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The Addams Family (1991)

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The Addams Family
Starring Raul Julia
Anjelica Huston
Directed By Barry Sonnenfeld
Written By Caroline Thompson
Larry Wilson
Release Date November 22, 1991


A con artist and her son take advantage of Uncle Fester's 25-year absence to try to steal the Addams fortune.


Gomez reflects sorrowfully on the years his brother Fester has been lost, whom he has not seen for 25 years due to a falling-out between them. Gomez' lawyer, Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya), proposes "Fester Addams Offshore Retirement Fund," the entire purpose of which is pay off Alford' loan shark. Gomez, oblivious the real purpose, still turns the offer down on the principle that they should not business the next quarter. Alford's wife Margaret Morticia (Anjelica Huston) in hopes she will donate gift to charity auction. Morticia offers to donate bejewelled finger trap, the Alfords seance in which they would attempt to contact Uncle Fester's spirit. Tully returns to work to find his loan shark, Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson), and her son Gordon (Christopher Lloyd) waiting for him. Gordon harasses Tully until he discovers the gold doubloons Gomez has paid him for his monthly expenses. Tully notices just how similar Gordon looks to Fester, and proposes that Gordon pose Fester to infiltrate the Addams' house to find the vault where they keep their vast riches. At the séance, Grandmama attempts to contact Fester's spirit, demanding he knock three times. they ask, they hear knock at the door. They answer it to find Gordon, posing as Fester, Ms. Craven, posing psychiatrist named Dr. Greta Pinder-Schloss.

She informs them that Fester had been found in Miami, and after extensive testing, the Florida Department of the Fish and the Game declared this was indeed Fester. Gordon claims the family for week, since he "has things cooking in the Bermuda Triangle," whereas intentionally he would then leave after pilfering the vault. Gomez is initially overjoyed, and immediately takes Gordon to the vault to show some old movie footage. Gordon learns the reason for Gomez and Fester's falling out: Gomez was jealous of Fester's ways with women, and wooed both the beautiful Flora and Fauna Amore twins even though he didn't love them.Gomez becomes more and more suspicious Fester fails to remember important events their childhood: when Gomez had his first cigar, the combination to the vault, their secret names for each other.

The last straw occurs after the charity auction: After buying back their own bejeweled finger trap for $50,000, Gordon asks how to take it off; something Fester should have known since he had been stuck wearing that same finger trap for two years, but which Gordon does not know.

Gordon attempts to access the vault, but cannot remember which of the many chains to pull is the right one, and is ejected from the house via piranha tank. Morticia meets him outside and leads him on tour of the graveyard, before reminding him of the family creed: Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc, meaning "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us." Gordon thinks that the family is on to his ruse; therefore in comes Dr. Pinder-Schloss, who convinces Gomez that his suspicion of Fester is nothing more than Displacement. Gomez is convinced.

Meanwhile, Gordon begins to show signs that he is growing close to the family: he spends lot of time with Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman), helping with sword fight scene for school play, and teaching them about explosives.

At the upcoming school play, Gordon and his mother hatch plan: to pretend to not be interested in the school play, thus leaving the house vacant so they can get to the vault. Gordon breaks from the plan by instead going to watch Wednesday and Pugsley's scene in the play. Gordon's mother tries to enter the house anyway, but is trapped by the mobile plants outside the house.

The next morning, Morticia reveals to Dr. Pinder-Schloss that Gomez and Fester have reconciled, and that party would be planned honoring Fester's return. This gives Gordon and his mother another opportunity to reach the vault. At the party, the Addams clan gather to celebrate. When Wednesday is sent to check on Fester, she finds Gordon in the bathroom, with his mother shaving his head. The two of them are talking about their plans for the evening. Wednesday realizes that he is fake and escapes to the family graveyard chased by Gordon.

