The Addams Family (1991)
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The Addams Family is a 1991 American supernatural black comedy film based on the characters from the cartoon created by cartoonist Charles Addams and the 1964 TV series produced by David Levy. Directed by former cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld in his screen directing debut, the film stars Anjelica Huston, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Morticia Addams, Raul Julia as Gomez Addams, and Christopher Lloyd as Fester Addams. The film focuses on a bizarre, macabre, aristocratic family who reconnect with whom they believe to be a long-lost relative, Gomez's brother Fester Addams.
Gomez Addams laments the 25-year absence of his brother Fester, who disappeared after the two had a falling-out. Gomez's lawyer Tully Alford owes money to loan shark/con artist Abigail Craven, and notices that her adopted son Gordon closely resembles Fester. Tully proposes that Gordon pose as Fester to infiltrate the Addams household and find the hidden vault where they keep their vast riches. Tully and his wife Margaret attend a séance at the Addams home led by Grandmama in which the family tries to contact Fester's spirit. Gordon arrives, posing as Fester, while Abigail poses as a German psychiatrist named Dr. Greta Pinder-Schloss and tells the family that Fester had been lost in the Bermuda Triangle for the past 25 years until she found him in some tuna nets.
Gomez, overjoyed to have "Fester" back, takes him to the family vault to view home movies from their childhood. Gordon learns the reason for the brothers' falling-out: Gomez was jealous of Fester's success with women, and wooed the conjoined twins Flora and Fauna Amor away from him out of envy. Gomez starts to suspect that "Fester" is an impostor when he is unable to recall important details about their past. Gordon attempts to return to the vault, but is unable to get past a booby trap. Gomez's wife Morticia reminds "Fester" of the importance of family among the Addamses and of their vengeance against those who cross them. Fearing that the family is getting wise to their con, Abigail (under the guise of Dr. Pinder-Schloss) convinces Gomez that his suspicions are due to displacement.
Gordon grows closer to the Addams family, particularly the children Wednesday and Pugsley, whom he helps to prepare a swordplay sequence for a school play. Abigail had insisted that Gordon not attend the play, but after feeling deeply saddened by this, he attends anyway. After the play, Dr. Pinder-Schloss insists that "Fester" must once again leave, so the Addamses throw a large party with their extended family and friends, during which Abigail plans to break into the vault. Wednesday overhears Abigail and Gordon discussing the plan, and escapes them by hiding in the family cemetery. Tully learns that as the elder brother, Fester is the executor of the Addams estate and therefore technically owns the entire property. With help from the Addamses' neighbor Judge George Womack, whom Gomez has repeatedly infuriated by hitting golf balls into his house, Tully procures a restraining order against the family, banning them from the estate. Gomez attempts to fight the order in court, but Judge Womack rules against him out of spite.
Morticia returns to the Addams home to confront Gordon and is captured by Abigail and Tully, who torture her in an attempt to learn how to access the vault. Thing observes this and informs Gomez, using Morse code, who then rushes to Morticia's rescue. Abigail threatens Morticia's life if Gomez does not surrender the family fortune. Fed up with his mother's behavior and constant berating, Gordon turns against her. Using a magical book which projects its contents into reality, he unleashes a hurricane into the house, which strikes his own head with lightning and launches Tully and Abigail out of a window and into open graves dug for them by Wednesday and Pugsley.
The movie ends with a coda, taking place seven months later at Halloween. The family states that Gordon was really Fester all along, and that the previously made-up story about Fester being found in the tuna nets after being lost in the Bermuda Triangle is true. They further state that Fester had suffered from amnesia the whole time and only recovered his memories after being struck by lightning. With the family whole again as they play "Wake the Dead", Morticia informs Gomez that she is pregnant.
The Addams Family is a fictional family created by American cartoonist Charles Addams. They originally appeared in a series of 150 unrelated single-panel comics, about half of which were originally published in The New Yorker over a 50-year period from their inception in 1938. They have since been adapted to other media, such as television, film, video games, comic books, a musical, and merchandise.
Outside of The New Yorker, Addams also published several collections, the most notable being Dear Dead Days: A Family Album in 1959. The editor of The New Yorker, William Shawn, prevented any further Addams family cartoons from being printed after the 1964 launch of the television franchise.
Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury created a series of tales chronicling a family of Illinois monsters, the Elliotts, that bear a strong resemblance to the Addams family. These stories were anthologized in From the Dust Returned (2001), with a connecting narrative, an explanation of his work with Addams, and a 1946 illustration Addams drew for Bradbury's short story "Homecoming" in Mademoiselle magazine, the first in the Elliot family series.
