MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 937 this week

In Search of America (1971)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  23 March 1971 (USA)
5.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 107 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 2 critic

A college dropout convinces his family to re-examine its goals and gets them to leave it all for a cross-country odyssey in a 1928 Greyhound bus.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 60 titles
created 01 Sep 2011
 
a list of 157 titles
created 15 Sep 2011
 
a list of 5 titles
created 09 Oct 2011
 
a list of 7 titles
created 13 Jun 2012
 
a list of 1997 titles
created 22 Apr 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: In Search of America (TV Movie 1971)

In Search of America (TV Movie 1971) on IMDb 5.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of In Search of America.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pablo (2012)
Animation | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Pablo blends documentary and animation elements to tell the saga of "famous unknown" Pablo Ferro, a man with a personal journey that spans from Havana, during the pre-Cuban revolution to ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Goldgewicht
Stars: Andrew Ableson, Julian Barry, Richard Benjamin
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, George Kennedy
Rancho Deluxe (1975)
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two drifters, of widely varying backgrounds, rustle cattle and try to avoid being caught in contemporary Montana.

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston, Elizabeth Ashley
Western | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Lewis Tater writes Wild West dime novels and dreams of actually becoming a cowboy. When he goes west to find his dream he finds himself in possession of the loot box of two crooks who tried... See full summary »

Director: Howard Zieff
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, Donald Pleasence
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A group of 1950s high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both economically and culturally.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd
Texasville (1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Summer, 1984: 30 years after Duane captained the high school football team and Jacy was homecoming queen, this Texas town near Wichita Falls prepares for its centennial. Oil prices are down... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A gangster hires an ex-football player to find his girlfriend. When he finds her, they fall in love, and the twists start to appear.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges, James Woods
Cutter's Way (1981)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter.

Director: Ivan Passer
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jack is now out of jail and he meets Nick, his adolescent son. Their relationship will be complicated, because Jack has a problem with alcohol. But his love for Nick will help him to get over the past and reach his dreams.

Director: Martin Bell
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Edward Furlong, John Boylan
Hidden in America (TV Movie 1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Story of a man Bill Januson whose pride in being the head of his family won't let him accept help from his sick daughters doctor. He has to prove to his kids that even with the death of his... See full summary »

Director: Martin Bell
Stars: Beau Bridges, Bruce Davison, Shelton Dane
Stay Hungry (1976)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A syndicate wants to buy a whole district to rebuild it. They've bought every house except the small gym "Olympic", where Mr. Austria Joe Santo prepares for the Mr. Universum championships ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Sally Field, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two rustic families, headed by patriarchs Laban Feather and Pap Gutshall, are feuding. At first, it is comical, with just the sons of the two families playing tricks on each other. But soon... See full summary »

Director: Richard C. Sarafian
Stars: Rod Steiger, Robert Ryan, Jeff Bridges
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Betz ...
Ben Olson
...
Jenny Olson
...
Grandma Rose
...
Mike Olson
Renne Jarrett ...
Kathy
...
Ray Chandler
...
Cora Chandler
...
Nick
...
J.J.
...
Anne
...
Bodhi
Chris Gilmore ...
Girl (as Annette Ferra)
George Wallace ...
Clarence
Mary Gail Hobbs ...
Claire
Jeff Siggins ...
Announcer
Edit

Storyline

A college dropout convinces his family to re-examine its goals and gets them to leave it all for a cross-country odyssey in a 1928 Greyhound bus.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Laughably dated, but surprisingly watchable; recommended for all Jeff Bridges fans
29 March 2006 | by (Dollars, Taxes) – See all my reviews

This film surprised me; I didn't expect it to even be worth the $1 price of the horrible Digiview catalog, but it turned out to be nicely acted. Veteran TV toilers Ruth McDevvit, Carl Betz, Vera Miles, Howard Duff and even Sal Mineo turn in some rather fine performances, but of course it's Jeff Bridges who steals the show. Early in his career, it's (almost) the last thing Bridges would do for television, since his breakthrough "The Last Picture Show" came out the same year. Plus, relative newcomer Tyne Daley gives us some fantastic work (especially during her character's childbirth scenes).

