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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:

Richard Pearce

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Duvall ... Earl Pilcher Jr.
James Earl Jones ... Ray Murdock
Michael Beach ... Virgil
Irma P. Hall ... Aunt T.
Grace Zabriskie ... Ruby
Regina Taylor ... Ann
Mary Jackson ... Carrie
Paula Marshall ... Karen
James N. Harrell James N. Harrell ... Earl Pilcher Sr. (as James Harrell)
Lauren Leigh Phillips Lauren Leigh Phillips ... Kindra
Ashleigh Jordan Ashleigh Jordan ... Danielle
David Keith ... Sonny
Sandra Quarterman Sandra Quarterman ... Young Aunt T. (as Saundra Quarterman)
Patrice Pitman Quinn Patrice Pitman Quinn ... Willa Mae
Don James 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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un asunto de familia See more »

Filming Locations:

Covington, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,020,662, 31 March 1996

Gross USA:

$10,125,417

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,125,417
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Earl Pilcher, Sr.: I've never seen a damn Yankee yet that could operate more than a wheelbarrow.
See more »

Connections

Features Rocky III (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Family is relative
17 January 2000 | by Mitch-38See all my reviews

This is a movie that reminds one of the saying: "Just when I thought I knew the answers, they changed the questions." A Caucasian man discovers late in life that his mother was actually Black, instead of the White woman who raised him. The history of slavery in the US, and the American version of apartheid in the south that followed the Civil War until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and given the often "strained" relations that exist today; the subject matter is important and challenging. The result is that "A Family Thing" is a little gem. It speaks of bigotry, fear, the way things were and the way things are. Some White Americans will not be comfortable with this movie. This will be due to the bigoted nature of Mr. Duvall's character, metaphoric of White hatred towards Blacks. Then, his world crumbles when he discovers when all is not what it seems. Kudos to the producers(of whom Mr. Duvall was one) and the cast for a superb lesson in confronting hate, and how one special Aunt can heal wounds generations old.


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