6.9/10
2,659
26 user 26 critic

A Family Thing (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 29 March 1996 (USA)
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:

Un asunto de familia  »

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

James Earl Jones uses his actual stammer as part of his character. See more »

Goofs

When Virgil & Ray are together in Virgil's car near the end Ray says that he hasn't been back to Virgil's hometown for 60 years which would be the birth year for Virgil however in an earlier scene Ray had confessed to having scarred Virgil by throwing a rock which had hit him as Virgil & his father were exiting a store. 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

Keeping The Faith
Written and Performed by Billy Joel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Much better than expected and continually held my interest
26 November 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Robert Duvall's father dies and he finds out that he has a long-lost brother - a black man (played by James Earl Jones). He treks to the big city in order to find his brother (against his wishes, as he's a prejudiced Southener) and soon finds himself stuck under the company of Jones and his rambunctious family.

This story isn't always as realistic as reality but it draws good allusions and parallels - I watched it very late one night expecting to fall asleep and, much to my surprise, I was completely entertained (and even touched) by the film's sweetness. It's an incredibly easy viewing

  • it touches on some deep racial issues but is never disturbing. It is


a good family film with some strong morals and a rewarding finale that is a bit too simplistic, perhaps, but nevertheless uplifting and a nice reminder of many values many of us forget.

A worthwhile, extremely underrated experience - highly recommended.

4.5/5


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