Freaky Friday (1976)

G | 95 mins | Comedy | 17 December 1976

Director:

Gary Nelson

Writer:

Mary Rodgers

Producer:

Ron Miller

Cinematographer:

Charles F. Wheeler

Production Designers:

John Mansbridge, Jack Senter

Production Company:

Walt Disney Productions
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HISTORY

       Opening credits feature an animated sequence, highlighted by the theme song “I’d Like To Be You For A Day.”
       On 19 Oct 1973, Var announced that Marty Ehrlichman, producer and manager to Barbra Streisand, was developing Mary Rodgers’ 1972 children’s novel Freaky Friday, and several days later, a 24 Oct 1973 Var news item announced that Streisand’s independent company, First Artists, had acquired the property for release through National General. However, the project remained in limbo several years until a 28 Oct 1975 Var brief noted that the picture was set for filming with Walt Disney Productions. While the 16 Jan 1976 Var announced that principal photography was scheduled to begin 22 Mar 1976 in Los Angeles and San Diego, CA, with a screen adaptation by Mary Rodgers, daughter of famed composer Richard Rodgers, a 23 Mar 1976 Var news item stated that the start date had been moved to 29 Mar 1976. The film made its final appearance on Var production charts 11 Jun 1976. On 16 Dec 1976, Var announced that the picture was scheduled to screen for one week that month in Los Angeles to qualify for Academy Award consideration, and national release was planned for Feb 1977.
       While the picture received lukewarm reviews, it fared well at the box office; according to a 20 Apr 1977 Var brief, the film grossed approximately $12 million by that time, nearly three months after its general release. On 22 Jun 1977, Var announced that Freaky Friday grossed $20,000 in the ... More Less

       Opening credits feature an animated sequence, highlighted by the theme song “I’d Like To Be You For A Day.”
       On 19 Oct 1973, Var announced that Marty Ehrlichman, producer and manager to Barbra Streisand, was developing Mary Rodgers’ 1972 children’s novel Freaky Friday, and several days later, a 24 Oct 1973 Var news item announced that Streisand’s independent company, First Artists, had acquired the property for release through National General. However, the project remained in limbo several years until a 28 Oct 1975 Var brief noted that the picture was set for filming with Walt Disney Productions. While the 16 Jan 1976 Var announced that principal photography was scheduled to begin 22 Mar 1976 in Los Angeles and San Diego, CA, with a screen adaptation by Mary Rodgers, daughter of famed composer Richard Rodgers, a 23 Mar 1976 Var news item stated that the start date had been moved to 29 Mar 1976. The film made its final appearance on Var production charts 11 Jun 1976. On 16 Dec 1976, Var announced that the picture was scheduled to screen for one week that month in Los Angeles to qualify for Academy Award consideration, and national release was planned for Feb 1977.
       While the picture received lukewarm reviews, it fared well at the box office; according to a 20 Apr 1977 Var brief, the film grossed approximately $12 million by that time, nearly three months after its general release. On 22 Jun 1977, Var announced that Freaky Friday grossed $20,000 in the first week of its “reissue run.”
       Disney followed Freaky Friday with two remakes of the same name, a 1995 television movie starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman, and a 2003 feature film pairing Jamie Lee Curtis with Lindsay Lohan (see entry).



The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and note were written by participant Jeffrey McCluskey, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, with Jonathan Furner as academic advisor.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
23 Dec 1976
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
20 Dec 1976
p. 15.
New York Times
29 Jan 1977.
---
Variety
19 Oct 1973.
---
Variety
24 Oct 1973.
---
Variety
28 Oct 1975.
---
Variety
16 Jan 1976.
---
Variety
23 Mar 1976.
---
Variety
11 Jun 1976.
---
Variety
16 Dec 1976.
---
Variety
22 Dec 1976
p. 22.
Variety
20 Apr 1977.
---
Variety
22 Jun 1977.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd supv
Sd mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Titles
Titles
MAKEUP
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers (New York, 1972).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"I'd Like to Be You for a Day," words and music Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn.
DETAILS
Release Date:
17 December 1976
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 17 December 1976
New York opening: 28 January 1977
Production Date:
29 March--early June 1976 in Los Angeles and San Diego, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Copyright Date:
19 January 1977
Copyright Number:
LP46956
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Photophone Sound Recording
Color
Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
95
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
24738
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Thirteen-year-old Annabel Andrews awakens to the sound of her clock radio, which announces the date as Friday the thirteenth. As Annabel hurries to school, her mother, housewife Ellen Andrews, reminds Annabel of an orthodontist appointment that afternoon, and her father, a public relations executive named William “Bill” Waring Andrews, calls out “aquacade,” referring to Annabel’s starring role in a waterskiing showcase for his firm that evening. While Ellen washes laundry and complains about Annabel’s flailing academic achievement, Annabel stops at a local diner to meet friends and protests her mother’s nitpicking. Simultaneously, Annabel and Ellen wish aloud to trade places with each other “for just one day.” As mother and daughter telepathically switch places, Ellen’s mind becomes trapped inside the body of a teenager while Annabel’s immature personality is embodied in her mother’s adult physique. Annabel, as Ellen, phones home to inquire about the behavior of her counterpart and learns that her mother is acting as she would, listening to a pocket radio and popping bubbles with her chewing gum. With her suspicions about the transfer confirmed, Annabel adopts Ellen’s parental tone and tells her friends what has happened: her body is now hosting her mother’s mind. However, Annabel’s friends assume she is joking and walk away, pretending to be their own mothers. Ellen follows the girls to school in Annabel’s shoes and learns that teenagers have little faith in their own mothers. Back at the Andrews house, Annabel, in the body of Ellen, loses patience with her younger brother, Ben, and gives him sugar cereal for breakfast in lieu of cooking a hot meal. As Bill leaves for work, listing ... +


