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Fred Flintstone

The Film of the Series of The Flintstones directed by Brian Levant, produced by Amblin Entertainment and Hanna-Barbera, and distributed by Universal. It was notably the first Live-Action Adaptation of a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

Fred Flintstone (John Goodman) loans some money from his and Wilma's (Elizabeth Perkins) bank account to Barney Rubble (Rick Moranis) so that he and Betty (Rosie O'Donnell) can adopt a child. After the Rubbles adopt a cave boy named Bamm-Bamm, Barney resolves to pay Fred back someday. 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 film also stars Halle Berry as Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Taylor as Pearl Slaghoople.

The film was released on May 27, 1994. It did very well at the box office, despite being panned by critics, and fan reception likewise was pretty positive. 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:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Fred's promotion and executive perks quickly go to his head.
  • 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.
    • Fred himself is also this. While not exactly a handsome man, he's played by the towering and muscular John Goodman, as opposed to his short and overweight animated counterpart.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: While slightly plus-sized Rosie O'Donnell isn't exactly ugly, she was chosen to play slender and beautiful Betty Rubble because she was able to imitate Betty's trademark laugh during her casting audition.
  • Animals Fear Neutering: Fred wanted Dino to calm down after he gets fixed. Dino yells out a Big "WHAT?!" and runs away.
  • 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 console him by saying he's a good friend, a wonderful husband, a loving father, a hard worker, and especially, one heck of a bowler, but unfortunately, 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 Bamm-Bamm. There's also Fred untying Dino first before and instead of Pearl, 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.
  • 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 Marshy Fields, 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 and Betty, in order to help them qualify to adopt a child.
    • Also said by Dino twice.
  • Bird-Poop Gag: During Wilma and Betty's shopping spree, emergency sirens go off and then everyone has to evacuate before a pterodactyl poops on the mall. This spoils the trip.
  • 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!
  • Brick Joke: Fred's last name is consistently mispronounced by Mr. Slate, but at the end of the movie, when Slate sees what has happened...
    Fred: Sure, now he gets my name right.
  • The Cameo: Quite a few people have made guest appearances in the film.
    • Jay Leno appears as the host of a nightly news program, while Sam Raimi appears as a look-alike for Cliff in the 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.
  • Casting Gag:
    • The Dictabird is voiced by Harvey Korman, who voiced The Great Gazoo in the original cartoon. He was also in the prequel as Colonel Slaghoople.
    • John Stephenson, who voiced Mr. Slate in the cartoon, appears as the minister who marries Fred and Wilma at the end of Viva Rock Vegas.
    • Rosie O'Donnell, who plays Betty in the original film, makes a cameo as the voice of a masseuse octopus in Viva Rock Vegas.
  • 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!!!
  • Cincinnatus: Fred Flintstone when offered an executive position again during the denouement of the movie by Mr. Slate himself. After a self-interrupted moment of exclaimation, he brings himself back down and politely declines the position after seeing what kind of man he became... but not before acting as a quasi-union rep to get some more perks for his fellow laborers in the company out of Mr. Slate.
  • 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").
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The angry mob attempting to lynch Fred was already extremely harsh, but then they decide to hang Barney as well, just because he admitted that it was because of him that Fred was promoted to the job. Wilma and Betty manage to arrive just in time to save their husbands and clear everything up.
  • 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: Can you prove it?
    Fred actor on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
    Actor dictabird on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
    Wilma: Maybe I can.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Mrs Stone, Vandercave's accomplice, shows concern for Fred's safety after he's been framed and even suggests him to escape before the police come. Also, after Vandercave kidnaps Pebbles and Bamm Bamm she totally switches sides and decides to help Fred.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    Cliff: Who are they?
    Sharon: That's Flintstone and Rubble's wives.
    Cliff: What would they want with a smelly, old -- 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 provide inspiration on how 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."
    • "He's as drunk as a skunkosaurus."
    • "Son of a brachiosaurus" crosses this with Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • Honorary Uncle: Pebbles addresses Barney as such during the climax.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: When he is promoted as a vice-president, it never occurs to Fred that it was actually a set-up by Cliff so that the latter can embezzle the quarry, until it's almost too late.
  • 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 Realization: After Fred Took a Level in Jerkass, it only took Cliff tricking him into laying off Mr. Slate's workers, as well as the Rubbles and Wilma moving out, for Fred to have a "My God, What Have I Done?" reaction and atone for his misdeeds. He even confides to Barney that he's "just a big jerk" as they are about to be lynched.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Cliff Vandercave darkens the tone of a family oriented movie, having no funny moments and being a straight up greedy sociopath willing to ruin other peoples' lifes to cover his dark plans. His most hated move is kidnapping Pebbles and Bamm Bamm in order to blackmail Fred and Barney and trying to get rid of them anyway once his demands are satisfied.
  • 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).
  • Low Clearance: When Barney manages to reach the kids on the conveyor belt in the climax. Bamm-Bamm finally calls him "Papa". This makes him happy enough that he stands up... and gets beaned by one of the machine structures, briefly knocking him out.