The family appears to be a branch of an extensive Addams clan with relatives all over the world. In the original television series they are said to be related to "those one-D Adamses", a fact the family are deeply ashamed of. According to the film version, the family credo is, Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc (pseudo-Latin: "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us"). Charles Addams was first inspired by his hometown of Westfield, New Jersey, an area full of ornate Victorian mansions and archaic graveyards. In the original comics series they live in a gothic house on Cemetery Ridge. According to the television series, the residence is a gloomy mansion adjacent to a cemetery and a swamp located in an unspecified American town. In the musical (first shown in Chicago in 2009), the house is located in Central Park. In the 2019 film, the Addamses live in an abandoned asylum located in the outskirts of the state of New Jersey which is haunted by a disembodied resident who demands the property to remain undisturbed.
Although most of the humor derives from the fact that they share macabre interests, such as putting each other and themselves in the way of bodily harm (none of which seems to have an effect), the Addamses are not evil. They are a close-knit extended family. Morticia is an exemplary mother, and she and Gomez remain passionate towards each other; as established in the television series, she calls him "bubbeleh", to which he responds by kissing her arms, behavior which Morticia can also provoke by speaking a few words in French (their meanings are not important; any words in French will do). The parents are supportive of their children (except in the 2019 film when Wednesday arrives home wearing a pink dress). The family is friendly and hospitable to visitors; in some cases, it is willing to donate large sums of money to causes (television series and films), despite the visitors' horror at the Addamses' peculiar lifestyle. The characters were unnamed until the advent of the 1964 television adaptation, except for Wednesday and Morticia who were first named for a 1962 licensed doll collection.
Gomez and Morticia have had two more children, Wednesday Jr. and Pugsley Jr., who strongly resemble their older siblings. Gomez's brother, Pancho, is staying with the family while Gomez attends a lodge meeting in Tombstone, Arizona. Gomez is jealous of his brother, who once courted Morticia. Halloween is nigh, and Pancho tells the children the legend of the Great Pumpkin-like character of Cousin Shy, who distributes gifts and carves pumpkins for good children on Halloween night. Wednesday (now called "Wednesday, Sr.") is home from music academy, where she is studying the piccolo (breaking glass with it). Pugsley (now "Pugsley, Sr.") is home from Nairobi medical school, where he is training to be a witch doctor. The family's home has been bugged by a gang of crooks which intends to steal the family's fortune. Lafferty, the boss, sends a gang member named Mikey into the house to investigate. Mikey panics and flees after treading on the tail of Kitty Kat the lion. The crooks employ a fake Gomez and Morticia to help them carry out their plans, along with two strong-arm goons, Hercules and Atlas. Gomez returns home to celebrate the Halloween party and trim the scarecrow. Lafferty poses as Quincy Addams (from Boston) to gain entrance to the house during the party. He has his men tie up Gomez and Morticia, and his doubles take their places, confusing Pancho, who is still in love with Morticia, and Ophelia, who is still in love with Gomez. Gomez and Morticia escape (thanks to the "Old Piccolo Game"), and rejoin the party, only to have Lafferty use various methods to try to get rid of them. Lurch scares off the thugs and terrifies Lafferty's other assistant. Fester, trying to be nice, puts Lafferty on the rack. Lafferty tries to escape through the secret passage and steps on Kitty Kat's tail. When the police arrive, the crooks gladly surrender. The Addamses are then free to celebrate Halloween happily, ending the night by singing together in welcome for Cousin Shy.
In 2021, Netflix announced a live-action TV series adaptation based on Wednesday Addams, produced by MGM Television and starring Jenna Ortega as the title character. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar were the showrunners and Tim Burton directed several episodes in his first televised directorial effort. Wednesday, a student at Nevermore Academy, solves mysteries using her psychic ability. These include murders and a 25-year-old mystery involving her family. Luis Guzmán stars as Gomez, and Catherine Zeta-Jones stars as Morticia. In addition, Fred Armisen appears as Uncle Fester, George Burcea as Lurch, Victor Dorobantu as Thing, and Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley. Hunter Doohan, Georgie Farmer, Moosa Mostafa, Emma Myers, Naomi J. Ogawa, Joy Sunday, Percy Hynes White, Thora Birch, Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane and Gwendoline Christie were also added to the cast as series regulars. In March 2022, Christina Ricci, who portrayed Wednesday in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993), joined the cast as a series regular. 781b155fdc