That said, the movie itself is barely mediocre. Only Bridges' acting elevates this above the average 'made-for' (made-for-television movie) of it's day. Filled with clichéd characters and stereotyped situations, it might have seemed very original in, say, 1967. Coming from 1971, at the end of the hippie movement instead of the beginning, it's just grindingly derivative. Like most television of the time, it's painfully obvious the writer & director have little or no understanding of the hippie culture they're trying so earnestly to portray.

Especially the decidedly UN-psychedelic background "songs", which mostly consist of a large male & female chorus sing/chanting bad "poetic" commentary on what we're seeing. Think "Paint Your Wagon" on acid (I'm sure the composer was). Near the beginning they persist in repeating the phrase "magic bus", and you can almost hear Pete Townshend wishing he could sue them, just to make them STOP... And ohmigod the whistling section -- somewhere near the middle, there's a dozen of them whistling, and I swear no two of them are in the same key. It's positively the worst whistling ever recorded, ever. (And maybe worth the dollar all by itself!)

The plot, also, is a sad waste of concept, although it does start out bright, with Bridges as a clean-cut proto-hippie who (somehow) convinces his mom, dad, and grandmother(!) to join him in 'dropping out' and taking out in an ancient, rebuilt bus, to find themselves, and hopefully America. Unfortunately, their tour (as far as we get to see it) consists entirely of visiting one ramshackle rock festival, apparently only a few days away from their suburban home. (The footage of the festival is genuine, however, obviously shot during the setup and daytime of some small festival somewhere, without any participation therefrom (and no music!), but featuring lots and lots of shots of real, genuine 1971 model hippies dancing, grooving, playing in the mud -- all the usual stuff. But it's obvious the 'camp' was shot nowhere near the festival itself, and the attempted montaging sometimes becomes hilariously bad.)

So, arriving at said festival, the Olsens set up near a small enclave of 5 hippies: the pregnant Daley & husband, Mineo's vaguely rebellious 'Burnout', the Token Black, and the Love Interest. Each character is exactly that obvious from the start, but all of them manage to transcend their crappy dialog and make us actually feel them as people. Especially Glynn Turman as "Bordo", the 'shaman', who runs around chanting and making faces in the worst possible witch-doctor-put-a-hoodoo-on-you fashion, spouting semi-nonsense in an ostentatious generic African accent. But somehow, someway, he actually makes it work. And gives a fantastic touch near the end, when he slips up and (very subtly) for just one line, talks in American to Grandma Rose -- and then immediately spits out more mumbo-jumbo (which Grandma fully 'digs', of course). Far out! (He would soon star in the 70's classic "Cooley High", which set a new standard for "black" films, with Turman's wooden-yet-somehow-compelling acting being a primary cause.)

It's not all bleak though, which justifies (I hope) this lengthy review; after all, while writer Lewis John Carlino might not 'grok' the hippies, it doesn't mean he doesn't get human beings. This is the same guy who wrote "The Great Santini" and the adaptation of "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden", after all. And director Paul Bogart (eventually) went on to do "Torch Song Trilogy", so we know they both had at least some talent in them. And, as I said, the ensemble's acting is actually worthwhile here; it certainly feels as if most everybody involved really cared about this production, and gave it their best.

So, overall, if you like to watch the craft of acting done well, you will likely enjoy this unimportant yet unassuming little film. If, that is, you can sit through the painful chanting chorus, the laughable suburban-sitcom setup, and the clichéd situations with sensible television resolutions by the end of the episode ... er, of the movie.

Which brings me to my last point: it doesn't mention it on the IMDb here, but it seems rather clear to me that this movie was (at least at some point) considered as a pilot episode. Without spoiling the internal plot threads, I can tell you that, by the end, its time to leave the festival:

Mom: Anybody know where we're going?

Son: Nope... you?

Mom (to Dad): You want to go home?

Dad: (thinks): No!

All: hahahaahahah

Swell the godawful "music", and cut to external shot of bus driving away along a coastal highway to who-knows-where, In Search Of America. And when I think about it, what a fantastic series it could have made! Each week, new adventures in their completely square psychedelic bus, discovering themselves, and America! Perhaps they even could have had a very special episode where they stop to help a broken-down Partridge Family, and Laurie falls in love with Bridges' character, and... on second thought: no. But still, a TV drama starring Jeff Bridges would have been something to see...

I should also mention that it's yet another awful transfer from Digiview, with no features, special or otherwise.


14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Completely bizarre Mik_In_Montague
Discuss In Search of America (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?