When I was a kid I was a tv junkie and a walking tv guide. Granted there were only 3 channels at the time and television actually went off the air at midnight, give me a time and a day and I could not only tell you what was airing but a synopsis of the program.
I also grew up loving movies of all types and even at a young age understood more about film than the average 7-year-old. My faves have always been Universal monster movies, black and white melodramas and musicals.
The intersection of movies and television got me thinking about what tv shows successfully made the leap to the big screen. The first two that came to mind are “The Addams Family” and the more famous and successful of the two – “Batman”.
“The Addams Family” was one of my favorites from childhood. Morticia’s and Gomez’s marriage served as a blueprint for what I imaged mine would be. A husband with drawers full of money who’s totally head over heels about his wife. 😄🤑
The wacky and macabre Addams family, created by American cartoonist Charles Addams, consisted of caring parents Morticia and Gomez. Children – melancholic Wednesday and not quite right Pugsley. Uncle Fester, Grandmama, a disembodied hand named Thing, Cousin It and their deadpan-faced butler, Lurch round out the bunch.
This delightfully ghoulish family takes pleasure in most of the things of which the average person would find weird. Gomez clears his throat with a sword, Uncle Fester sleeps on a bed of nails and Morticia lovingly cares for her carnivorous plants including the cooing venus flytrap, Cleopatra. Conversely, they’re a tight-knit, multi-generational family sending their children to public school, sharing candlelit picnics in the graveyard (okay that’s a little bizarre) and enjoying outings and family time together.
One of the reasons I was a big fan is because the show represented a break from the “ideal American family” mold that had previously dominated TV, especially since Gomez and Morticia often got very affectionate with each other whenever Morticia spoke French. (drove Gomez wild:)
The series ran from 1964-1966.
Morticia Frump Addams / … (64 episodes, 1964-1966)
Gomez Addams (64 episodes, 1964-1966)
Lurch / … (64 episodes, 1964-1966)
Uncle Fester Frump (61 episodes, 1964-1966)
Pugsley Addams (39 episodes, 1964-1966)
Wednesday Addams (36 episodes, 1964-1966)
Grandmama Addams (35 episodes, 1964-1966)
The Addams Family was unique for the time and the episodes were hilarious!
“The Addams Family” Movie (1991)
“The Addams Family”movie, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, was a fabulous takeoff and homage to the original tv series. Anjelica Houston and Raul Julia were outstanding and completely embodied the affectionate couple to a tee. Anjelica Houston won a Golden Globe award for her performance. It made me smile and didn’t disappoint in content and feeling.
The entire family characterization was perfect. The cast really did their homework because not only did they represent the essence of the original tv characters but actually embellished them even more. Outstanding tv to film leap.
Gomez loves Morticia ♥
Uncle Fester Addams / Gordon Craven
“The Addams Family” film from 1991 was so successful it resulted 2 years later in the sequel “Addams Family Values”. Once again we were treated to the escapes of this quirky family with the challenges of a new baby, Pubert, and Debbie, the nanny hired to care for Pubert but whose true intentions include landing Uncle Fester so she can partake of the Addams family riches. After all, “What about Debbie?”
To add to the family chaos, Wednesday and Pugsley are sent to summer camp (Camp Chippewa) at the urging of Debbie. (so her motives won’t be discovered) Morticia and Gomez are horrified but comply because Debbie assures them the kids want to go. (big lie!) With the addition of the Addams kids, this summer camp will never be the same.
Wednesday as Pocahontas and Pugsley as the turkey burning down the house!
It’s so satisfying to see the brilliant big screen version of a childhood favorite tv show. If you haven’t seen either the tv series or the movies, they’re definitely worth checking out for some hilarious and macabre fun!
Next post I’ll review “Batman” to see how the big screen version holds up against the original tv series.