6.7/10
162
6 user 6 critic

The People Next Door (1970)

R | | Drama | 26 August 1970 (USA)
Comfortable New York suburbanites Arthur and Gerrie Mason discover one night that their seemingly perfect 16-year old daughter, Maxie has been tripping on LSD. Arthur, a smug, bullying ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (based upon an original story by)
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Cast

Credited cast:
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Arthur Mason
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Gerrie Mason
Deborah Winters ...
Maxie Mason
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Artie Mason
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David Hoffman
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Tina Hoffman
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Sandy Hoffman
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Della
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Dr. Salazar
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Dr. Margolin
Sandy Alexander ...
Elliott
Anthony D. Call ...
Dr. Lauran (as Anthony Call)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Nurse
John Batiste ...
Therapist
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Discotheque Waitress

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Storyline

Comfortable New York suburbanites Arthur and Gerrie Mason discover one night that their seemingly perfect 16-year old daughter, Maxie has been tripping on LSD. Arthur, a smug, bullying braggart, immediately suspects his 17-year old (long-haired) son, Artie of supplying the drug to his sister, and immediately kicks him out of the house. Whereupon (suitably) confused Harris runs next door to seek advice from high school principal David Hoffman whose wife, Tina is an alcoholic, and whose son Sandy has his own problems. Very sensibly, he advises love and understanding on the part of the parents, which all but goes out the window when Maxie confesses she has been tripping for quite a while now, is also sexually active and on the pill. Meanwhile, she just keeps getting worse--she's found by her father high on cocaine and in bed with a biker. From there, it's straight to family therapy where, among other things, it's revealed that Dad is having an affair with his lusty secretary and Mom knew... Written by phillindholm

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"A Shocking Look at Today!" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

26 August 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Culpa de Cada Um  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

First cinema feature of Stephen Mchattie. See more »

Connections

Featured in Classroom Scare Films Vol. 5: More Drug Evils (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

My Life in Review
Written by Scott English (as Scott David English) and Larry Weiss
Sung by The Bead Game
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User Reviews

See this one (preferably stoned)
3 May 2011 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

This is one of those hysterical 70's anti-drug movies made by people who obviously had little or no experience with real-life drug abuse. If you have never seen on of these, I urge you to do so (preferably stoned).The drama begins when the seemingly innocent sixteen-year-old daughter (Deborah Winters) of a middle-class family is found whimpering in her closet and tripping her face off. The cantankerous father (Eli Wallach) quickly blames his long-haired musician older son (Stephen McHattie) and kicks him out of the house, while the mother (Julie Harris) recedes into a kind of a hysterical, walking coma. But like all virginal, middle-class girls in these movies, once she gets her first taste of drugs, the daughter is soon shacking up with a skeezy biker and putting every substance imaginable into her nubile, young body. Meanwhile, the father confides in his doctor friend next door(Hal Holbrook), who seems to have the perfect All-American family in wife ( ) and clean-cut son (Don Scardino), but there's a twist there which you'll doubt see coming from a mile away.

I expected this to strictly be a TV movie, but actually it started out as that in 1968 before being remade as this theatrical feature, complete with some mild sordidness, fairly graphic drug use, brief nudity, and actual cursing. Eli Wallach is great as the cantankerous, bigoted father who is almost certain to get some kind of comeuppance. Harris and McHattie are adequate, but don't have a lot to do as most of the scenery around them gets pre-shredded by their fellow thespians. The latter's band actually isn't bad, and that is probably the "hippest" aspect of this generally "square" movie. Hal Holbrook has an interesting role as he starts out playing his usual type (the kindly father figure),but ends up going very much against type. Obscure 70's TV actress Deborah Winters (who isn't remotely believable as sixteen year old) gives a wide-eyed, completely over-the-top performance that will probably provoke more laughter than anything else, but she is very cute and does have a nude scene (only brief, but she's all drugged-up and throwing herself at her own father at the time, so. . .).

The director of this, David Green, was British and made several interesting theatrical films in his home country like "I Start Counting", "The Strange Affair", and "The Shuttered Room". This was the beginning of his long descent into 70's American television (a similar fate befell other talented Brit directors like John Moxley, Gordon Hessler, and Robert Fuest). This isn't a spot on his earlier theatrical work, but it's much better than his later made-for-TV stuff like "Vacation in Hell". See this with your favorite controlled substance.


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