7.0/10
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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:

Richard Pearce

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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

Gross USA:

$10,118,000
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

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

Earl Pilcher, Jr.: Being happy ain't nothin' more than havin' something to look forward to.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Memo to the Academy - 1997 (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful Movie!
16 January 2005 | by huggy_bearSee all my reviews

What a pleasant surprise this was. I caught this one day on Showtime and really didn't give it much of a chance. But I was so wrong!! Powerful performance by Irma P. Hall (as Aunt T.), and Robert Duvall is at his best as well. Wonderfully acted and written, this has to be the best movie I have seen in a long while. Sure, the same old southern stereotypes are portrayed as well as the same for the inner-city black culture, with many being quite accurate. Some parts were a little over the top, like the birthday party in the bar that Earl crashes as a total stranger. But that being said, not a lot of negatives I can say about this movie.


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