Reverse Hitchcock #1: Family Plot, 1976 – ★★★½

Full of winks and nods, this comedy chase caper with an Ernest Lehman screenplay about two criminal couples is great fun to watch. Great work from the central quartet, especially ‘Madame Blanche’ (Barbara Harris) and oily William Devane (why his career went downhill into TV movies and soap operas so quickly is a mystery).

The late Karen Black gives a wide-eyed classy performance; she seems to be a stand-out in every film she was in. Bruce Dern completes the main cast and he’s very competent as the resting actor who vaguely interests himself in petty crime.

There’s a John Williams score which perfectly fits every scene in this black comic mixture, while the spoof car chase is well done, the obligatory director cameo is a fitting farewell, and the whole thing is sumptuously shot, lit and framed. This was Hitchcock’s last film, and one of the best of his later years, enjoyable, witty, and very good indeed.