Film / The Flintstones

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/flintstonesmoviebig_4205.jpg

The Film of the Series of The Flintstones, distributed by Univershell Pictures in 1994 and presented by Steven Spielrock. Notably the first Live-Action Adaptation of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, it was directed by Brian Levant and stars John Goodman as Fred Flintstone, Rick Moranis as Barney Rubble, Elizabeth Perkins as Wilma Flintstone, and Rosie O'Donnell as Betty Rubble.

Fred loans some money from his and Wilma's bank account to Barney so that he and Betty can adopt a child. After the Rubbles adopt a cave boy named Bamm-Bamm, Barney decides to pay Fred back. Later, Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan), an executive vice-president at the Slate & Co. quarry, has the workers take an exam, offering vice-presidency to whoever gets the highest score. When Barney sees that Fred got the lowest score on the exam, he trades scores with him as payback, and Fred ends up becoming a vice-president because Barney's was the highest score. Unfortunately, Fred's first duty as vice-president is to fire Barney because he (or rather, Fred) got the lowest score. With Barney unable to get a new steady job, the Rubbles have to move in with the Flintstones, causing tension to mount between the families. As if that isn't enough, Cliff plans to embezzle the company out of billions of dollars and frame Fred for it...

The movie received generally negative reviews, but did very well financially at the box office. However, it would be six years before a sequel was released - a prequel titled The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, in which none of the cast from the first film reprised the roles (Though Levant returned as director, and O'Donnell made a vocal cameo).

Still, as adaptations go, this is probably one of the most faithful you can find of a source material. Of course, it also helped that the creators were supervising the whole project as executive producers.


