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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Movie #15: The Addams Family (1991)

"Don't torture yourself, Gomez. That's my job."

After Addams Family Values last week, it's only natural that we'd feature the original film on our list!


  • Rating: PG-13 "for macabre humor"

  • Minimum Recommended Age: 13.5 (Common Sense Media: "Iffy for ages 13-14")

  • Quality Rating: 58% (Common Sense Media: 3 stars, Rotten Tomatoes rating: 5.6)

  • Number of Lists Recommend: 5

  • Sex/Violence/Profanity:
    From SCREEN IT!:

    Five "damns", at least.

    Common Sense Media:
    Quite mild for PG-13, including "damn" and "hell."

    Figures of Gomez and Morticia on clock and his figure kisses her on chest; Gomez kisses Morticia including on arms and neck.

  • Main Child Character Age: Wednesday and Pugsley: 11

  • Running Time: 120 minutes

  • What does it have to do with Halloween? Nothing


Con artists plan to fleece the eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long lost Uncle Fester.

Watch Out For

Common Sense Media:
Knives, swords, and other medieval weapons are frequently visible, but their use is rarely seen; a torture device is used on Morticia (to her pleasure), and Pugsley is strapped into an electric chair. A hand gun is visibly pointed at Gomez. The children, especially Wednesday, use weapons and other sources of pain to try to hurt each other as part of their everyday play. In the end no one gets hurt (although it's unclear if the bad guys are dead at the end). Strong sexual innuendo, especially between Gomez and Morticia. The couple can be heard having an orgasm while in public. There are several subtle references to sadomasochism, and a quick reference to child molestation relating to Uncle Fester. Much of this will go over the head of young viewers.

A lot of fantasy/humorous violence including the Addams Family pouring hot oil on Christmas carolers from top of roof though no one is seen hurt or burning; Wednesday plays William Tell and is seen with a crossbow and Pugsley is tied up; a character lifts up a man against wall; a character is seen with a meat cleaver; a character uses guillotine on dolls; a character is sitting in an electric chair and another character says they are going to play a game called "Is there a God?"; a woman slaps a character; two characters duel in a play and arms are cut off and blood sprays the audience.

Although the film has some funny moments, a neighbor of the Addams "damns" Gomez a couple of times after Gomez' golf ball crashes through his window. The Dove Foundation never awards our Seal to a picture when a character is "damned" or told to "Go to H..." Therefore, we are unable to award our Dove "Family-Approved" Seal to this picture as a family-friendly film.

Talk About It

Common Sense Media:
Families can talk about family relationships. What's it like to have a close family? When does sibling rivalry go too far? How are family differences settled? Families can also talk about the differences that occur when classic TV series are remade. Why are some things the same while others are presented differently?


"The Addams Family" airs throughout October on Cinemax


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