Abel Raises Cain (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Abel Raises Cain (2005)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Jenny Abel grew up with an eccentric father, to put it mildly. A film producer and occasional journalist for the likes of National Lampoon magazine, Alan Abel spent his life pulling off a seemingly endless series of elaborate media pranks, whereby he would repeatedly drum up insane causes -- from banning human breast-feeding to slapping diapers on animals -- and appear on news broadcasts under phony aliases plugging the oddball perspectives. At other times, Abel played practical jokes on the public by convincing them, en masse , of some fallacious truth. But the phenomenon was scarcely local in nature: Abel's hoaxes appeared on programs as institutional as Good Morning America and in publications as omnipresent as The New York Times (as when he planted an obituary in the paper, on January 2, 1980, erroneously indicating his own death from a heart attack). Abel also enlisted the top drawer of talent as his accomplices -- he recruited no less than Buck Henry to plug the "diapers on animals" campaign. All of this activity led various media pundits to brand Abel as one of the world's most brilliant satirists, and instilled in Jenny a lifelong fascination with her father's motivations and modus operandi. With the documentary Abel Raises Cain, Jenny Abel takes a long, loving look at her father's life and most unusual career.

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Critic Reviews for Abel Raises Cain

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4)

Highly entertaining, in a casual, home-movie way.

December 5, 2008
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

More a love letter from daughter Jenny to her father than a worthy portrait of Abel's caustic, media-savvy and mind-bending social comedy.

Full Review… | August 26, 2005
Top Critic

If you don't giggle at some of Alan's gags and the reaction our increasingly polarized culture has to them, you're a prime candidate to fall for him next time.

August 26, 2005
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

An affectionate portrait of a gadfly dedicated to lampooning American society's foibles, the laziness of the media and the tendency in all of us to swallow what we really want to believe but shouldn't.

Full Review… | August 11, 2005
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

A host of hoaxes far funnier than the best of Candid Camera!

Full Review… | December 10, 2009
Sly Fox

There's no denying that Alan Abel is a character, and any glimpse behind the schemes is better than none.

Full Review… | October 26, 2007

Audience Reviews for Abel Raises Cain


I wasn't actually sure what I was watching when I started it, but it turned out to be a fascinating documentary about a professional hoaxer. If you like con jobs at all, you'll enjoy it. However, look out (or rather don't look), it does have one clip of nudity from a little film Alan Abel made.

Aaron N
Aaron N

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