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Addams Family Values

Addams Family Values
File:Addams family values.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
Produced by Scott Rudin
Written by Paul Rudnick
Based on
Starring Anjelica Huston
Raúl Juliá
Christopher Lloyd
Joan Cusack
Christina Ricci
Carol Kane
Jimmy Workman
Carel Struycken
David Krumholtz
Music by Marc Shaiman
Ralph Sall
Cinematography Donald Peterman
Edited by Arthur Schmidt
Jim Miller
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 19, 1993 (1993-11-19)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $48,919,043[1]

Addams Family Values (also known as The Addams Family 2) is a 1993 American dark comedy film, which is the sequel to the 1991 American film The Addams Family. It was written by Paul Rudnick and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, and features many cast members from the original, including Raúl Juliá, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, Carel Struycken, Jimmy Workman, Christina Ricci, Joan Cusack, David Krumholtz, and Christopher Hart. Compared to its predecessor, which retained something of the madcap approach of the 1960s sitcom, Values is played more for macabre laughs.[2]


Gomez and Morticia Addams welcome a new son, Pubert, into the family. Immediately jealous, Wednesday and Pugsley attempt to murder him several times in a bout of extreme sibling rivalry, but he escapes every time unharmed. Concerned by this, Gomez and Morticia decide to hire a nanny. The first few applicants are driven away by the older children, but a third applicant, Debbie Jellinski, seems to be made of sterner stuff and she is hired. Unbeknownst to them, however, Debbie is a serial killer known as the Black Widow, who marries rich bachelors and murders them on their wedding night, making the deaths appear accidental so she can collect their inheritances. After Fester becomes immediately infatuated with her, Wednesday becomes suspicious and tries to spy on Debbie. Debbie tricks Gomez and Morticia into believing that the kids want to go to summer camp and they are sent to Camp Chippewa, a summer camp for privileged children run by the obnoxious and overzealous Gary and Becky Granger. Wednesday and Pugsley stand out for their dress and behavior, but one of the campers, Joel Glicker, a neurotic, allergy-ridden nerd with an overbearing mother, becomes interested in Wednesday and she makes quick enemies with the pretentious overachiever, Amanda Buckman, who is the most popular girl at camp. After their behavior earns them time in the Harmony Hut, Wednesday meets Joel and is equally fascinated in him, on account that he has several deathly allergies.

After a double date, Debbie admits her love for Fester and claims to be a virgin, waiting on marriage to have sex for the first time, prompting Fester to eagerly propose to her. At their bachelor/bachelorette parties, Lurch accidentally bakes a stripper in a cake meant for Fester, while Debbie meets and is further horrified by the rest of the Addams' clan, including Margaret who has had a child with Cousin Itt named "What". Having gotten passes from camp, Pugsley and Wednesday attend the wedding, but they do not sanction it, as Wednesday suspects Debbie as being the Black Widow. On their honeymoon, Debbie tries to kill Fester by throwing a radio in the bathtub, but it does not work; frustrated by his resilience, Debbie establishes a sexual hold over Fester, forcing him to sever all ties with his family in exchange for marital bliss. This frustrates Gomez, who then tries to visit Fester at a Debbie's mansion where they are quickly shuffled out of the house, but not before Grandmama places a curse on Debbie, and Morticia scoffs at her interior design. The police unable to do anything, they return home where Pubert makes a startling transformation into a rosy-cheeked, golden-haired, cheerful baby, which Grandmama recognizes as a curse of having a disrupted family life, as a result of separations from his uncle and siblings. This sends Gomez into a bout of depression, and Morticia believes him to be dying.

Back at camp, Wednesday is cast as Pocahontas in Gary's historically inaccurate and saccharine Thanksgiving play, "A Turkey Named Brotherhood", but she coldly refuses. She, Pugsley and Joel are then sent to the Harmony Hut, where they are forced to watch upbeat Disney and family films such as Bambi, The Little Mermaid, Lassie Come Home, The Sound of Music and Annie. When they emerge, Wednesday feigns perkiness, even smiling for the other campers, who are horrified. And she agrees to the play in which all the social outcasts have been cast as Indigenous Americans (with the exception of Pugsley being a turkey), while the popular kids are set as the Pilgrims, including Amanda who plays the lead opposite Wednesday. During the play, Wednesday stages a coup, capturing Amanda, Gary and Becky while lighting the camp on fire and sending it into chaos, resulting in the both Addams children being expelled from camp. As she and Pugsley leave, she and Joel share a kiss.

