Family Plot 1976 — A Mystery / Crime Movie Trailer

Family Plot 1976 — A Mystery / Crime Movie Trailer

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From the devious mind of Alfred Hitchcock, a diabolically entertaining motion picture.
There’s nobody in the family plot.

IMDb Rating: 2.6 out of 10

A phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while trailing a missing heir in California. —Anonymous

Rating Rotten Tomatoes: Tomatometer: 92%
Audience Score: 62%

The Master of Suspense’s swan song finds him aiming for pulpy thrills and hitting the target, delivering a twisty crime story with a pleasurable bite.

Synopsis: Spoilers?
In the opening scene, “Madame” Blanche Tyler (Barbara Harris) holds a seance in the elegant Victorian home of Mrs. Julia Rainbird (Cathleen Nesbitt), the elderly matron of a wealthy family. Blanche’s falsetto “trance” voice becomes a deep growl as she channels her spirit guide, Henry, who indicates a reluctant presence in the room. Julia believes it is her deceased sister, Harriet, who gave birth to an illegitimate son over 40 years earlier. His estrangement from the Rainbirds weighs heavily on Julia’s conscience. She offers Blanche $10,000 to locate the missing heir, as a private investigator might draw attention to this family embarrassment. Blanche walks calmly to an awaiting taxi, driven by her boyfriend, George Lumley (Bruce Dern). Once inside, she tells him that, with the help of Henry, she has secured a lucrative assignment. George reminds her that she is “as psychic as a dry salami,” and is guided by his research, not Henry. She dismisses his comments as jealousy but asks him to continue his investigation of the Rainbirds. George refuses until Blanche tells him about the $10,000, which puts him in an amorous mood. When he takes his eyes off the road for a few seconds, the car narrowly misses a tall blonde woman dressed in black clothing and wearing dark sunglasses.

The woman (Karen Black) enters a police station with a pistol. She is given a large diamond, then hands the detectives a written note, assuring them that her hostage, Victor Constantine, will be returned unharmed. The detectives lead the woman to a helicopter.

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Plot: Spoilers?
Fake psychic Blanche Tyler (Barbara Harris) and her boyfriend George Lumley (Bruce Dern) attempt to locate the nephew of wealthy, guilt-ridden, elderly Julia Rainbird (Cathleen Nesbitt). Julia’s recently-deceased sister gave the baby boy up for adoption, but Julia now wants to make him her heir and will pay Blanche $10,000 to find the man, Edward Shoebridge. During his investigation, George discovers that Shoebridge is thought to be dead, but he tracks down another criminal, Joseph Maloney (Ed Lauter), who paid for the tombstone over an empty grave.

Meanwhile, it is revealed to the viewers that Shoebridge murdered his adoptive parents and faked his own death, and is now a successful jeweler in San Francisco known as Arthur Adamson (William Devane). He and his live-in girlfriend Fran (Karen Black) kidnap millionaires and dignitaries and return them in exchange for ransoms in the form of valuable gemstones. The duo conceals an enormous diamond in plain sight in a crystal chandelier.

When Adamson learns that George is investigating him, he enlists Maloney (the two had murdered Adamson’s adoptive parents long ago), to kill Blanche and George. Maloney initially refuses to help, then contacts Blanche and George, telling them to meet him at a café on a mountain road. He cuts the brake line of Blanche’s car while the couple is in the café, but they manage to survive their dangerous high-speed descent. Maloney tries to run them over but dies in a fiery explosion when he swerves to avoid an oncoming car and tumbles down the cliff.

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