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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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Cast

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A movie as American as Mom's apple pie, Daddy's Scotch-on-the-rocks and little Maxie's hang-ups. 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

David Greene thought that the final cut of the film was so distorted that he tried, without success, to have his name removed from the credits. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Mama, Don't You Wait Up for Me
Written by Scott English (as Scott David English) and Larry Weiss
Sung by The Glass Bottle
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User Reviews

 
A Movie As American As Mom's Apple Pie, Daddy's Scotch On The Rocks, And Little Maxie's Drugs!
2 September 2005 | by (Rohnert Park, CA) – See all my reviews

"The People Next Door" is an exploitation movie masquerading as an important social document. The cast, photography and production promise "class", while the script, direction and execution scream "cash-in".

Comfortable New York suburbanites Arthur and Gerrie Mason (Eli Wallach and Julie Harris) discover one night that their seemingly perfect 16-year old daughter, Maxie (Deborah Winters) has been tripping on LSD. Arthur, a smug, bullying braggart, immediately suspects his 17-year old (long-haired) son, Artie (Stephen McHattie) of supplying the drug to his sister, and kicks him out of the house. Whereupon, (suitably) confused Harris runs next door to seek advice from high school principal David Hoffman (Hal Holbrook) whose wife, Tina (a pre-"Phyllis" Cloris Leachman) is an alcoholic, and whose son Sandy (Don Scardino) 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. Naturally,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 (a pre-"Golden Girl" Rue McClanahan) and Mom knew it all the time. After another lamentably useless (and unintentionally hilarious) therapy session, the Masons decide to throw a party(?) which comes to an abrupt halt when one of the hired musicians is discovered puffing pot. Maxie then gets hold of more LSD, does a nude dance on her lawn and trips herself into a seedy mental hospital. The sight of her near-catatonic daughter in this horrible place drives Mom right to bed, where she remains until the film's climax.

More a catalog of just about every ailment bedeviling middle class families in the seventies than a worthwhile attempt at explaining them, "The People Next Door" lurches from one crisis to the next with very little happening in between. That's a shame, because the cast is excellent, but trapped in parts which are less like flesh and blood characters in a drama, than stereotypes in a ''Saturday Night Live'' sketch. For example, Wallach hypocritically swallows massive amounts of sleeping pills, Harris chain-smokes her way through the story, and all involved are on edge from beginning to end. Along the way, McHattie heads a rock band (dubbed by short-lived group, The Bead Game) principal Holbrook must deal with a student riot, and Wallach gooses Leachman when the opportunity arises. Yes, The movie gives you your money's worth in 93 minutes, that's for sure, but those who are wondering what the point is, will never find out. At least most B movies don't attempt to hide behind ''artistic'' pretensions.


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