7.0/10
2,780
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 »

Director:

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ad

Genius (TV Series 2017)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A series which explores how patent clerk Einstein could not get a teaching job or doctorate in his early life, yet managed to go on to solve the secrets of the universe.

Stars: Geoffrey Rush, Johnny Flynn, Nicholas Rowe
Don't Look Back (TV Movie 1996)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Drug addict Jesse think he's found the answer to all his problems in the form of a breifcase full of money. However, the money isn't his and stealing it from right under the nose of a ... See full summary »

Director: Geoff Murphy
Stars: Eric Stoltz, John Corbett, Josh Hamilton
The Apostle (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After his happy life spins out of control, a preacher from Texas changes his name, goes to Louisiana and starts preaching on the radio.

Director: Robert Duvall
Stars: Robert Duvall, Todd Allen, Paul Bagget
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two women, black and white, in 1955 Montgomery Alabama, must decide what they are going to do in response to the famous bus boycott lead by Martin Luther King.

Director: Richard Pearce
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Whoopi Goldberg, Dwight Schultz
Short | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Twenty-five years after commiting a double murder, Karl Childers is going to be released from an institution for the criminally insane. A local reporter comes to talk to him, and after some... See full summary »

Director: George Hickenlooper
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Molly Ringwald, J.T. Walsh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Alabama; 1969: The death of a clan's estranged wife and mother brings together two very different families. Do the scars of the past hide differences that will tear them apart, or expose truths that could lead to unexpected collisions?

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Tippi Hedren, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Dark comedy where a married couple comes to the aid of a jailed uncle.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Laura Dern, Diane Ladd
Camouflage (2001)
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

An actor discovers the dark side of private investigating when he takes on an assignment in rural Oregon with a crusty P.I.

Director: James Keach
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Lochlyn Munro, Vanessa Angel
Sling Blade (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh
Convicts (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In 1902 Texas, 13-year-old Horace goes to work on old Soll's farm to earn enough money to buy a headstone for his father's grave. Unfortunately for Horace, Soll's senility, ill health, and ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Masterson
Stars: Robert Duvall, Lukas Haas, James Earl Jones
Drama

A road movie centered on the experiences a guy has with a gal he meets during his trip.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Duvall plays a bigot coming to grips with the fact that he has previously unknown black ancestry and relatives. Duvall's real family tree includes the fact that he is distantly related (eighth cousins twice removed) to Barack Obama, the first black U.S. President, albeit through Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham, who was white. 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

Aunt T.: Nobody ever knows what it's like for somebody else. That's always the problem.
See more »


Soundtracks

Family Thing Blues
Written and Performed by The Nightclub Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

What a great movie.
16 October 2001 | by (Kimberling City, MO.) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie back when it first came to video. I didn't know anything about it, but I put it in anyway and sat back with an open mind. What followed for the next two hours was a fascinating story of a bigoted, Mississipi tractor salesman who finds out that he is half black. While this might not sound like a big deal, let me explain a bit. I grew up down in the delta, near the location that this movie was filmed. It is a big deal down there. Unfortunately, the majority isn't quite as color-blind as they are in other parts of the united states and bigotry is still a pretty common thing. I'm sad to say that there is still a little bit of a barrier there, and if more people were to see this movie, then I'm sure things would be a little bit different.

You see, Robert Duvall plays a fellow (not the most open-minded of sorts) named Earl. In the opening, we get to see the events that make up a typical day for Earl (coffee drinking, shooting the breeze, and selling tractors). We also learn that Earl's Mom isn't in the best health as she passes away ten minutes into the film. She also leaves a note behind telling Earl that she isn't his real mother. His real mother was black and Earl is the result of an affair that costs his blood mother her life. Since Earl came out looking white, he was raised up like nothing ever happened.

I can see it as a shock. One, Earl appears to be in his mid-fifties. (that's quite a big shock to a guy in the prime of his life) two, he discovers that not only is he a b**tard child to a mother he never knew, he also has an older half-brother. After all of this, Earl needs to take a road-trip to get himself together and maybe meet the brother he never knew. What follows next is a journey (both physical and spiritual) that will show ol'Earl a thing or two about life and love.

Written by Tom Epperson and none other than Ol' Billy Bob Thornton himself, "A Family Thing" is one of the best feel good movies I have ever seen. I highly reccommend it. It's pretty rare that a movie comes along that is good enough to change one's life. This oughta be required viewing for high-school students. What a film. 10/10


16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?