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Capturing the Friedmans: In the 80's, in the upper-middleclass district of Great Neck, the awarded Professor Arnold Friedman is arrested for possession of some magazines of child pornography. A further investigation of the police discloses that apparently Arnold and his eighteen years old son Jesse molested his young students during their private computer class. Their Jewish family tears apart with the situation and the sentences of Arnold and Jesse.

  • Currently 3.24/5
(172 votes)
Ratings: IMDB: 7.9/10 Metascore: 90% RT: 97%
Released: January 17, 2003
Runtime: 107 mins
Genres: Documentary Crime Mystery Biography
Countries: USA
Director: Andrew Jarecki
Actors: Chuck Scarborough David Friedman John McDermott Larry King

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Capturing the Friedmans Comments

Posted by baymatt 4 years, 4 months ago ( Edited 4 years, 4 months ago )
+4 | +4 / -0

By the way, this movie is on youtube. If you're like me, some of these sites are hit or miss with the buffering. This was an excellent doc. Very disturbing though. One thing that struck me as interesting was how the one brother videotaped a lot of the drama surrounding the trial with the parents' (most likely because of his age) video camera. It was probably seen as strange in the '80s, but these days it's common practice to document things in such a way. Also showed how even early computers had pornographic "programs" that people played/watched/whatever. And I thought dot coms were when porn was introduced to the net, lol. Anyway, the father in this movie was a sicko, and I think Jesse was too...on youtube it shows how information was left out of this documentary. Check that out if you're interested...I don't know what to score this doc., I just know it made me think.

Posted by JessicaAnne22 2 years, 3 months ago
+2 | +3 / -1

To me, I don't know whether Jesse and Arnold were guilty or innocent. There seems to be two sides of the story, although this type of crime instantly makes me hate them and want to see them punished. Either way, David seems to be the most screwed up one of the family. Very sad

Posted by clappingforyou 4 years, 3 months ago
+2 | +2 / -0

Really unfortunate what happened to this family. I also feel bad for the mother; all of her children turned against her when she thought she was doing the right thing and she knew best for Arnold and Jesse.

Posted by DBSKx 4 years, 5 months ago ( Edited 4 years, 5 months ago )
+2 | +2 / -0

Why did they gange up on the mother ! I really felt sorry for her. The whole case is just very confusing, I don't know what to make of it honestly.

Posted by boihorror80 4 years, 5 months ago
+2 | +3 / -1

One Of The Best Doc Ever Made, You Watch It And Your Still Confused What Really Happened, Sad !!

Posted by kokotye157 5 years ago
+2 | +2 / -0

wow....such dysfunction in this family. I agree with lawless regarding dark secrets and the denial is almost comical. great documentary.....i wonder who is going to spill the truth in a tell all in 20 years....9

Posted by lawless 5 years, 8 months ago
+2 | +2 / -0

I think Jesse was more involved than he admitted to. I also think that a lot of family background was left out, the mother clearly says she doesn't want to talk about it. That's a family with dark secrets...

Posted by serafinkh 9 months ago
+1 | +3 / -2

The child molestation hysteria that swept across the U.S. in the late 80s and early 90s sent a lot of innocent people (like Jesse Friedman) to jail and ruined their lives. How sad that the police detective has convinced herself of her revisionist version of the events (foot high piles of porn in plain sight in the house!). I guess it's the only way she can live with herself. Shameful mob mentality prevailed. Should Arnold be excused for being an admitted pedophile and having child pornography? Certainly not. But all the rest was pure fabrication orchestrated by the police dept and the crooked lawyer who continues to lie about Jesse's plea to this day (He should be disbarred). And what about all those poor children who were brainwashed into believing they were molested. This has probably ruined their lives as well. I am so ashamed of the human race.

Posted by roni11479 1 year, 3 months ago
+1 | +1 / -0

This family is just messed up even if they did it or not. The family dynamic was just plain weird. The documentary was interesting anyways.

