IMDb > Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Capturing the Friedmans
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Capturing the Friedmans (2003) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 22 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Capturing the Friedmans -- Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
Capturing the Friedmans -- Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   15,310 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Contact:
View company contact information for Capturing the Friedmans on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 August 2003 (Israel) See more »
Tagline:
Who do you believe?
Plot:
Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middleclass Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 23 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Friedmans Weren't Captured, They Submitted Entirely See more (143 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Arnold Friedman ... Himself (archive footage)
Elaine Friedman ... Herself (also archive footage)

David Friedman ... Himself (also archive footage)
Seth Friedman ... Himself (archive footage)
Jesse Friedman ... Himself (also archive footage)
John McDermott ... Himself
Frances Galasso ... Herself (as Det. Frances Galasso)
Anthony Sgeugloi ... Himself
Chuck Scarborough ... Himself (archive footage)
Joseph Onorato ... Himself
Judd Maltin ... Himself
Howard Friedman ... Himself
Abbey Boklan ... Herself (as Judge Abbey Boklan)
Ron Georgalis ... Himself
Scott Banks ... Himself

Larry King ... Himself (archive footage)
Debbie Nathan ... Herself (also archive footage)
Jerry Bernstein ... Himself
Peter Panaro ... Himself
Lloyd Doppman ... Himself
Jack Fallin ... Himself

Directed by
Andrew Jarecki 
 
Produced by
Peter Bove .... line producer (as Peter D. Bové)
Richard Hankin .... co-producer
Andrew Jarecki .... producer
Jaye Nydick .... line producer
Jennifer Rogen .... associate producer
Marc Smerling .... producer
 
Original Music by
Andrea Morricone 
 
Cinematography by
Adolfo Doring 
 
Film Editing by
Richard Hankin 
 
Art Direction by
Nava Lubelski 
 
Production Management
Tanya Barr .... production manager
Jose A. Barrios .... production manager
Alex Carone .... production manager
Rafael Estrella .... production manager
Caroline Findlay .... production manager
Christopher J. Grunke .... production manager
Thom Little .... production manager
Robert Warmflash .... post-production supervisor
 
Art Department
Liz Campbell .... swing
Nava Lubelski .... props
 
Sound Department
Nathan Crooker .... additional sound
Mariusz Glabinski .... assistant sound editor
Piotr Glabinski .... apprentice sound editor
Marlena Grzaslewicz .... sound editor
John Gurrin .... sound mixer
Dustin Hudson .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Bruce Kitzmeyer .... sound editor
Desiree Ortiz .... additional sound
Ira Spiegel .... sound editor
Peter Waggoner .... sound mixer
 
Visual Effects by
Steve Chiarello .... visual effects
Kevin Quinlan .... visual effects
Mark Szumski .... visual effects
John Zawisha .... visual effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Charlie Beyer .... additional photographer
Rebecca Brillhart .... assistant camera
Jesse Cory .... key grip
John Dreyer .... gaffer
Brian Jackson .... additional photographer
Chris Johnson .... gaffer
Aaron Phillips .... additional photographer
Rossana Rizzo .... assistant camera
Roger Sherman .... still photographer
Marc Smerling .... additional photographer
Tim Spellman .... gaffer
Ari Issler .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Rick Barlis .... color corrector
John Dowdell .... colorist: high definition (as John Dowdell III)
Peter Heady .... on-line editor: HDTV
Danny Hogan .... assistant on-line editor
Aaron Johnson .... assistant editor
Allison Raskind .... additional assistant editor
Patricia Sztaba .... negative cutter
Stan Sztaba .... negative cutter
 
Music Department
Matthew Abbott .... music clearances (as Mathew Abbott)
Damiano Antinori .... assistant score engineer
Jim Black .... music clearances
Enrico DeMelis .... music coordinator (as Enrico De Melis)
Andrea Morricone .... conductor
Andrea Morricone .... music editor
Andrea Morricone .... orchestrator
Gianni Oddi .... musician: saxophone soloist
Alessia Patregnani .... music facilitator
Luciano Torani .... music mixer
Fabio Venturi .... music recording engineer
Fabio Venturi .... score mixing engineer
Rocco Zifarelli .... musician: guitar solos
 