  • 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, the guy 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.
  • Mangled Catchphrase: An actor playing Fred's role on a dramatization of Fred's alleged crimes gets his iconic "Yabba-dabba-doo!" completely wrong. To add insult to the injury, the avian actor playing the Dictabird does so as well.
    Fred actor on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
    Actor dictabird on TV: Yabba-dabba-dabba!
  • Megaton Punch: Barney gives a "punch out" to Fred after their argument.
  • 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.
  • Mundane Solution: In a scene that parodies classic detergent commercials Betty asks Wilma how she got rid of ring around the collar. Wilma responds that she started washing Fred's neck.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mrs Stone. Nothing better than Halle Berry in a prehistoric revealing outfit.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Fred regrets his actions 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!: A lot of them.
    • 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 Marshy Fields.
    • Betty and Wilma when they see the pterodactyl hovering above the park where Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are playing at.
    • Fred when he inadvertently destroys the model of Cliff's machine.
    • Barney when he realizes that Fred has fired all of his workers.
    • The Rubbles when they realize that the eggs they were cooking belonged to a local dinosaur.
    • 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.
    • Barney before he lands face first on a cliff while trying to rescue the children.
    • Fred when he discovers that the machine is overheating.
    • The Dictabird when Cliff's about to kill him.
    • Barney when sees the grinder in front of him after Pebbles' scream wakes him up.
    • 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.
  • Papa Wolf: Fred and Barney, though the former moreso. Shown when, after he read's Cliff's ransom tablet, he crushes it with his bare hands.
  • Parent Service: Miss Stone, portrayed by Halle Berry.
  • Parrot Exposition:
    Fred: You're fired.
    Record-playing bird: [abruptly stops] Fired?!
  • Pride: On at least three occasions, Fred hides his fear of failure by putting on a front.
    • When Barney realizes that Fred is afraid to tell Wilma that he gave Barney and Betty money so they can adopt a child.
    • When Barney asks Fred how he did on the aptitude test, Fred refuses to admit that he struggled, even though Barney could tell as much.
    • When Fred sees Wilma leave him, he refuses to admit that he was wrong and treated everyone badly until it's too late.
  • Precision F-Strike: When Betty's Marshy Fields card is declined by Mica, the store's manager, she asks what's wrong and he bellows at her "It's no damn good!" before he destroys it.
  • Prequel: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000).
  • Product Placement: McDonald's paid a truly exorbitant sum to be featured in the film as "RocDonalds", by some reports in the seven figures. This is remarkable considering that AOL paid a similar amount for all the product placement in You've Got Mail four years later - even though "RocDonalds" only gets relatively brief Sight Gag appearances in The Flintstones compared to how AOL completely permeates the plot and character interaction of You've Got M@il.
  • 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.
  • Ripping Off the String of Pearls: When Wilma confronts Fred over how his behavior has cost him his friendship with Barney, Fred haughtily claims that they don't need the Rubbles because they can buy whatever they want. Wilma tells him the Rubbles are worth more than anything Fred could buy, and drives her point home by tearing off the pearl necklace Fred had purchased for her.
  • Role Reprisal: In the Latin American Spanish dub, Fred and Barney's Mexican voice actors from many of their animated works since the 70's, Arturo Mercado and Francisco Colmenero, respectively reprised their roles in the movie. This is especially relevant because the dub of the film was recorded at Ultra Video, a Spanish-speaking studio in Los Angeles, and they brought them out straight from Mexico precisly for this in mind. The Los Angeles casting directors assumed that Jorge Arvizu (Fred) and Julio Lucena (Barney) had both passed away (in truth, Arvizu was semi-retired, but Lucena had died in 1985 from cardiac arrest).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once the Rubbles move out, Wilma decides enough is enough and leaves Fred behind for Pearl's house. She comes to regret this later on.
  • Sexophone: Sharon Stone's Leitmotif is a saxophone-based cue, which emphasizes the character's seductive nature.
  • 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).
  • Something Else Also Rises: Fred's tie flips up after he and Miss Stone are introduced.
  • 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.
  • Tempting Fate: While shopping with Wilma and the kids, Betty decides to spend less until Barney can get a new job. But then, Bamm-Bamm gets loose...
  • This Is What the Building Will Look Like: Fred is shown a scale model of Slate's planned pre-fab homes, leading to this knuckleheaded but priceless observation:
    Fred: "I hate to bust your bubble, fellas, but if you build houses this small, who's gonna live in 'em?"
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold to begin with, Fred becomes even more of a jerk when he is made an executive by Cliff.
  • 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.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After taking the Dictabird, Cliff tries to escape but the Dictabird escapes his grasp. Seconds later, Cliff attempts to escape again only for Fred to use his bowling ball to stop him.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Most of the quarry workers other than Fred and Barney are shirtless throughout the movie.
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Invoked by the Dictabird when Wilma and Betty ram their car into a tree to stop Fred and Barney from being lynched.
  • 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.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Cliff Vandercave, at the end kidnaps Pebble and Bamm Bamm to force Freddy and Barney to give him the Dictabird. But even after obtaining what he wants he decides to kill the kids anyway.


Example of: