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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jodie Foster becomes Barbara Harris and vice versa
The theory in films, as in television, is everyone is gone for the summer. So do not release any heavyweight films until fall. This left summer wide open for Disney. They used to release a new film every other week during the summer.

Then came Jaws, the first major summer hit. Studios realized that summer was time to make money. Therefore, Disney lost...
Published on December 22, 2005 by Movie Mania

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hhmmm
Purchased for nostalgic. reasons and I wanted to compare the other remake starring Jamie lee Curtis and Lindsey Lohan...for some odd reason I thought the original had a few creepy moments. Then I thought about Jamie Lee Curtis trying to ease up w a much younger guy in the remake. Therefore I say both films have a sense of creepiness...thats fair!
Published 18 months ago by DogBreath101


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jodie Foster becomes Barbara Harris and vice versa, December 22, 2005
This review is from: Freaky Friday (DVD)
The theory in films, as in television, is everyone is gone for the summer. So do not release any heavyweight films until fall. This left summer wide open for Disney. They used to release a new film every other week during the summer.

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. She does this convincingly. (She received a Golden Globe nomination).

Jodie Foster has no simple role either playing a 15 year old being inhabited by a 40 year old. But it is a bit simpler.

This is a must see film for all teenagers and their parents. This is superior to the two remakes.

DVD EXTRAS:

A Look Back with Jodie Foster - Jodie reminisces about her time at Disney and the movie Freaky Friday. You can tell she has a fondness for tenure at the old Disney Studio.

Freaky Friday Interactive Memory Game - This would not entertain even a 2 year old. There are 8 cards and you must match the pairs.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie that needs no remake, July 28, 2003
By 
Ei "crzybookmoovielover" (Seekonk, Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freaky Friday [VHS] (VHS Tape)
"Freaky Friday" is a true classic film to come from the world of Disney.
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.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genial Disney Flick, October 31, 2004
By 
Westley (Stuck in my head) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Freaky Friday (DVD)
Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris star as a mother-daughter duo in Disney's 1976 original "Freaky Friday." As the movie opens, Foster and Harris are at each other throats and complaining about how easy the other person has it. As they simultaneously wish that they could be the other person, they switch bodies. Much of what transpires from here on out is predictable and resorts to a bit too much slap-stick.

