Like Father Like Son (1987 film)

Like Father Like Son is a 1987 American fantasy-comedy film starring Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron.

Like Father Like Son
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRod Daniel
Produced byBrian Grazer
David Valdes
Written bySteve Bloom
Lorne Cameron
David Hoselton
Music byMiles Goodman
Shelly Manne
CinematographyJames Crabe
Jack N. Green
Edited byLois Freeman-Fox
Distributed byTriStar Pictures
Release date
  • October 2, 1987 (1987-10-02)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$10.5 million[1]
Box office$34.4 million


Chris Hammond is a high school senior. He likes a girl at school (Lori) who happens to be dating his rival and bully Rick. His father, Jack, is a surgeon and working hard to get a promotion to the position of the chief of staff at his hospital. He also wants his son to become a doctor as well, but Chris is not interested. Chris's friend, Clarence "Trigger", has an uncle Earl who had been bitten by a snake whilst in the desert. Earl had his leg fixed by Native Americans with a body-switching potion called the "Brain-Transference Serum". Trigger shows Chris how the Brain-Transference Serum works by trying it out on Chris' cat and dog, and the pets switch bodies. Trigger brought the Brain Transference Serum in a Tabasco sauce bottle, and the Hammond's housekeeper Phyllis finds the bottle and puts it in the food cupboard. Jack unwittingly puts it in his Bloody Mary. The serum works by someone ingesting it, then the next person that looks into their eyes switches bodies with them. As Jack looks into his son's eyes while having a disagreement over a C grade on an important test, the father and son switch bodies.

Trigger states he will get in contact with his uncle Earl in order to find a way for the two to switch back, but Earl has just left for another trip. Chris goes to town in his dad's body, using his dad's credit card to shop and party with Trigger along for the ride. He bumps into his dad's boss's wife while out in a bar, but he doesn't realize who she is. She comes on to him and he accepts. The next day he gets called in to work at the private hospital where his dad works, and he ends up handing out a bunch of pills to patients while doing rounds. He also seconds a motion proposed by his dad's colleague, suggesting that the hospital could treat patients with no insurance; in Chris' words, the hospital should "screw the insurance".

Meanwhile, Jack has problems of his own in Chris' body. At school, his knowledge of the schoolwork and his willingness to point out troublemakers in class has him shunned by his fellow students. He takes his son's girlfriend Lori to a concert, but does not enjoy himself, finding the music too loud. He fails to perform at the big relay race, dropping the baton and attempting to dive to the finish line and coming up far short. Rick later beats him up because of the track meet and taking Lori out.

They finally get in touch with Earl, who explains that they can get the antidote if they go on a trip to Death Valley. After a few hiccups they finally find the key ingredient for the antidote. Trigger's uncle Earl makes it up and they drink it; however looking into each other's eyes, does not immediately work. Earl explains it can sometimes take a while to work. It finally works as Jack in Chris' body is running late for a meeting; he slips on the wet floor and knocks a woman out of the window at school. Chris in Jack's body is on his way to a meeting about his dad becoming Chief of Staff at the hospital, which won't happen now that Jack's boss found out what Chris did with his wife while in Jack's body. Now back in their own bodies, both of them race to the hospital, although Chris takes time to knock out Rick. They go in Jack's car, wrecking it along the way. Chris speaks up at the Chief of Staff meeting to try and persuade his dad's boss to give his dad the job, but his boss won't hear it. Jack walks in at this point and says he doesn't want the Chief of Staff job anymore; he would much rather spend the overtime with his son instead. They go home, but on the way out, Trigger sees Rick and gives him the Brain-Transference Serum. The next person that looks into his eyes is none other than Jack's employer; Dr. Larry Armbruster.



The film received negative reviews, particularly by famed film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert. Ebert called it "one of the most desperately bad comedies I've ever seen", but Siskel showed even more aggressive derision and hatred towards the film, calling it a "cheap marketing decision masquerading as a comedy". [2][3]

Box office

The film debuted at No. 2 behind Fatal Attraction.[4]


Home media

Like Father Like Son was released on VHS in 1988 and re-released in 1991. The DVD was released by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment in 2004. The Double Feature 2-DVD Set with the film and Vice Versa by Columbia Pictures was released on October 07, 2008 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.


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