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Film Comment (1976) - Plots and patterns




Review of Family Plot (1976)

Grace Kelly's overwhelming profile in rear window or her smoothly orchestrated first kiss (not the God-awful fireworks) in TO CATCH A THIEF; Kim Novak heartbreaking in a soft sweater late in VERTIGO; Laura Elliot's fatal provocation in STRANGERS ON A TRAIN; or Janet Leigh stripped down to her brassiere for heavy lunch-hour petting in PSYCHO - there isn't really much of it, but when it appears it is very potent, enviable, guilty. [...] the beginning of family plot, which is also one of the most gorgeous justifications I can recall for the mechanics of camera movement in recent movies-all in one sweeping turn that links Barbara Harris with Cathleen Nesbit, and including in its view a rich and fanatically detailed living room setting-this seems as important as Barbara Harris's wink at the end, and indeed, may even furnish the weight of deliberate darkness that balances it.