The Man Called Flintstone is a 1966 American animated comedy film produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and released by Columbia Pictures. It was the second Hanna-Barbera feature, after Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! (1964). The film is a theatrical spin-off of the 1960-66 television series, The Flintstones, and is a swan song (series finale) of the show, made immediately following the end of production on the series. The working title of the film was That Man Flintstone, with the film poster featuring Fred in the same pose of the Bob Peak poster for Our Man Flint. The film is a parody of the James Bond films.
This film was the first feature film voice role for Betty Rubble's voice actress Gerry Johnson. Additionally, it marked the first voice work of Henry Corden, who supplied Fred's singing voice, and would go on to fully assume the role of Fred after Alan Reed's death in 1977. While the film includes numerous musical interludes, including one song performed by Louis Prima, the theme song from the show itself is not used. However, plots from several episodes of the TV series are used, including an episode in which Fred becomes involved in a spy caper spoofing Goldfinger, and another in which he encounters JL Gotrocks, the world's richest man, and his exact double.
|The Man Called Flintstone|
|Directed by||Joseph Barbera|
|Produced by||Joseph Barbera|
|Screenplay by||Harvey Bullock|
|Based on||The Flintstones, by Hanna-Barbera|
Jean Vander Pyl
|Music by||Doug Goodwin (songs)|
John McCarthy (songs)
Ted Nichols (score)
Marty Paich (score)
|Edited by||Larry C. Cowan|
David M. Horton
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
In the opening scene, secret agent Rock Slag, who is physically identical to Fred Flintstone, is being chased through Bedrock. His pursuers, Ali and Bobo, think that they have finally killed him when they push him off a building. Meanwhile, the Flintstones and Rubbles prepare for a camping vacation which includes trying to drop Dino and Hoppy off at the veterinarian. On the way back, Fred crashes Barney's car, and they make a stop at the hospital where Rock Slag is also recovering. After Ali and Bobo find Rock and put him out of commission, Chief Boulder of the Secret Service enlists Fred to take his place in Paris for a special meeting. His assignment is to meet Tanya, the #1 female lieutenant of master criminal the Green Goose, who has agreed to turn over the Green Goose in return for a chance to meet the irresistible Rock Slag. Rock is not sure that this is such a good idea but the Chief reassures him that he will keep an eye on Fred.
Thinking that the Green Goose is an actual bird, Fred tells his family that their vacation has become an all-expense paid trip to Eurock. Barney and Fred return all the camping gear and use the money to buy the Rubbles tickets to go along. Meanwhile, Ali and Bobo make several attempts on Fred's life assuming that he is Rock Slag. Once in Paris, the Chief tells Fred that he must now go to Rome instead, with the help of master of disguise Triple X. Fred makes attempts to sneak away from Wilma to meet with Tanya, but ends up spending the night trying to escape all of Rock's female admirers. After missing a date with Wilma, Fred buys her a "genuine imitation diamond necklace" from a street hustler to make it up to her, but finds that she slept soundly through the night without even realizing that he was missing.
Discovering the Chief's secret office, Fred tries to back out of his assignment but after finding out what the Green Goose really is, he has pangs of guilt over Pebbles' future and makes an excuse to get away and meet Tanya at a restaurant. Unfortunately, Wilma and the Rubbles go to the same restaurant and catch them together - thinking that Fred is having an affair. Rock actually shows up to replace Fred, but gets mistakenly pounded by an angry Wilma, Betty and Barney and ends up out of commission again. Tanya then leads Fred to the Green Goose (whose hideout is at an abandoned amusement park), but he is unaware that the Chief has been taken out by Ali and Bobo, so he has no back-up. Barney, meanwhile, has followed Fred to see what this is all about, and they both end up captured by the Green Goose. Barney is tortured in an effort to get Fred, who is believed to be Rock, to give him secret information. Fred refuses to talk, despite Barney's torture.
The Green Goose, who is revealed to be Triple X, makes plans to launch his deadly inter-rockinental missile, which is disguised as the park's space ride. Fred and Barney accidentally lock themselves inside the missile until the Green Goose overhears that Fred has an "expensive" necklace on him. When he opens the door to get at the necklace, the boys turn the tables on Triple X and lock him in the missile with Ali, Bobo and Tanya—with the target now reset for outer space, sending them all to an unknown fate.
A huge welcome home ceremony is held in Bedrock for the return of Fred, now considered a hero, but he is just grateful to be back home with his family (after the restaurant mishap is cleared), who head on a secret getaway. Unfortunately, Roberta, one of Rock's admirers whom Fred met in Rome, and her brother Mario have secretly moved into Bedrock, and they chase Fred all over town, much to the confusion of Wilma, Barney, and Betty.
|The Man Called Flintstone|
(Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Variety gave The Man Called Flintstone a positive review on August 10, 1966, calling the production "excellent" and noting that the "stone-age scenery and machinery are mildly amusing and sometimes highly inventive". The review judges that the plot is a fast-moving and clever spoof of contemporary spy films.
In 2005, a North American DVD version was released by Warner Home Video. However, owing to licensing complications between Warner Bros. (current owners of the Flintstones property) and Sony (current owners of then-Flintstones distributor Columbia Pictures/Screen Gems), only a Canadian release occurred; a United States release was canceled and would not be rescheduled until the rights issue was cleared in August 2008.
In 2010, the film was made available as a download through the iTunes Store. Unlike the DVD release (which is 4:3 Open Matte), the iTunes version is presented in a "matted" widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1.