The Addams Family
Release year: 1991
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Screenwriter: Caroline Thompson, Charles Addams (based on characters by)
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Christina Ricci, Elizabeth Wilson, Jimmy Workman, Carel Struycken
Ratings: 1 Oscar nomination: Best Costume Design. 1 Golden Globe nomination: Best Actress Comedy/Musical (Anjelica Huston).
Con artist Abigail Craven (Wilson) and her adopted son Gordon (Lloyd) decides to use Gordon’s resemblance with the long missing Fester Addams to get access to the family’s money. But The Addams family is no ordinary family.
Unless you grew up with the 1960s TV series (or the original cartoons which started it all) or were born after 1990 changes are your first introduction to the eccentric and quirky family was Sonnenfeld’s excellent movie adaptation of Charles Addams (not just sharing name with the characters but he grew up on Elm Street!) wonderful characters. More gothic than horror the movie relies heavily on the cast capturing the quirky characters, which they all do to great effect. Huston (The Witches, 1990) is especially marvelous as she with soft light on her face gives a luring look under heave eyelashes and speaks amorous words to her beloved Gomez but also Ricci (Sleepy Hollow, 1999) made her name known with her excellent take on the dark Wednesday Addams. A house with traps and skeletons, literally, in the closets makes a great setting for a movie where a hand steals the show and the butler merely grunts. The con set up works well as it allows ordinary people to enter the far from ordinary family, introducing all their mysterious ways to a delighted audience. A deliciously dark and moody horror comedy this is a wonderful movie which still works wonder on a cold October day in 2020.
To make Anjelica Huston’s eyes look slanted like the original Morticia, the make-up artists had to attach strings with spirit gum to the outside corners of her eyes and anchor the strings on her head. To gain the figure she wore a metal corset and was also exposed to neck tucks and fake nails.
Picture copyrights: Paramount Home Video