7.7/10
24,152
155 user 68 critic

Capturing the Friedmans (2003)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 18 July 2003 (USA)
Trailer
2:14 | Trailer
Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.

Director:

Andrew Jarecki
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 25 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Friedman Arnold Friedman ... Self (archive footage)
Elaine Friedman Elaine Friedman ... Self
David Friedman ... Self
Seth Friedman Seth Friedman ... Self (archive footage)
Jesse Friedman ... Self
John McDermott John McDermott ... Self
Frances Galasso Frances Galasso ... Self (as Det. Frances Galasso)
Anthony Sgeugloi Anthony Sgeugloi ... Self
Chuck Scarborough ... Self (archive footage)
Joseph Onorato Joseph Onorato ... Self
Judd Maltin Judd Maltin ... Self
Howard Friedman Howard Friedman ... Self
Abbey Boklan Abbey Boklan ... Self (as Judge Abbey Boklan)
Ron Georgalis Ron Georgalis ... Self
Scott Banks Scott Banks ... Self
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Storyline

In the late 1980's, the Friedmans - father and respected computer and music teacher Arnold Friedman, mother and housewife Elaine Friedman, and their three grown sons, David Friedman, Seth Friedman and Jesse Friedman - of Great Neck, Long Island, are seemingly your typical middle class American family. They all admit that the marriage was by no means close to being harmonious - Arnold and Elaine eventually got divorced - but the sons talk of their father, while also not being always there for them, as being a good man. This façade of respectability masks the fact that Arnold was buying and distributing child pornography. Following a sting operation to confirm this fact, the authorities began to investigate Arnold for sexual abuse of the minor-aged male students of his computer classes, which he held in the basement of the family home. Based on interviews with the students, not only was Arnold charged with and ultimately convicted of multiple counts of sodomy and sexual abuse of these ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who do you believe?


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film sparked enough renewed interest in the case that Jesse Friedman mounted an appeal to his earlier conviction. While the appeal was denied, the Nassau County District Attorney agreed to re-examine the case and appoint a special review committee to evaluate any impropriety in the original case, including coercion of Friedman's original confession of guilt. The commitee later published a detailed report online. It comes to the conclusion, that this documentary is manipulative and misrepresents evidence. There is still no doubt that the convicted were guilty of their crimes. The report also questions the integrity of the director. See more »

Crazy Credits

Only the immediate members of the Friedman family (listed 1-5) are credited in a standard cast list. The other cast members are identified by on-screen graphics. See more »

Connections

Featured in 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die: Episode 4 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Let Me Entertain You
Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by David Friedman
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User Reviews

 
Pro or Con: A brilliant look at a family imploding
8 July 2004 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

Knowing some of the parties involved in the actual case I was curious to see the film to see how they came across on the big screen. I was however reluctant to see it since the furor over who did what or who didn't or who's lying or not was clouding my perception of the film from the get go.

I let time pass and finally sat down to watch the film once I thought things had calmed down.

As a document of a family on the path to destruction I am floored by the film. This is a heart breaking exploration of how things are not what we think they are and how character flaws can and will wipe out the ones we love.(Although I think Character flaws is the wrong term)

A great deal of the later half of the film dances around whether Jesse, the son who pleaded guilty to the charges, was really guilty. Its here I found the film to be slightly flawed because to me the film wants to have it both ways, him guilty and innocent. I think the film makers should have picked aside, since what they have done here seems less than subjective and fair (to either side)

This is a tough film. If you can't handle frank sexual talk about child molestation then stay away. However, if you want to see an excellent film about a family in crisis then see this film.

9 out of 10.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 July 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Capturing the Friedmans See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Island, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$65,154, 1 June 2003

Gross USA:

$3,119,113

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,076,990
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby (in selected theatres)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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