5.7/10
11,436
40 user 22 critic

Family Business (1989)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
An ex professor offers Adam $1,000,000 to "get" some plasma from a high tech company's lab. Adam asks his criminal grandpa for help. Can the 2 convince Adam's now honest dad to join?Let us see what happens.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Vincent Patrick (novel), Vincent Patrick (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... Jessie
Dustin Hoffman ... Vito
Matthew Broderick ... Adam
Rosanna DeSoto ... Elaine (as Rosana DeSoto)
Janet Carroll ... Margie
Victoria Jackson ... Christine
Bill McCutcheon ... Doheny
Deborah Rush ... Michele Dempsey
Marilyn Cooper Marilyn Cooper ... Rose
Salem Ludwig Salem Ludwig ... Nat
Rex Everhart ... Ray Garvey
James Tolkan ... Judge (as James S. Tolkan)
Marilyn Sokol Marilyn Sokol ... Marie
Thomas A. Carlin Thomas A. Carlin ... Neary
Tony DiBenedetto Tony DiBenedetto ... Phil
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Storyline

Jessie is an aging career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and line-ups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a fairly shady past, and is indeed no stranger to illegal activity. They both have great hope for Adam, Vito's son and Jessie's grandson, who is bright, good-looking, and without a criminal past. So when Adam approaches Jessie with a scheme for a burglary he's shocked, but not necessarily uninterested. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's nothing like a good robbery... to bring a family together.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Family Business See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,130,024, 17 December 1989

Gross USA:

$12,195,695

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,195,695
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First movie role in which Dustin Hoffman appeared since he had won the Best Actor Academy Award for Rain Man (1988). Hoffman's first Oscar had also been for Best Actor, for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). See more »

Goofs

Two stains on the right shoulder area of Adam's jacket appear and disappear during his argument with his father outside the cafe. See more »

Quotes

Jessie: That's the whole show?
Adam: Yes, unless you want to tell the Pee Wee Grogan story again.
See more »


Soundtracks

Danny Boy
Written by Frederick Edward Weatherly (as Frederick E. Weatherly)
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User Reviews

 
Nasty, but brilliant
14 July 2010 | by fung0See all my reviews

When I see this film reviewed, over and over, as a comedy, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. This is one of the most brutally cynical, agonizingly tragic films I've ever seen - the story of a family caught up in the romance of crime, trying to help at least the youngest generation escape its inevitable fate.

Perhaps it helps to know Sidney Lumet's other work, especially his previous bitterly brilliant collaborations with Sean Connery: The Hill, and The Offense. Family Business is a similarly scathing attack on preconceptions. Lumet takes what looks like a tame little 'heist comedy' scenario and shows just how poisonously evil it really is. He gives us the charming scoundrel (Connery), and shows how destructive his devil-may-care attitude can be.

One might as well criticize Othello or Macbeth for having no laughs. This film is, in fact, Shakespearian in its tragic dimensions. Connery starts out with the classic Tragic Flaw, and must pay for it in the end. (There is a heroic dimension in his ultimate realization, at least.)

I can easily understand that many people won't enjoy this film. It's a nasty, venomous, painful piece of work. But it's also quite brilliant. If you want easy answers, by all means, rent Ocean's Eleven. But if you're up for a challenge, don't overlook Family Business.


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