Posted by degsfurb 2 years, 11 months ago
+1 | +1 / -0

Fascinating documentary. Everybody says Family life is the be all- but here was intrinsic evil right at the heart. Family life IS the be all if conducted properly. It left me unsatisfied though. Where was the evidence of the porno mags behind the camera? Where was the undeniable testimony? Did i miss something. They were an insidious bunch though. I was irritated by Davids pontificating in front of his new camera. Did it happen dad? No. But whenever the camera zoomed in on Arnie he shifted uncomfortably. The best bit was when the Mother rounded on them all and ordered them out! She was clearly wondering why she bothered to spawn the lot.

Posted by hlucn8tn 3 years, 1 month ago
+1 | +2 / -1

This is what it is...It happened all over the world...Nothing much else to say about the events. As far as the documentary it as long and slow and there is so much not said that the truth is hard to find on either side.

Posted by kgaston08 3 years, 1 month ago
+1 | +2 / -1

First things first why, just why would you be a CLOWN in a family FULL of pedophiles!!! Good documentary, a bit comical, worth the watch. I think all the sons were molested hence the tight bond and exclusion of the mom (the guys really stuck to the rule no girls allowed). My opinion the dad's brother definitely remembers which probably explains his choice of relationship, did ya'll peep how they waited at the end to pan the camera to his "partner" lol.

Posted by lezza 3 years, 4 months ago
+1 | +1 / -0

Really hard hitting documentary. I was really shocked that there was no dramatisation needed for this as there was so much home footage. I felt really sorry for the mother who was being victimised by her own family!! Couldn't make it through the whole thing, made me feel sick. They seemed to all contradict each others statements. One would say one thing and somebody else would say the total opposite.

Posted by Jack_T_Tumult 3 years, 6 months ago
+1 | +1 / -0

An absolutely brutal documentary to watch. Not a usual reconstruction of a crime or a display of a broken family dynamic because of the vast amounts of home footage that is available to be spliced together. It is incredibly fascinating to watch them documenting themselves during the various indictments and trials. Well worth watching if the subject matter doesn't overtly disturb you.

Posted by mrwonderful1985 3 years, 8 months ago
+1 | +2 / -1

what a movie makes me feel lucky to have such a great life I give it a 5 out of 10 stars

Posted by clara_g20 4 years ago ( Edited 4 years ago )
+1 | +3 / -2

THIS IS CONTAINS SPOILERS SORRY HAD TO WRITE IT Basically I stopped have way through so I could write this ...Mr friedman is guilty of having child pornography which is a crime I dont think he raped his students in the class the one student who said he doid does not have his story together ...The mother is being victimised by the family but I dont think we r seeing the whole picture ...But seriously mr friendmans brother is getting so upset about how he cant belive he would ever do this and it cant belive wen heis brother admitted to having sex with him when he was eight on more then one occasion just because he cant remember it does not mean it okay ...OMG this is seriously wrecking my head I dont know who to belive !! EDit : I also found a lot of the filming to be fake and staged on pupose between the sons ...And seriously a 4o year old clown in a family with two men who have been convicted of interfering with children not right < but thats just my judgemental side

Posted by blacknwhiteworld 4 years, 2 months ago
+1 | +4 / -3

For those who seem to come to a conclusion after watching this film, you don't know everything about this film to come to a judgement of "who's tell the truth". This film casts a doubt on the trail and their judgement sure but they left out certain facts about the case like there was another person who was convicted along with the Friedmans that testified against them, Ross Goldstein. Also the director of the film only interview 2 ppl and didn't bother contacting the other students about their opinion. Jesse also did an interview while in prison about the child abuse, the rivera interview where he described in detail about the abuse he committed........so do research before jumping to a conclusion....

Posted by EraseTheHate 4 years, 3 months ago
+1 | +1 / -0

Really great documentary. Very sad. Disturbing story. This is definetly worth seeing.

Posted by The_X 5 years, 6 months ago
+1 | +1 / -0

loved it! I highly recommend ! Totally imparcial...the viewer take his own conclusions....

Posted by roch20 5 years, 8 months ago
+1 | +1 / -0

Jesse was a victim, I feel very bad for him; also the mother, she's a lady with class; but David, he has been horrible with his mother, unfairly, but in these circumstances, who knows what else could they do? He (David) loved his father but at the same time, he was blinded by this love, so I think he felt bad for him, and though I can understand his frustration, I am afraid that I can't understand such cruelty toward his mother , he was brutal, in my opinion, that was unfair!

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