Family Thing, A

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

This is a story about two half-brothers who find each other after 60 years apart. Earl (Robert Duvall) lives in Arkansas, and when his mother dies, Earl learns he was adopted. It turns out that his real mother, who died in childbirth, was black. Earl also discovers he has a half brother, Ray Murdock (James Earl Jones), a police officer in Chicago. When Earl travels to meet his half brother, the two do not seem to connect until Earl is attacked by gang members who also steal his truck. Ray invites him to stay in his home and there Earl meets his Aunt T (Irma P. Hall) who fills him in on his family history. The brothers discover they have a family bond, and regardless of the years gone by, their relationship is just beginning. A FAMILY THING's most outstanding aspect is the great acting of the three main characters, especially Aunt T. This is a heartwarming story of reconciliation and acceptance under very unusual circumstances.

Earl, Ray and Aunt T all exhibit some very admirable qualities. Earl accepts the facts about his birth, and Ray is willing to put aside the racial stigma he has suffered all his life to receive Earl as his brother. Blind Aunt T is wisdom personified. She tells Earl that she is blessed not having sight because she sees a person's spirit, not the color of his skin. Unfortunately, this PG-13 rated film contains an abundance of crude, obscene and profane language. Some violence includes the scene of gang members beating Earl, a gang stalking a white man leaving a black bar and a fist fight. While not gratuitous, they are rather intense. The film has no sex or homosexual content; however, its adult subject matter is better suited to mature audiences. The main characters exhibit strong faith in God and belief in family values which are qualities Hollywood rarely attributes to today's world. Because of offensive language, however, A FAMILY THING earns a slightly negative acceptability rating.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey
MGM/UA Dist., 2500 Broadway St Santa Monica CA 90404-3061

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (33) times - Mild 13, Moderate 20

Obscene Language: Many (19) times - F-word 3, s-word 12, other 4

Profanity: Several (9) times - Regular 4 (GD), Exclamatory 5

Violence: Several times - Moderate (man beaten by gang, fist fight, gang stalks man, gun pulled on gang members)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (white man and black woman dance in bar.)

Drugs: Smoking and drinking; men drink at mother's grave

Other: Estranged husband encouraged to return to family; strong faith in God and family values; detailed description of breach birth

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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