The last Alfred Hitchcock film, 50 years after the first, showed that the director had not lost his macabre sense of humor. Family Plot may lack the taut, intricate story line of his more famous works but it succeeds well for what it attempts to be, a light comedy-thriller. It’s a fun, unassuming film, especially compared to the R-rated Frenzy and the cold-war machinations of Torn Curtain and Topaz.
My original memories of this film, from viewing it perhaps 20 years ago, told me that this film was styleless, that Hitchcock’s setbound directorial style gave it the ambiance of a made-for-TV movie-of-the-week. I was wrong, perhaps due to the fact that my previous experience was with a VHS copy of the film, projected on a large screen in a college lecture hall. That sort of presentation is never going to do a film justice.