7.0/10
2,855
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... 

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
Adventure | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An aging Sir Hector Geste takes a young greedy wife who's after his famed Blue Water sapphire but his sons hide the gem and join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa.

Director: Marty Feldman
Stars: Marty Feldman, Ann-Margret, Michael York
Get Low (2009)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A movie spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about the mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party... while he was still alive.

Director: Aaron Schneider
Stars: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek
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
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
Ulee's Gold (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A reclusive beekeeper slowly pulls his dysfunctional family back together, but not without having to fight his son's previous dastardly cohorts.

Director: Victor Nunez
Stars: Peter Fonda, Patricia Richardson, Christine Dunford
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Ruby
...
Ann
...
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:

With family, everything is relative. 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 & 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

[last lines]
Earl Pilcher, Sr.: Now listen, this is not going to be like a Sunday picnic, I'm gonna tell you that right now. Ruby and my girls will be alright, I guess, but that nephew of mine makes your boy look like Mahatma Gandhi.
Raymond "Ray" Lee Murdock: Whoa.
Earl Pilcher, Sr.: He might take a shot at you, or maybe both of us.
See more »

Connections

Features Red Dawn (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Keeping The Faith
Written and Performed by Billy Joel
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