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The Flintstones (1994 film)

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Flintstones

The Flintstones (1994); Fred Flintstone is promoted to vice president, but is later forced to lay-off his friend and fellow quarry-worker Barney Rubble, which he later regrets. John Goodman, a known left-winger, is among the cast

The Flintstones is a live-action Comedy Movie, based on William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's TV cartoon of the same name. The film was directed by Brian Levant and stars John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Elizabeth Perkins, Rosie O'Donnell, Kyle MacLachlan, Halle Berry and Elizabeth Taylor.

Despite receiving mainly bad reviews, The Flintstones was among the 1994 blockbusters (others include The Lion King, Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction), grossing $341,631,208 over a $46 million budget.

The film also tends to support liberal values through its themes includind; bankrupcy,  financial problems, Capitalism and upper-class snoberry.

SynopsisEdit

The film begins with Slate and Co. senior executive, Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan), and his secretary, Sharon Stone (Halle Berry), observing the company quarry workers in the gravel pits while discussing their plan to swindle into fortune and flee, though they agree that they need a stooge to take the fall for it. This leads to a live-action version of the TV intro, which sees quarry worker, Fred Flintstone (John Goodman), finishing Work and taking his Family; wife, Wilma (Elizabeth Perkins), daughter, Pebbles, and Dino, their pet dinosaur to the cinema to see the movie.

As the drive-in movie begins, Fred and his workmate, neighbour and best friend Barney Rubble (Rick Moranis) are finishing work for the day. Fred has loaned Barney Money, so that Barney and his wife Betty (Rosie O'Donnell) can adopt a Child named Bamm-Bamm who can only pronounce his own name. Bamm-Bamm is difficult to control, partially due to him being raised by a family known as the Masterdons, as well as superstrong. Despite that, he warms up to his new family. Grateful of Fred's loan, Barney promises to pay him back. However, Fred receives an unwelcome visit from Wilma's mother, Pearl Slaghoople (Elizabeth Taylor), who confronts him for 'robbing the nest egg' as opposed to stealing their money and wasting it. Wilma remains supportive of Fred however.

Cliff arranges for an appetude test where the worker with the highest score gets promoted as Vice President. Barney succeeds with the questions, but Fred struggles. Barney, remembering his vows and feeling sorry for Fred, switches test 'papers' with Fred's. As a result, Fred receives the promotion, but his first order from Cliff is to fire Barney, since Barney now has the lowest score in the quarry. Fred reluctantly does so. However, while Wilma and Betty are on a shopping trip, Bamm-Bamm vandalises some valuable items around the store, which bankrupts the Rubbles. The Flintstones do their very best to help their friends through their financial issues. Eventually, they allow the Rubbles to live with them, so they can rent out their home.

However, Sharon seduces Fred and the joy of his new job causes trouble for the families' friendships. The Rubbles are put off by Fred and Wilma's snobbish behaviour. One night, they attend a restaurant where Barney is working as a waiter. Barney sees a news report indicating that Fred has laid off all the remaining quarry workers. He confronts Fred, leading to an argument between both families and Barney confessing the test-switch he made. The Rubbles eventually move out and Wilma, feeling bad about them, reprimands Fred for his behaviour. She leaves him to live with her mother taking Pebbles with her.

Fred attends the quarry, surrounded by an angry mob consisting of the ex-workers. He realises his mistake and Cliff's plot, only to learn that Cliff has engineered a scheme to frame Fred, as if he embezzed the money. Fred contacts the Cops. A manhunt for Fred ensues, by the police and the protesters. Wilma and Betty reunite and see the news report. They break into Slate and Co, seeking help from the dictabird, who can clear Fred. Fred attempts to hide in the workers refuge, but they encounter him and attempt to Lynch him. Barney enters, now working as a snow cone vendor, and is almost Hanged along with Fred as he admits his part. Luckily Wilma, Betty and the dictabird arrive just before execution and the dictabird confesses that Cliff was responsible for all the lay-offs. Fred and Barney are saved and they make up.

Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty arrive home only to find Pearl tied up, learning that Cliff has witnessed Wilma and Betty taking the dictabird. In response, he has kidnapped both Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and cons Fred to bring back the bird without contacting the police. The next morning, Fred and Barney confront Cliff and find the children trapped on a huge machine which Cliff has used to work on his capitalist scheme. The Bird is returned, but Cliff sets off the machine. Barney rescues the children while Fred destroys the machine. The bird lures Cliff back to the quarry and Sharon knocks him out, after she learned that Cliff planned to betray her. The police, joined by Wilma and Betty, arrive and Cliff attempts to flee, but is stopped by a falling substance which engulfs and traps him after turning solid.

Fred is cleared of all charges and Sharon is arrested, though Fred is optimistic that she will later be cleared. Mr. Slate is impressed with the concrete substance and promotes Fred as president of the division. But Fred turns the offer down after negative experiences with wealth and wishes for his old job back. Mr. Slate accepts. The families make up and Fred and Barney squabble when Fred persuades Barney to give him money for breakfast.

The film ends with a live-action version of the cartoon's famous ending.

Left-wing valuesEdit

The Flintstones movie covers a variety of themes that are common to most left-wing films;

  • The film attacks capitalism; Cliff cons Fred to lay-off the quarry workers and it is revealed towards the end that Cliff built a large machine which does similar(ish) work that the quarry workers did.
  • The film sympathises with the Unemployed; in one scene, Wilma comforts Betty who is upset following the bankrupcy and is worried that social services will confiscate Bamm-Bamm, who she only just adopted. In a few other scenes, Fred comes across the quarry workers who are protesting angrily, due to the loss of their jobs.
  • Cliff Vandercave is a conservative villain, which is another common factor for a left-wing film, hence his unsympathetic lay-offs and selfish get-rich-quick plans. When he orders Fred to fire Barney, Fred tries to reason with him that Barney has only just adopted a child. Cliff dismisses it, telling Fred "If you don't fire him, I'll do it, and then I'll fire you".

On a minor point, most of the main cast are known liberals. These include John Goodman, Rosie O'Donnell (who is a lesbian and supports LGBT rights), Halle Berry and Elizabeth Taylor (who hated the Iraq War). Steven Spielberg, one of the executive producers, is another known liberal. He supported Gay marriage in California [1] and has raised money for the US Democratic Party. [2]

Brian Levant previous directed another left-wing film, Beethoven, a film that attacks animal experimentation and abuse.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Steven Spielberg joins campaign to prevent gay marriage ban
  2. Steven Spielberg

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