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Then came Jaws, the first major summer hit. Studios realized that summer was time to make money. Therefore, Disney lost their stranglehold using cheap frothy films. Freaky Friday was one of Disney's attempts to recapture this market and this film performed.
Disney kept their family friendly format but upped the ante with better actors and better scripts. Instead of going for big stars, Disney looked for proven actors on their way up. They found Barbara Harris. Jodie Foster had already done Menace on the Mountain, Napoleon & Samantha, One Little Indian and Candleshoe for Disney. She considered Disney as a family. (Remember that this was the old Disney).
Annabel Andrews is your typical fifteen year old. She has a mom (Barbara Harris), dad (John Astin) and pesky younger brother (Sparky Marcus). She admits that at her age she may still love her mother but she can't stand being with her. Her mother has similar feelings.
It's Friday the 13th (before Jason made it famous). It's an important day for both of them. Annabel has a field hockey championship and is to perform at the Aquacade. And mom has the rug cleaner and caterers for a party. So this is a perfect day for them to switch bodies.
Now this may sound as silly as some of the films that ripped off this idea. But this film is no way silly. It really deals with the generation gap when it is at its peak.
This is a tour de farce performance by Barbara Harris. For two thirds of the film, Harris plays a grown woman possessed by a 15 year old.Read more ›
With Jodie Foster, one of the most brilliant and beautiful actresses of her generation, as Annabel, and the vivacious Barbara Harris as her mom, Ellen "Freaky Friday" has gone down in my history of film watching as one of the best all around.
Upon seeing the preview of the new version with jamie lee curtis, I immediately seeked out the orginal. It is funny, and just a pure joy to view multiple times.
The movie's basic plot is it's Friday the 13th, and Annabel and her mom are at war with each other. They both exclaim "i wish I could trade places with her", and their wishes come true!
The hijinks and chaos ensues.
Here's a film you can watch with your entire family. How many movies can you say that about these days?
it's utterly unforgettable, and even now that I am no longer a kid, I will always have a special place in my heart for this sweet silly story.
Fortunately, the script is extremely genial and some genuine moments emerge. I didn't laugh out loud very many times, but the film is sweet and made me smile. In addition, Foster and Harris give very good performances; in fact, both of them scored Golden Globes nominations for Best Actress - Comedy or Musical (they lost to Barbra Streisand in "A Star is Born"). Overall, "Freaky Friday" is an above-average and very enjoyable Disney flick from the period.
The movie was a solid success, finishing 1976 as the #18 money-maker. Of note, the #17 movie was another Foster flick - "Taxi Driver." Needless to say, these movies represent polar opposites of film-making; however, watching both of them is an interesting study in contrast as well as testament to Foster's talent in pulling off disparate characters. Look quick for Charlene Tilton of "Dallas" fame as one of Foster's pals.
DVD Extras: A 20 minute interview with Jodie Foster from around 2003 in which she discusses making "Freaky Friday" and other Disney movies. Her interview seems to have been part of a larger piece, but it's interesting nevertheless.
TRANSFER: A very nice, very clean looking, anamorphically enhanced presentation. Colors are rich, vibrant and bold. Age related artifacts are a rarity. Rear projection and special effects photography appears worse for the wear than the rest of film, but is only marginally distracting. Contrast and black levels are solid. Overall, the picture has a very smooth characteristic that is easy on the eyes. The audio is mono and somewhat strident but, at a moderate listening level, quite acceptable.
EXTRAS: A thorough retrospective by Jodie Foster and an interactive game.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for my kids last year for Christmas (they are ages 10, 7, and 5). I was looking for an older movie that wasn't violent and I appreciate that it doesn't have any bad... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Renee
I Loved this show as a child and now I am enjoying it with my childrenPublished 3 months ago by Crystal Rockholt