The film contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the cartoon, Wilma's mother was a heavyset version of her. In the film, she's played by Elizabeth Taylor, who is most decidedly not heavy-set.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A non criminal example: After Fred fires Barney, he asks why he's being fired after so many years of loyal service; Fred tries to consolate him by saying he's a good friend, a wonderful husband, a loving father, a hard worker, and specially, one heck of a bowler; but unfortunatley none of this counts for an aptitude exam.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Aside from Wilma, Fred also deeply cares about his friend Barney enough to help him adopt Bam-Bam. There's also Fred untying Dino first before and instead of Wilma's mother, despite earlier threatening to have him fixed if he didn't stop hassling him.
  • Alternate Continuity: The story of Bamm-Bamm's adoption is different here than it was in the original series. Likewise, the prequel re-tells how Fred and Barney met Wilma and Betty.
  • And I Must Scream: Cliff Vandercave's ultimate fate is being encased in concrete. In other words, his fate has been sealed—literally!
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Cliff wanted the machine to go bust. He got his wish. He just got way more than he bargained for, seeing how its destruction ultimately led to his very own.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Wilma and Betty help stop Fred and Barney's lynching by ramming their car into the tree.
    • Miss Stone knocks out Cliff when the latter threatens to kill the dictabird.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Betty when Bamm-Bamm destroys the plates in the store that Betty and Wilma were shopping in, complete with slow-mo.
    • Cliff, when the concrete begins to fall upon him.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Wilma when Fred reveals that he took money from their savings account and gave it to Barney to adopt a child.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Dictabird addresses the audience directly just before an apparent risk to his life.
    The Dictabird: I should've signed up with Disney. They never would've allowed this sort of thing to happen!
  • The Cameo: The first movie has several:
    • Jay Leno appears as the host of a nightly news program.
    • Jonathan Winters plays one of the workers who gets fired from the quarry and tries to lynch Fred.
    • Jean Vander Pyl, who provided Wilma's voice in the cartoon, has a (non-speaking) cameo as a party guest.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Wilma and Betty lead the police to the quarry, but they don't arrive until immediately after the climax, leaving it up to Fred and Barney to be the heroes.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Dictabird. Cliff didn't consider his presence important, and when he fires Fred, Cliff neglects to do anything about the bird. It's only when Wilma and Betty steal the Dictabird that Cliff realizes what it could mean.
    • Fred's bowling skills. As Cliff tries to run away from Fred, Fred picks up a round small boulder and then uses his tippy-toe technique, hitting Cliff like a bowling pin and knocking him to the ground.
    Fred: STRIIIIKE!!!
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Harvey Comics published a notable one for this movie. The comic contained the film's story drawn in both the live-action style (printed in red ink) and the original cartoon's style (printed in blue ink), and it came with a pair of "Doublevision" glasses. The reader would have to look through one lens of the glasses to read the story drawn in one of the two styles (the red lens for the cartoon style and the blue lens for the live-action style).
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Cliff Vandercave, who has a plan to steal Mr. Slate's company from under his nose and blame some "ignorant stooge" for all of it.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Both Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera show up, as a board member of Slate and Company ("STEAM power? HE'S A MADMAN!") and a man in a fancy car, respectively.
    • Dean Cundey, the director of photography, also makes an appearance as a technician.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Had Cliff presented his ideas in a legitamite fashion, he could have made the company millions. But he just had to be a jerk about it.
  • Credits Gag / Incredibly Lame Pun: The end credits contain several "rock" and "stone" jokes ("Stone Age Sound Editing: Solange Of Hollyrock").
  • Does Not Like Shoes: The entire cast, as usual with the Flintstones franchise. This was actually rather rough on the cast members since they had to move around the sets a good chunk of the time without shoes.
  • End of an Age: After the climax, when Mr. Slate sees the cement-covered Cliff Vandercave, he exclaims that he loves it, deciding to name it after his daughter Concretia, and declares the Stone Age over with its creation.
    • Slate then offers Fred the presidency of a new division in the company, but Fred turns it down in exchange for his old job back, Slate rehiring all the workers, and adding a few other improvements to the workplace he had originally desired as an executive.
  • Eureka Moment: Wilma finds a way to prove Fred's innocence.
    Wilma: Mother, Fred may be a lot of things, but he isn't a criminal.
    Pearl Slaghoople: Can you prove it?
    Fred actor on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
    Actor dictabird on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
    Wilma: Maybe I can.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    Cliff: Who are they?
    Sharon: That's Fred and Barney's wives Wilma and Betty taking the Dictabird.
    Cliff: Why are they taking the-- Son of a brachiosaurus!
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Fred inadvertently destroys the model of Cliff's machine and towards the end of the film, this accident would later inspire him to destroy the actual machine to stop Cliff.
    • Fred signs pink forms from Cliff before the former goes out to dinner with Wilma. Those forms turn out to be the ones that causes his workers to be laid off.
  • Fridge Logic: In-Universe.
    Barney: The only reason you got that job is 'cause I switched tests with you.
    Fred: Oh-ho-ho, that's rich! What good would it do me to switch tests with the guy that got the lowest score?
    Barney: Think about it, Fred!
    (Fred contemplates this)
  • Funny Background Event: While Betty and Wilma aren't looking, Bamm-Bamm pushes Pebbles into two full revolutions on a swing.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Sharon Stone, who realizes that Fred is a genuinely nice guy and devoted husband halfway through the first movie, and tells him to get away before the police arrive once Fred catches onto her and Cliff's scheme. Later, when she finds that Cliff only bought a single plane ticket to Rockapulco, she correctly guesses that he plans to double-cross her, and later saves the day during the quarry battle by knocking Cliff out with a bag full of cash. She's arrested, but Fred promises to tell the officers about her good deeds as she's led away.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Cliff is buried alive by the concrete from the machine he invented.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "Please mark all test answers with a well sharpened #2 chisel."