Debbie tries again to kill Fester, by blowing up their mansion with a bomb. Again, he survives and she snaps, pulling a gun on him and admitting that she never loved him, and was only after him for his money. Before she can kill him though, Thing hits Debbie with her own car and Fester gets in as they escape. Back at the house, Fester apologizes to Gomez for his mistakes, and Wednesday and Pugsley return home, a family reunited. Debbie arrives afterward and ties the family to electric chairs, showing them slides of her parents and her first two husbands, all of whom she killed for selfish and materialistic reasons. Upstairs, Pubert, who has returned to normal, escapes from his crib, and after a chain of events is propelled into the room where his family is being held. Debbie throws the switch to electrocute the family, but Pubert manipulates the wires, sending the electric current back at the switch, instead electrocuting her into dust while the Addams' remain unharmed.

Several months later, at Pubert's first birthday party, Fester laments Debbie's loss, but becomes smitten with baby What's bald, ugly nanny, Dementia. Outside, Joel expresses his sadness that Debbie died, and Wednesday said Debbie was sloppy; if she wanted to kill her husband she would do it, and she wouldn't get caught. Joel disregards this and lays flowers over Debbie's grave when suddenly a hand shoots up and grabs his arm, making him scream in terror as Wednesday looks on with a smirk.


Cameo roles

Critical reception

Critics complimented the film with largely positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 78% based on 46 reviews.[3][4] The site's consensus reads, "New, well-developed characters add dimension to this batty satire, creating a comedy much more substantial than the original."

Janet Maslin of The New York Times wondered if "the making of this sequel was sheer drudgery for all concerned", then answered herself by writing, "There's simply too much glee on the screen, thanks to a cast and visual conception that were perfect in the first place, and a screenplay by Paul Rudnick that specializes in delightfully arch, subversive humor."[5] Leonard Klady was slightly less enthusiastic in his Variety review, noting, "It remains perilously slim in the story department, but glides over the thin ice with technical razzle-dazzle and an exceptionally winning cast."[6]

Richard Schickel, writing for Time magazine, called it "an essentially lazy movie, too often settling for easy gags and special effects that don't come to any really funny point."[7]

The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Art Direction (Ken Adam, Marvin March),[8] and Huston was nominated for the 1993 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her performance as Morticia, a reprise of her Golden Globe-nominated performance in the 1991 original. The film won also a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for the song Addams Family (Whoomp!).

Addams Family Values was nominated for AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs.[9]

Box office

Addams Family Values opened at #1 at its initial weekend with a reported total of $14,117,545.[10] In its second week, the film dropped to #2 behind Mrs. Doubtfire, and in its third week to #3 behind Mrs. Doubtfire and A Perfect World.[11]

Its final domestic box office take was $48,919,043,[12] a significant decline from the previous film's domestic total of $113,502,426,[13] but could still be considered successful overall internationally.

Home media

The film was released on DVD in 2000 with two theatrical trailers as special features. It was re-released in 2006 with the first film on a single disc, with no new features.

In Australia, the film was released on VHS by Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) in 1994. In 2002 the film was released on DVD with theatrical trailers in the extra features.


  1. Addams Family Values at
  2. Levy, David (December 20, 1993). "Charles Addams Might Grimace at This 'Family'". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  3. "Addams Family Values (1993)". 
  4. Rainer, Peter (November 19, 1993). "Let's Have a Hand for 'Addams Family Values'". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  5. Janet Maslin (November 19, 1993). "Addams Family Values (1993)". The New York Times. 
  6. Leonard Klady (November 13, 1993). "Addams Family Values". Variety. Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  7. Richard Schickel (November 29, 1993). "Looking for Mr. Goodfather". Time Inc. Archived from the original on 4 November 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  8. "The 66th Academy Awards (1994) Nominees and Winners". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-04. 
  9. AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees
  10. "Weekend Box Office Results for November 19–21, 1993". Box Office Mojo. 
  11. "Addams Family Values (1993) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. 
  12. "Addams Family Values box office totals". Box Office Mojo. 
  13. "The Addams Family box office totals". Box Office Mojo. 

External links