I dearly love The Addams Family (1991) and would like to look at the freedom (or restraint) of hands in this movie.
When you think of the Addams family and specifically the song, what do you think of? Fingers snapping! The song itself involves hands.
This first member of the Addams family we see is Thing (Christopher Hart). This hand wanders freely throughout the Addams house. It is a member of the family; although I do not understand how... He’s “a handful.”
Although Thing is beloved and has a lot of freedom, it has a lot of limitations, too. When it tries to communicate with Gomez (Raul Julia) later in the movie, it has a hard time. Employing sign language, writing, and Morse code, it finally gets the message across.
When looking for something for “the auction”, Morticia (Anjelica Huston) picks a “finger trap”. This device literally prevents the user from having control over their hands.
When Gomez and Morticia show affection, he starts by kissing her hands. They use their sexual freedom to employ a more traditional way of greeting someone in a way that shows love and attraction.
To get into “the vault”, there is an assortment of chains to pull, but only the right one will get you inside. Gomez knows the right one, of course. But when Fester/Gordon (Christopher Lloyd) tries to break in, he chooses incorrectly and his hand is grabbed from above. His freedom is taken and he is thrown out of the house.
When the Addams party is over, the “Amor twins” (Maureen Sue and Darlene Levin) are being placed in a straight-jacket. Their hands are being restrained because they are being taken to an asylum. Just as their hands have little freedom so do they.
When Morticia goes to the house to talk to Fester, her hands are restrained when they stretch her body. Don’t want to beat a dead horse. I believe you know where I am going with this.
Hands are a prominent image in this movie. Without the use of our hands, we can do little for ourselves. However, when our hands are free, we can use that freedom to make decisions and act upon those choices. Both of these facts are true in the movie as well.
*On a side note entirely unrelated to the theme of this post, take note of what the family takes with them when they are “forced from their home”. I find these objects incredibly interesting and reflective of the different family member’s personalities.
For a history of this gothic family, check out this site.
I love this analysis of the Addams family and how they are a perfect family unit! Have a look!
Too many fun sites on the internet about this movie and family, I can’t constrict myself to just two. A feminist look on movies is always fun.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s thoughts. Come back next week for another spooky movie analysis!