  • Honorary Uncle: Pebbles addresses Barney as such during the climax.
  • Improvised Catapult: At the end of the film, Barney uses the catapult from Cliff's machine to rescue Bamm-Bamm and Pebbles and Fred does the same with a rock to destroy it.
  • Jerkass Façade: Fred, when the Rubbles and later Wilma leaves, taking Pebbles and Dino.
    Fred: Alright, Wilma, enough of this charade! Come back now and I'll forgive ya! (Wilma steps inside the taxi) Oh, you're bluffing, Wilma Slaghoople! (the taxi drives off) You're not going home to your mother's! Once around the block, you'll realize you're folly of your ways, and you'll come crawling back! (the taxi is long gone) Please...
  • Kirk's Rock: The entire town of Bedrock was built here. After filming, the studio left it up for a few days and allowed tourists in to visit the set.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At the end, Cliff tries to escape the cops, only to look up and see a huge amount of molten concrete as it buries him alive, turning him into a solid statue.
  • Licensed Pinball Table: Released by Williams Electronics in 1994. Ironically it's the only pinball table based on anything Flintstones. Click here for tropes.
  • Logo Joke: The Univershell Pictures logo, in both films. In the first movie, where it is seen after the family arrives at the drive-in in the opening credits, a re-orchestration of the 1958-1975 Revue/Universal Television theme is heard as a Mythology Gag (this being, after all, a show from The '60s).
  • Manipulative Bastard: Cliff Vandercave. He forces Fred to fire Barney for getting the lowest exam score (Barney switched with Fred, but both Cliff and Fred didn't know that). Then Cliff tricks Fred into signing firing notices for all the workers in the quarry, and frames Fred for embezzlement, making Fred's life miserable.
    • After Cliff's schemes are exposed, Cliff then crosses the line by kidnapping Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and trapping them on a giant mining machine. Even turning it on when Fred surrenders the Dictabird to him. Finally, Cliff resorts to trying to shoot Fred, but not before Miss Stone knocks him out with a money bag.
  • Megaton Punch: Barney gives a "punch out" to Fred after their argument towards the end of the film.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Miss Stone helps out Fred in the climax when she realizes Cliff plans on betraying her and taking all the money for himself.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Fred gets this moment when he realizes that he laid off all of his friends, and he's been tricked.
    • And later, Wilma has one when she realizes that she shouldn't have abandoned her husband after a TV portrayal of him suddenly gives her an idea about how Fred could have been framed.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Mr. Slate addresses Fred as "Mr. Flagstone" at one point, and Fred mistakenly introduces Wilma as "Mrs. Flagstone". The pilot for the original cartoon was titled The Flagstones.
    • "The Bedrock Twitch" at the beginning of the movie is lifted straight from a Flintstones episode. Fred and Barney even look delighted as the song comes on the radio.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Wilma when Fred reveals that he gave her money to Barney.
    • The Flintstones and the Rubbles when Bamm-Bamm attacks Barney.
    • Fred when he sees Pearl after coming home from his bowling game.
    • Betty when Bamm-Bamm destroys the plates in the store she was shopping in.
    • Fred when he inadvertently destroys the model of Cliff's machine.
    • Barney when he realizes that Fred has fired all of his workers.
    • Fred when he realizes that he was tricked by Cliff and later when he gets chased down and cornered by his workers to be hanged.
    • Wilma when she realizes that Fred and Barney are going to be hanged.
    • The Flintstones and the Rubbles when they discover that Fred's house has been ransacked and Cliff has kidnapped Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm.
    • Fred when he hears that the machine is overheating.
    • Cliff when he is cornered by Fred and when he sees the concrete falling upon him.
  • Ordered Apology: When Wilma shows up with the Dictabird just as the angry co-workers are about to lynch Fred and Barney. The Dictabird agrees to tell everyone the real truth so long as Fred apologizes for not listening to him. Fred tries to mutter a back-handed one, but Barney elbowing him gets him to finally shout it out for everyone to hear.
  • Parent Service: Miss Stone, portrayed by Halle Berry.
  • Parrot Exposition:
    Fred: You're fired.
    Record-playing bird: (abruptly stops) Fired?!
  • Precision F-Strike: When Betty's card is declined by the clothing store clerk, she asks what's wrong and he bellows at her "It's no damn good!"
  • Prequel: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000).
  • Promoted to Scapegoat: The real reason for Cliff's test was to find someone to be the fall guy for his schemes. When Fred gets the job, Miss Stone convinces Cliff to take Fred on anyways, because he's so ignorant that it'll make Cliff's plan even easier.
  • Powersuit Monkey: One of Fred's co-workers is a monkey wearing a tie.
  • Read the Fine Print: Fred signs a bunch of forms without reading them, and they turn out to be firing notices for all his friends. The dictabird even tells him "only an idiot signs something before reading it."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: During the argument, Betty calls the Flintstones a bunch of snobs who have done nothing to help the Rubbles.
  • Recycled Premise: The idea of Fred getting an undeserved promotion and the Flintstones and Rubbles falling out over it is borrowed from the episode "Fred's New Boss", only in that episode it was Barney who got the undeserved promotion due to being related to Mr. Slate.
  • Sexy Secretary: Miss Stone, Cliff Vandercave's girlfriend and henchwoman. When Fred Flintstone is chosen to be the scapegoat, Cliff has Miss Stone hired as Fred's secretary, knowing that she will be able to seduce him into doing whatever she wants.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Barney drives an ice cream truck that's playing the theme from The Jetsons.
    • One of the things Wilma breaks is the "leg lamp" from A Christmas Story.
    • The little playground is called Jurassic Park.
    • The drive-in is showing Tar Wars, directed by Gorge Lucas.
    • Halle Berry's character is named Sharon Stone (the role was originally meant for actress Sharon Stone, but she turned it down due to scheduling conflicts).
  • Stock Sound Effects: Aside from the stock Hanna-Barbera and Hollywood Edge sound effect libraries used in the film, a Wilhelm scream can be heard when Betty and Wilma arrive to stop the Fred and Barney's lynching.
  • Ugly Hero, Good-Looking Villain: It comes from Fred working for years in the quarry. When Cliff first sees Fred in the offices, he even notes Fred is looking around in awe.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Wilma scolds Fred for allowing the family to become greedy and done nothing to help the financially-troubled Rubbles, and for letting them leave. So she leaves Fred, taking Pebbles and Dino with her to her mother's, which she eventually regrets.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/TheFlintstones