Meanwhile, Tully Alford has left the party, privy to some important information: Fester, being the older brother, would be the executor of the Addams estate, and would thus inherit everything on their property. Tully enlists the aid of Gomez' neighbor, Judge Womack whose windows are constantly being broken Gomez hitting golf balls from his roof.

The judge enthusiastically asks what he can do.Once the party is over, it is discovered that Wednesday is missing. The Addamses except Gordon go to search for her, and come back to house to find the gate locked, with Tully behind it, holding a restraining order, demanding they stay at least a thousand yards from the property. Gomez takes the issue to court, but Judge Womack rules in favor of Gordon out of spite for Gomez (though he does give Gomez his golf balls back). Defeated, the Addamses move into a motel.

While Gordon, his mother, and Tully Alford all try to reach the vault, the Addamses try to adapt to their new situation. To support the family, Wednesday and Pugsley open a lemonade stand. Morticia attempts to become a preschool teacher, in which position her rendition of Hansel and Gretel makes all the children cry. Thing inexplicably gets a job as a courier for Federal Express. Gomez is so despondent he refuses to do anything but watch daytime TV and eat snack food.

It pains Morticia to see her family living like this; therefore she returns to the mansion to confront Gordon. She is subdued by Tully and Craven, who torture her to get her to reveal how to reach the vault. Thing sees all this and returns to the motel, where he informs Gomez that his beloved wife is in trouble. Gomez rushes to her rescue, whereupon Abigail offers an ultimatum: she demands that he take them to the vault or she will kill Morticia if he does not come back in 1 hour.

Gordon, disgusted by the use of torture against the family he had grown to love and by his mother whose constant badgering became worse and worse, takes matters into his own hands. The bookshelf which conceals a secret passageway to the vault also contains books that, when opened, project their contents into reality. Gordon threatens Tully and his mother with a book named "Hurricane Irene" while Gomez and Morticia escape. But then Wednesday comes in hoping to save her parents unknowing they got away. Right when Gordon tells her to leave, Tully grabs Wednesday to use her as a hostage by holding her in front of him, using her so Gordon won't open the book. Leaving Gordon weak, Tully pushes Wednesday forward to threaten him even more to open the vault. Right when he is about to, Lurch comes in with an ax, and threatens Tully to let Wednesday go, which he does out of fear, to which Wednesday runs to Lurch, he picks her up and carries her out of the room to safety. Gordon now seeing Wednesday is out of harms way, opens the book, and a hurricane is unleashed inside the house. Gordon attempts to close the book, and is struck by lightning. Tully and Craven are launched out a window, into open graves which have apparently been freshly dug by Pugsley, Wednesday and Thing. Pugsley asks Wednesday, "Are they dead?" to which Wednesday replies, "Does it matter?"

Seven months later, all is well with the family as they are throwing a Halloween party. Gordon, it turns out, really was Fester all along, and the story that he had been found in Miami was true; but he had been suffering from amnesia, as a result of remaining in the Bermuda Triangle, until the lightning struck him. As Fester and the children rush out to the graveyard for a rousing game of "Wake the Dead," Gomez ponders what could possibly make life better. Morticia reveals that she is pregnant (setting the stage for the sequel Addams Family Values with their son Pubert). The movie ends with their kiss.


In a 2012 interview, Barry Sonnenfeld, the director of the movie, stated that he originally intended that it be unclear whether Fester really was an imposter or not, but all the other actors rebelled and chose 10-year-old Christina Ricci to speak on their behalf, who "gave this really impassioned plea that Fester shouldn't be an imposter.... so we ended up totally changing that plot point to make the actors happy. And they were right — it was the better way to go."



Other Cast

Theme Song

MC Hammer wrote and performed a new theme song for the film entitled Addams Groove.

Background Information

  • Originally an Orion Picures property but being strapped for cash they began selling off promising film projects including The Addams Family. Orion still maintained non-U.S. distribution rights to the film thanks to Columbia



  • This movie was recorded in October 29-30, 1989.

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