Thirteen-year-old Annabel Andrews awakens to the sound of her clock radio, which announces the date as Friday the thirteenth. As Annabel hurries to school, her mother, housewife Ellen Andrews, reminds Annabel of an orthodontist appointment that afternoon, and her father, a public relations executive named William “Bill” Waring Andrews, calls out “aquacade,” referring to Annabel’s starring role in a waterskiing showcase for his firm that evening. While Ellen washes laundry and complains about Annabel’s flailing academic achievement, Annabel stops at a local diner to meet friends and protests her mother’s nitpicking. Simultaneously, Annabel and Ellen wish aloud to trade places with each other “for just one day.” As mother and daughter telepathically switch places, Ellen’s mind becomes trapped inside the body of a teenager while Annabel’s immature personality is embodied in her mother’s adult physique. Annabel, as Ellen, phones home to inquire about the behavior of her counterpart and learns that her mother is acting as she would, listening to a pocket radio and popping bubbles with her chewing gum. With her suspicions about the transfer confirmed, Annabel adopts Ellen’s parental tone and tells her friends what has happened: her body is now hosting her mother’s mind. However, Annabel’s friends assume she is joking and walk away, pretending to be their own mothers. Ellen follows the girls to school in Annabel’s shoes and learns that teenagers have little faith in their own mothers. Back at the Andrews house, Annabel, in the body of Ellen, loses patience with her younger brother, Ben, and gives him sugar cereal for breakfast in lieu of cooking a hot meal. As Bill leaves for work, listing Ellen’s duties, Ellen unwittingly calls her husband “daddy” and skateboards down the driveway. While Annabel struggles onto a bus, Ellen applies makeup as if for the first time and overstuffs the washing machine, provoking an eruption of suds. At school, Annabel flounders through her school routine, letting light into the photographic dark room and triggering an electrical explosion during a typewriting exam. Back at home, Ellen finds herself suddenly unfamiliar with the duties of a housewife and is overwhelmed by the demanding influx of servicemen and neighbors; she fires the housekeeper, Mrs. Schmauss, when she complains about Annabel. Meanwhile, at Bill’s office, the executives warn Bill that the aquacade must be performed without a hitch because the company is courting important clients, and Bill assures his superiors that Annabel is an impeccable water-skier. In her efforts to prepare for the evening, Ellen takes over Mrs. Schmauss’s work, but becomes bored and decides to phone the boy across the street, Boris Harris, with whom Annabel is besotted. When Boris delivers the cat food she requested, Ellen struggles to impress the boy, who is home from school with an allergy; they go for a walk and break a neighbor’s window with a boomerang. Meanwhile, Annabel shows off her newfound knowledge of the Korean War in history class and alienates her friends. Later, Annabel fails to perform during a field hockey game even though she is the star player. Although she rallies for a comeback, she unwittingly scores a winning goal for the opposing team. Meanwhile, Ellen picks young Ben up from school, impresses his friends by joining their baseball game, and learns of the boy’s affection for his older sister. Returning home, Ellen receives a phone call from Bill, who is panicked because the aquacade’s caterer has dropped out; he orders his wife to cook a buffet for twenty-five partygoers and Annabel, in her mother’s role, realizes the injustice of male chauvinism. Meanwhile, Annabel visits Bill’s office and is displeased to encounter his sexy new secretary, Lucille Gibbons. Speaking for her mother, Annabel gives Lucille a stern warning to stay away from Bill, then asks to borrow Bill’s credit cards for a shopping spree once her braces are removed that afternoon. At home, Ellen stuffs a turkey for the buffet and learns she is late for a meeting with Annabel’s school principal, Mr. Dilk, so she hires Boris to babysit Ben and asks him to make chocolate mousse. While Annabel enjoys her braces-free teeth and gets a makeover, Ellen attends the school meeting and learns that Annabel is a promising but rebellious student. Returning home, Ellen discovers Ben covered with mousse and the turkey charred. Just then, Bill calls, upset that the food has not yet arrived. Rustling up groceries, Ellen admits to Boris that she is really Annabel, stuck in her mother’s body, and begs him to drive to the aquacade because she does not have a license, but Boris does not believe her. As Ellen haphazardly maneuvers her Volkswagen Beetle to the marina with Boris and Ben in tow, police give chase. Meanwhile, Annabel arrives at the show but is too terrified to water ski. Although she confesses to Bill that she is actually Ellen, embodied by Annabel, he refuses to accept the claim and demands that his daughter join the performance. As Ellen races toward the marina and Annabel speeds toward a treacherous water ski jump, mother and daughter simultaneously wish to be back in their own bodies; Annabel’s body appears in the Beetle, dressed in her water ski uniform, as Ellen materializes on water skis in a black cocktail gown. Watching from a nearby float, Bill’s superior, Harold Jennings, wonders why Ellen is water skiing and another executive quickly covers for Bill, explaining the show is a “mother-daughter act.” While Annabel outmaneuvers the police, Ellen soars through the air as her water ski hang glider detaches from a speedboat, but mother and daughter are reunited as the Beetle crashes off a pier and Ellen lands in the marina. Surfacing in the water, Ellen and Annabel embrace and declare their newfound love for one another. Meanwhile, Jennings is unimpressed by the show and Bill attempts to appease him, but the men’s clients break into laughter as their float sinks into the bay. Back at the Andrews house, Boris admires Annabel’s new look and she delights her brother Ben by inviting him to join them on their date. Bill tries to understand the events of the day and Ellen is uncooperative, leading Bill to exclaim that mother and daughter have become one and the same. When Bill and Ben compare their weekend plans, they simultaneously wish to change places as Ellen and Annabel cover their eyes in dread. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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