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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FREAK ACCIDENT, CLASSIC FISH-OUT-OF-WATER COMEDY, June 1, 2004
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freaky Friday (DVD)
"Freaky Friday" is a classic Disney comedy that required no remake. As a `coming of age' film it sincerely examines the trials and tribulations of both parents and children without ever allowing either perspective to become condescendingly smug. After the hysteria that was Haley Mills had cooled in the late sixties the Disney studio began searching for a teenage successor that could ensure box office success in the 1970s. They found their heir apparent in the embodiment of tomboyish, Jodie Foster. In "Freaky Friday" Foster plays Annabelle, the belligerent teenager who can't wait to grow up. She envisions that her mother, Ellen (Barbara Harris) lives a life of elegance and luxury, and, as such, Annabelle longs for just one chance to revel in what she perceives to be the pampered existence of adulthood. Likewise, Ellen can't understand why her teenager daughter complains so much about being a teenager. Both women get a reality check when a `freak' accident transposes their brains into each other's bodies thus affording them the opportunity to experience each other's lifestyle for one catastrophically hilarious day. John Astin, Dick Van Patten and Ruth Buzzi costar.
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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Disney Fun!, February 28, 2003
By 
Aileen (New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Freaky Friday [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie has always been my favorite non-animated Disney movie ever since I was a little kid. As I grew up, I grew up, I came to like it more and more each time I saw it. I think that every teenager thinks that their parents have an easy life. Likewise for most parents who sometimes don't remember what it's like to be a teenager.
The basic plotline is that Annabel Andrews and her mother Ellen have an argument and, by some strange coincidence, wish "I wish I could be her for just one day". BANG! They automatically switch minds. They both find that they would rather be in their own shoes than each other's.
I think that this movie deserves to be released on DVD. I highly recommend this version over the remade 1995 version with Shelley Long (of "Cheers" fame). If you had to pick one version to buy, this one--from 1976--is the better choice. There are some scenes which would make you laugh out loud and hard (like the scene in the car where they switch back and all of a sudden Annabel herself is driving (and she's only 13!) or the scene where "Annabel"--remember, her body has her mother's mind in it, and she really doesn't have a clue about most things that go on in Annabel's life--is taking a typing test and accidently destroys the all the typewriters in the room!).
As I said, this version is the better one. I highly recommend that even if you haven't seen it, you should buy or rent it. I guarantee you'll be glad you did. I always feel much better about myself each time I watch it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Disney, June 2, 2004
By 
James D. Leverton (San Marcos, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Freaky Friday (DVD)
At last, Disney DVD presents a fine, widescreen print of one of its '70's classics with an accompanying twenty-minute recollection by Jodie Foster of her formative years on the Disney lot. Although this DVD of the original "Freaky Friday" is not a special edition, it is exactly the kind of product we Disney fans and DVD purists have been begging for. Hopefully, good sales will lead to new widescreen releases of previously botched fullscreen DVDs of "Follow Me, Boys," "Son of Flubber," "The Gnome Mobile" and "Blackbeard's Ghost," among others.
One of the first of the popular body-switching genre, 1977's "Freaky Friday" is a fast-paced, perceptive comedy about a typical mother-and-daughter relationship and how the two react when they literally switch personalities for a day, with Foster's Annabel trapped in her mother's body, and Barbara Harris' Ellen going to junior high as Annabel. The complications are obvious but nonetheless funny and engaging, with Harris proving herself a skilled physical comedienne while skateboarding, playing baseball, and suffering through numerous pratfalls and humiliations. My only problem with Harris' performance is she seems to be playing Annabel too young--perhaps as a nine-year-old instead of a bright thirteen-year-old, so she's never entirely believable in the role. (Jamie Lee Curtis, on the other hand, nails the teenager-in-a-grownup-body role in the remake.) Foster, on the other hand, is just about perfect in her characterization of daughter/mother Annabel. Even in 1977 it was easy to see this phenomenal young talent was destined for great things as an actress. Indeed, "Freaky Friday" was part of an incredible string of top-notch performances Foster gave from 1973-1977 ("Tom Sawyer," "Echoes of a Summer," "Bugsy Malone," "Taxi Driver," "The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane" and "Candleshoe") that turned her into one of the finest (if not THE finest) child actresses of all time.
Rounding out the cast is a fine group of veteran actors: John Astin as Bill Andrews, Annabel's confused father; Patsy Kelly as the family's grumpy and unlikeable housekeeper; Dick Van Patten as Bill's boss; and Ruth Buzzi, in a funny cameo as a field hockey coach (her strategy: "Get Annabel Andrews and get her good!") Gary Nelson's direction is crisp, and the script by novelist Mary Rodgers perceptive for the time, although she was forced to change the plot somewhat to include that tired Disney '70's staple: a protracted slapstick car chase involving Ellen/Annabel outracing several police cars without facing any consequences whatsoever. Like most Disney films of the era, the production values are stellar and the film is colorful and reminiscent of a live-action cartoon. Even the opening cartoon-credit sequence is engaging.
Yes, there are some creepy sexual subtexts here (which Foster amusingly comments on in the documentary) involving Bill and neighbor-teen Boris (Marc McClure) both coming onto Ellen/Annabel, but they will go right over younger kids' heads and older kids will be as amused by it as their parents. Regardless, this is perfect family entertainment and will make a fine double-feature with the 2003 remake, which is equally good with its own merits. (I prefer Jamie Lee Curtis over Harris, and Foster over Lohan and think the remake is more successful in dealing with the sexual subtexts; i.e., the makers wisely scuttle the father's role and make Curtis a widow with a fiance played by Mark Harmon, which was the smartest of many changes made in the plot.)
So, once again, thank you, Disney, for a fine DVD of one of your best '70's films. Please, please, please follow this one up with more widescreen releases.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, February 1, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Freaky Friday [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie is the best! I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could. The basic plot is that its Friday the 13th, and Annabelle, 13, and her mother aren't getting along. Annebelle leaves for school. Annabelle is complaining to her friends about her mom, and her mom is complaining to her husband about Annabelle. At the same time, they say "I wish I could be her." Then, they switch. Annabelle's body has got her mom's mind in it, and her mom's body has got Annabelle's mind in it. Its a very good movie. Personally, I like it better than the remakes!Buy it today. Believe me, you'll enjoy it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hillarious!!!!, February 25, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Freaky Friday [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I must have seen this movie over 50 times and I still laugh hard outloud. It's a groovy movie to watch with friends. Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris are wonderful.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Totally Seventies, November 29, 2003
This review is from: Freaky Friday [VHS] (VHS Tape)
First off, it's not as good as the 2003 remake. But it's still good. Barbara Harris as the mother is a hoot, she really captures Jodie Foster's character. Jodie Foster's acting isn't quite up to Harris' level, or Lindsay Lohan's, twenty-six years later. Unfortunately, I didn't see Freaky Friday (1977) until after I had seen the remake, so I couldn't help but compare them as I watched.
The car chase scene at the end is too long, but otherwise the story hangs together (as long as you buy the premise of mother and daughter switching bodies) and is a lot of fun. Although I wouldn't call it sophisticated, sometimes the humor is aimed a bit higher than the pre-teen crowd. Watch John Astin as Annabelle's (Josie Foster) dad perk up when his wife (with his daughter's mind) accidentally calls him "Daddy." The relationship between Annabelle's would-be boyfriend Boris and Annabelle (in her mother's body) doesn't go anywhere, but you can see that Boris wouldn't mind if it did.
And I loved seeing all that Seventies decor again. Trippy, man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best movie ever, August 1, 2000
This review is from: Freaky Friday [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I love this movie! I laugh every time I see it, but no matter where I look I can't find it to buy it. I wish they would make more of this movie because it is fun for anybody that watches it. Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris are a great duo and play "each other" in a humorous way.
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Freaky Friday
Freaky Friday by Gary Nelson (DVD - 2004)
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