be comfortable with this movie. This will be due to the bigoted nature of Mr. Duvall's character, metaphoric of White hatred towards Blacks. Then, his world crumbles when he discovers when all is not what it seems. Kudos to the producers(of whom Mr. Duvall was one) and the cast for a superb lesson in confronting hate, and how one special Aunt can heal wounds generations old.


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