Family Business (1989)

“Anybody embarrassed about doing time is a goddamn snob. You do your time nice, don’t rat anybody out” – Jessie

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Jul 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A young man who’s father and grandfather are career criminals thinks of a heist scheme for the three of them to work on together.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I’ve avoided for so many years because it just didn’t look good enough to warrant watching.

Since this month, I’m trying to expand my knowledge and reviews of Sean Connery films, I decided that it was time to finally check it out.

The story is extremely convoluted even though it does try to present an interesting morality dilemma for its characters to encounter.

It was nice seeing the trio of stars from different generations working together here.

Connery along with Dustin Hoffman and Matthew Broderick are all fine here bit it’s hard to actual believe that they are each old enough to portray their position in the family tree.

None of the three characters are developed well enough for us to actually believe the relationships between them.

Sidney Lumet is a great director, but this film doesn’t work as well as it should have.

Bottom Line – This is quite a convoluted story despite its attempt to be a true morality play.  Nice seeing three heavyweights working together despite that. Each of the three have their moments here but the characters just aren’t developed well enough for us to truly believe the relationships between them.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Three weeks of rehearsal, in a large hall, on New York City’s Lower East Side, preceded the start of principal photography on November 14, 1988. It had been Sidney Lumet’s practice since his work in the early days of live television to factor a lengthy rehearsal period into the production schedule of all his movies. Dustin Hoffman commented: “In a sense, you’ve killed the first three weeks with most movies because it usually takes that long before people start letting others into their lives. At the start of any film there is a kind of barrier separating the actors. The way Sidney works, with a lengthy rehearsal time prior to the production, you’re at a place when you start shooting that you wouldn’t be in most other pictures until you were halfway through them”. Sidney Lumet said: “One of the reasons for my vaunted speed is because of the rehearsals. It’s an irreplaceable process for me, a process of discovery, a process of getting to know the actors. When we get on the set, an awful lot has already been locked into place for us”. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy


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2 thoughts on “Family Business (1989)

  1. I had actually read the book before seeing the movie – and the book was very good – and made following things a bit easier. That being said – for the talent involved – the movie didn’t really work, certainly not as well as the book (but that seems to be true in most cases). As for you not buying the 3 lead actors as being the right age to comport to the alleged family tree – I would go a few giant steps further – and say that the casting here was a CAA “package” (meaning all three actors were the clients of the same agency and were bundled together for the movie) – and there is no way in hell – based on their physicality – LOOKS – that they are in any way shape or form related to one another. Just absurd. This isn’t the Cartwrights on BONANZA where the fact that Adam, Hoss and Little Joe all looked totally different from one another was explained away by the fact that daddy Ben Cartwright had three different wives – and each of the boys had a different mother.

    Raise your hands if anyone out there knows a universe in which Dustin Hoffman is the son of Sean Connery – or Matthew Broderick is the son of Dustin Hoffman. Anyone? No, didn’t think so.

    If I remember right – this was made around the same time as another adaptation – The Pope of Greenwich Village – which was A). a better book and B). a better movie.


  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1989 |

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