Transportation Department
Christopher Pollard .... genny driver
 
Other crew
Nancy Baker .... creative consultant
Steve Beganyi .... production assistant
Brian Cahill .... production assistant
Mike Campbell .... production assistant
John Carlucci .... production assistant
Al Cerullo .... helicopter pilot
Mark Chamlin .... legal counsel (as Marc Chamlin)
Robert Coles .... particularly good advice (as Dr. Robert Coles)
John Cumberland .... production assistant
Michael Darmanin .... title designer
John Dowdell .... datacine operator (as John Dowdell III)
Cory Gibson .... production assistant
Erin Heidenreich .... sales agent
David Hurlburt .... production assistant
Victor Kovner .... legal counsel
Albert Maysles .... particularly good advice
Pat McNulty .... production assistant
Gary Mennitt .... legal counsel
Earl Nemser .... particularly good advice
Sheila Nevins .... particularly good advice
Mike Nichols .... particularly good advice
Martin Obysovsky .... production assistant
Eric Rosenthal .... production assistant
Diane Sawyer .... particularly good advice
Jamieson Shea .... assistant to producer
Mark Townsend .... production assistant
Matt Whitcher .... location manager (as Matthew Whitcher)
 
Thanks
J.J. Abrams .... special thanks
Katie Abrams .... special thanks
André Balazs .... special thanks
Paul Barnes .... special thanks
Jeff Bushkin .... special thanks
Dado Carillo .... special thanks
Michael Chandler .... special thanks
Gavin de Becker .... special thanks (as Gavin DeBecker)
Griffin Dunne .... special thanks
Alexa L. Fogel .... special thanks (as Alexa Fogel)
Katie Ford .... special thanks
Liz Garbus .... special thanks
Robin Gattegno .... special thanks
Mark Golin .... special thanks
Mark Green .... special thanks
Rob Gukeisen .... special thanks
Robin Hafitz .... special thanks
Jim Hart .... special thanks
Lisa Heller .... special thanks
Dawn Hershman .... special thanks
Ellen Hovde .... special thanks
Gloria Jarecki .... special thanks
Nancy Jarecki .... very special thanks
Jeong Ho Kim .... special thanks
Greg Kinnear .... special thanks
Barbara Kopple .... special thanks
Helen Labdon .... special thanks (as Helen Kinnear)
Ken Lanning .... special thanks
Tom Lassally .... special thanks
Ted Leonsis .... special thanks
Bryan Lourd .... special thanks
Michael Lynton .... special thanks
Gary Mennitt .... special thanks
Paul Mones .... special thanks
Julie Moran .... special thanks
Rob Moran .... special thanks
Giovanni Morricone .... special thanks
David O'Connor .... special thanks
Sanford Panitch .... special thanks
Hutch Parker .... special thanks
Bob Pittman .... special thanks
Veronique Pittman .... special thanks
Mikal Reich .... special thanks
Howard Rosenman .... special thanks
Stefanie Scheer .... special thanks
Alex Silveira .... special thanks
Carly Simon .... special thanks
David Spinozza .... special thanks
Kipp Stroden .... special thanks
James Taylor .... special thanks
Michael Wimer .... special thanks
Jacy Young .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
107 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Following the release of the film, director Andrew Jarecki came under fire for comments he made whilst publicizing the film proclaiming his own ambiguous opinion as to the guilt of the Friedmans. During production, Jarecki had stated outright that he believed the Friedman's falsely accused and had also provided funds to appeal Jesse Friedman's conviction.See more »
Soundtrack:
Act NaturallySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
146 out of 164 people found the following review useful.
The Friedmans Weren't Captured, They Submitted Entirely, 6 July 2003

Documentaries that focus on the lives of their subjects are intrinsically voyeuristic. The documentarian must be objective while often prone to being seductively enmeshed in his/her subjects' views of their lives.

"Capturing the Friedmans" takes this reality to a much deeper and excruciatingly raw level. Long before Arnold Friedman, a deeply respected and retired high school teacher who moved on to teaching computer skills when PCs were rare, and one of his son's, Jesse, became defendants in a widely reported and still remembered pedophile case, filming and taping each other was a family staple. What starts as a not uncommon family avocation turns infinitely darker as several of the family members seem compelled to record disturbing intra-family encounters that both enthrall and repel.

Based on a U.S. Post Office investigation leading to a search of the Friedman's Great Neck, N.Y. home it is immediately clear that the pater familias at the least was a dedicated, devoted collector of sickening homosexual kiddie porn. On that charge at the least he was fully eligible for and deserved a long prison sentence.

But the initial investigation yielded verbal complaints by boys that they were sexually abused during the computer training sessions in the Friedman home by both Arnold and his son, Jesse. Also living in the house were his wife, Elaine, and two other boys, David and Seth.

