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#18 Family Plot

Cut from the mordant cloth of dry comedy, Hitchcock’s final film is as quirky as they come. Two amature criminals collide with two professionals in a wild pursuit for confidential information that can lead to a small fortune. The plot is laughable by most accounts, however this was Hitchcock’s intention as he deliberately went for a humorist tone as opposed to a thriller of a more serious nature. In this regard the four main actors answer the bell and while all of them are unique and amusing in their own right, it is their chemistry on screen together that makes this film really work. Add a young Ed Lauter to the mix, and an already advantageous script truly comes to life in thanks to the impressive ensemble that Hitchcock put together. Memorable scenes include a car without brakes flying down a hill so fast that it would be frightening if it wasn’t for the imagery inside the car that makes it downright hysterical; along with a closing wink to the audience at the end of the film that breaks the fourth wall while putting a masterful final touch on Hitchcock’s incredible career. In so many ways that final wink to the audience couldn’t be more appropriate, and I can’t think of a better way he could have taken his final bow.

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