A young woman who's attempting to find her place in the world battles with her controlling mother and a womanizing husband finds comfort and confusion with the appearance of her childhood friend. It is a zappy movie that emphasizes self-actualization. Written by
PolyGram and Working Title Films did not have US distribution divisions at the time. They often relied on other distributors to handle US distribution for their movies. They were both struggling to find a US distributor to sell the film to. They showed the final cut of Drop Dead Fred to various distributors including Orion Pictures, Miramax Films, The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Vestron Pictures, TriStar Pictures, MGM/UA, and 20th Century Fox. All of them called the film "a depressing children's movie on drugs" and turned the movie down. They even brought it to The Geffen Film Company. But they turned it down because they felt the movie was a rip off of Beetlejuice (1988), which Geffen distributed 3 years earlier. Finally they showed the film to New Line Cinema. New Line CEO Robert Shaye and executive Michael DeLuca bashed and hated the movie with Shaye allegedly calling the movie "horseshit". But fellow executive Sara Risher was the only one who liked the movie. She felt that the character of Drop Dead Fred was a comedic reversal of Freddy Krueger in their A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) franchise. New Line at that time was also trying to find another "Freddy Krueger" character, as they were ending the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise with Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) the same year. For the next few days, Risher kept trying to convince Robert Shaye to buy the rights to the movie. Shaye finally agreed, but decided to only handle the theatrical and TV rights. He insisted on finding a different distributor to handle the video rights. Shaye tried selling them to Media Home Entertainment and HBO Video without any success. He finally sold the video rights to LIVE Entertainment who also bought the home video rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) from New Line a year earlier. See more »
The jack-in-the-box starts playing quickly in the middle of the night. When Elizabeth turns on the light it stops, but when it starts playing again, it's at a different part in the music. See more »
And the prince took the beautiful young girl in his arms and said, will you marry me? Yes, she whispered, I will be your princess.
Did they live happily ever after?
Of course, Elizabeth.
[tucking her in]
How do you know?
Because she was a good little girl. If she had been naughty, the prince would have run away.
What a pile of shit!
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If they make them sexier than Phoebe Cates I want their addresses!
Here's a little gem most everyone hated and totally misunderstood! Able to be loved by younger kids and laughed-at by the more "balanced" adults, DROP DEAD FRED is just fun. That's all it was ever meant to be! My children "grew up" with this film in our library and we have seen it probably 30 - 40 times over the years.
For those with absolutely no humor or sense of childhood-wonder still, you would be doing yourself a big favor to miss this flick. Rik Mayall (who never cut it for me particularly) is Phoebe's imaginary childhood friend made flesh and come back to haunt her. True, he is tasteless, inspirationally trouble-making and a straight-up fruit-cake, but surely wouldn't that make for the ideal imaginary friend? I laughed at the reviewer claimed "her" imaginary friend had way better taste and wouldn't be seen dead acting like "Fred"....pity her! I had one too...a couple of back-ups even and they would have LOVED Fred!
The entire point of the film is brought to bear at the very conclusion of the film when Phoebe realises she has finally grown up and Fred knows it is time to "move-on." Personally I found this extremely touching, but there again, I never grew up!
Manic Mayall was born for this one role and he makes the most of it. The restaurant scene with Cates, who is just so cool, elegant and stylish throughout, is laugh-out-loud funny...again, IF you have a sense of humor. Prudes may well be offended by some of Mayall's antics, my four children weren't! Slate the film all you wish, it remains a total ONE-OFF.....name another like it!
Wonderful little bit of stupidity and like I said, if they make them cuter than Cates, I've missed the boat!
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