The police investigation led to myriad charges lodged against both Arnold and Jesse and the legal proceedings drew national media attention (which I well remember).

No forensic evidence existed to link either Friedman to the crimes let alone establish that they had occurred. All the evidence, which was never tested in court, came from kids questioned by police and, apparently in many instances, the kids were seriously encouraged by outraged parents who, themselves, had no factual basis on which to proceed.

Both Friedmans eventually and separately pleaded guilty to reduced charges. Arnold went to prison and subsequently committed suicide, leaving Jesse $250,000 in insurance proceeds. Jesse, who maintains his innocence to this day, served thirteen years of a six to eighteen year sentence.

One son, Seth, refused to participate in this project. The other son, David, is a high society children's birthday party clown in New York City known as "Silly Billy." He worries in the film if his career will be affected. How could it not be, especially as he is the angriest speaker on the screen. And not the most rational either.

On many levels this is a deeply disturbing film. First, the family members who cooperated by giving film to the director and allowing very free-wheeling interviews reflect the reality of a hopelessly dysfunctional family, people who had deep troubles long before the postal police showed up with a search warrant. Elaine is alternately revealing and guarded but it's clear that her union with the popular Arnold was disturbed, emotionally, sexually and even in terms of practical matters like childrearing.

The family films show the deterioration of the sons' relationship with their mother whom they hotly blame for supposedly not standing behind their father. She is savagely abused verbally in scene after scene. Arnold remains a very passive, almost detached witness of his family's self-immolation as he and Jesse await possible trials and almost certain imprisonment. At one point Arnold appears to be nothing more than an onlooker as his sons tear into his wife who gives back a spirited defense.

The most sympathetic character is Arnold's brother who can not recall Arnold's admitted and hardly self-serving statement that he engaged in sex with him when they were little kids. The brother's anguish about the dissolution of the family is heartfelt and affecting. He truly is a victim.

Beyond all the family sturm und drang is the legal story and it's troubling. This case took place while accustations of child abuse in daycare facilities flew through the headlines. An expert debunker of many such cases is on screen to offer her views. She resolves nothing but plants a kernel of doubt as to the state's case. It is clear, however, that there were more than a few instances when the rule of law succumbed to a miasmic hysteria.

A greater injection of skepticism comes from the back-to-back explanations by two involved detectives as to how to question juveniles who might have been victimized by sexual predators. One has the right answer, the other a technique proven to lead to false accusations.

What followed the investigation was the loding of so many charges against each defendant as to constitute an extraordinary episode of overcharging. Overcharging - hitting a defendant with every conceivable charge and instance of its commission - is common. It gives police much credit for clearing cases and prosecutors leverage in getting a plea deal. In the case of the Friedmans the plethora of charges, as opposed to whether each or both committed heinous offenses, is simply unbelievable. As even the prosecutor admits, not one child was injured or crying when picked up by parents at the home/computer school yet some claimed to have been anally sodomized dozens of times. That's just not possible.

What "Capturing the Friedmans" shows is that when a defendant like Jesse recants after pleading to so many counts it's impossible to ever be sure whether the allocution required at the guilty plea hearing was genuine or, as Jesse later claims, the inevitable needed confession for the best deal he could get to avoid life in prison.

My view as an experienced lawyer is that both were guilty of SOME offenses against young boys. Jesse's protestations of innocence have the scent of the eternally unrepentant malefactor. But I can't prove it and neither could the documentarian. Arnold's starting point as a fervid consumer of kiddie porn magazines makes it easier to believe he graduated to the next step. But, again, whether a jury could have so concluded beyond a reasonable doubt is something we can never know. David's defense of his dad and brother is so emotional and projected with the weight of many repetitions over the years as to be worthless.

We will never know what actually happened. This glimpse into the lives of an affluent family whose home life was rocky before the accusations is haunting, troubling. It demands that we think about what we do in the vital and right but sometimes off-kilter attempts to protect the young and punish their violators.

9/10.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (143 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Would you hire David Friedman as your party clown? maasai1066
Everyone's a liar except the Friedmans osman_a1
Elaine Friedman sunnygirl10901
Jesse and Arnold's Innocence closerthanair
the mother bentley-christopher
A few things that irritated me and a few things that i didn't understand tal-46
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Freeway Conviction Deliver Us from Evil The Best of Youth All Good Things
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Documentary section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.