The Brady Bunch Movie

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The Brady Bunch Movie
Brady bunch movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Betty Thomas
Produced by Alan Ladd, Jr.
David Kirkpatrick
Sherwood Schwartz
Written by Bonnie Turner
Terry Turner
Laurice Elehawny
Rick Copp
Based on Characters 
by Sherwood Schwartz
Starring Gary Cole
Shelley Long
Henriette Mantel
Christopher Daniel Barnes
Christine Taylor
Paul Sutera
Jennifer Elise Cox
Jesse Lee
Alanna Ubach
Olivia Hack
Music by Guy Moon
Cinematography Mac Ahlberg
Edited by Peter Teschner
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • February 17, 1995 (1995-02-17)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12,000,000[1]
Box office $54,076,136 (Worldwide)

The Brady Bunch Movie is a 1995 American comedy film based on the 1969–1974 television series The Brady Bunch. The film features all the original regular characters, all played by new actors. It also took the unusual route of placing the original sitcom characters, with their 1970s fashion sense and 1970s sitcom family morality, in a contemporary 1990s setting, and parodied the resulting culture clash. The film was followed by A Very Brady Sequel in 1996 and a television film called The Brady Bunch in the White House in 2002. This film was the first by Paramount Pictures under Viacom ownership.

Plot[edit]

The film opens with a montage of scenes reflecting life in the 1990s, with heavy traffic, rushing commuters, and homeless people on the street. Larry Dittmeyer (Michael McKean), an unscrupulous real estate developer, explains to his boss that almost all the families in his neighborhood have agreed to sell their property as part of a plan to turn the area into a shopping mall. The only exception is one family, which prompts his angry boss to ask, "What's their story?" which leads into the opening blue-box credits of The Brady Bunch.

The concept of the film is that although it is set in the 1990s, the Brady family are still portrayed as their 1970s television incarnations and are unaware of the disparity between their lives and their surroundings. The parents, Mike (Gary Cole) and Carol (Shelley Long), are having breakfast prepared by their housekeeper, Alice (Henriette Mantel), while the six children prepare for school. Jan (Jennifer Elise Cox) is jealous of her elder, popular sister Marcia (Christine Taylor); Cindy (Olivia Hack) is tattling about everything she's hearing; Greg (Christopher Daniel Barnes) is dreaming of becoming a singer; Peter (Paul Sutera) is nervous that his voice is breaking; Bobby (Jesse Lee) is excited about his new role as hall monitor at school.

Cindy gives Mike and Carol a tax delinquency notice (which was earlier mistakenly delivered to the Dittmeyers) stating that they face foreclosure on their house if they do not pay $20,000 in back taxes. The two initially ignore the crisis, but when Mike's architectural design is turned down by two potential clients, he tells Carol that they may have to sell the house. Cindy overhears this and tells her siblings and they look for work to raise money to save the house, but their earnings are nowhere near enough to reach the required sum.

In a subplot, Marcia is asked by popular Doug Simpson (Shane Conrad) to go to the school dance with him, when she had already promised to go with nerdy Charlie Anderson (R.D. Robb). She explains the "difficulty" of the choice to her best friend, Noreen (Alanna Ubach), unaware that she is a lesbian and is herself attracted to Marcia. Marcia ends up breaking her promise to Charlie. On the night of the dance, Doug takes her to a lookout point where he French kisses her, only for her to say that she's not interested. He abandons her at the side of the road, but she is rescued when a limousine arrives. She later arrives at the dance and introduces the star performer of the night, Davy Jones. He gets a rousing reception from the teachers, and when the backing rock band charges up his performance, the kids respond, too. Marcia apologizes to Charlie, who forgives her and asks her to dance with him.

Larry discovers that the Bradys have past-due property taxes and confronts Mike, only to learn that he has finally sold one of his designs and has the money he needs. Larry secretly meets with the client, claiming (falsely) that Mike's design resulted in a building collapse, which causes him to lose his advance. On the night before the Bradys have to move out, Marcia suggests that they enter a "Search for the Stars" contest, the prize of which is exactly $20,000. Jan, having originally suggested this and been rejected, runs away from home. Cindy sees her leave and tattles, and the whole family goes on a search for her. They use their car's C.B. radio, and their transmission is heard by Schultzy (Ann B. Davis, who played Alice in the original series), a driver who picks up Jan and convinces her to return home.

The next day, the children join the "Search for the Stars" contest with a dated performance that receives poor audience response compared to the more modern performances of other bands. However, the judges — Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork, all of the 1960s band The Monkees — vote for them, and they win the contest as a result. The tax bill is paid and their neighbors withdraw their homes from the market, foiling Larry's plan and securing the neighborhood.

The film ends with the arrival of Carol's mother (Florence Henderson, who played Carol in the original series), who finally convinces Jan to stop obsessing over Marcia, only for Cindy to start feeling jealous of Jan.

In the end credits, the Bradys are in their traditional blue boxes, but are updated for the time and include various humorous outtakes, such as Marcia taking over Jan's box, and grandma coming into Peter's box.

Cast[edit]

Cameos by original Brady Bunch actors

Production[edit]

The film was shot almost entirely in Los Angeles, California, with the Brady house being located in Sherman Oaks. The school scenes were shot at Taft High School in Woodland Hills. Some scenes were filmed at Bowcraft amusement park in Scotch Plains, NJ.

The producers had sought to film the original house that had been used for exterior shots during the original Brady Bunch series, but the owner of the Studio City, California home refused to restore the property to its 1969 appearance. Instead, the filmmakers erected a facade around a house in nearby Encino and filmed scenes in the front yard.

Reception[edit]

The film's response among critics has been mixed to positive. It bears a 63% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the consensus stating, "Though lightweight and silly, The Brady Bunch Movie still charms as homage to the 70s sitcom." The film opened at #1 at the box office with $14,827,066 and grossed $46,576,136, in the US and Canada and $7,500,000 overseas making a total gross of $54,076,136 worldwide.

Censorship[edit]

A number of scenes shown in trailers were cut at the last minute because producer Sherwood Schwartz objected. These included a grunge band scene in the garage with Greg and Eddie, and a seduction scene between Mrs. Dittmeyer and Peter. Some of these scenes were edited back in for the network TV showings, but not for the DVD edition.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IMDb". Amazon.com. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "IMDb, Brady Bunch Movie Trivia". Amazon.com. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 

External links[edit]