6.7/10
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20 user 4 critic

The People (1972)

A young woman is assigned to teach school in a secluded valley whose inhabitants appear stern, secretive and anti-pleasure. Following two children who disappear to play in the woods, she ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Melodye Amerson
...
Dr. Curtis
...
Valancy Carmody
...
Sol Diemus
...
Karen Diemus
Johanna Baer ...
Bethie
Chris Valentine ...
Clement Francher
Stephanie Valentine ...
Talitha
Jack Dahlgren ...
Kiah
Andrew Crichton ...
Thann
David Petch ...
Matt
Dorothy Drady ...
Dita
Mary Rose McMaster ...
Maras
Anne Walters ...
Obla
Tony Dario ...
Bram
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Storyline

A young woman is assigned to teach school in a secluded valley whose inhabitants appear stern, secretive and anti-pleasure. Following two children who disappear to play in the woods, she finds that this is actually a community of extraterrestrials with mild paranormal powers who are attempting to repress and deny their heritage for fear of arousing prejudice and hatred in their human neighbors. Written by Molly Malloy <mailcall@ansel.intersource.com>

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Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

22 January 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aquele Povo  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie marks the reunion between Kim Darby and William Shatner since they starred together in the Star Trek episode "Miri" in 1966. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Best TV Shows That Never Were (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Captures the Mood of the Time
21 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

Despite the fact it is often set in some remote setting, temporal or spatial, science fiction reflects the sensibilities of its own timeframe more than any other genre. This science fiction TV movie evokes a strong memory from my youth that is as much semi-personal cultural artifact as it is broadcast entertainment.

In the early 1970's, there were a number of us, adults and children, who lived "apart" from the everyday society: rural, rustic, spiritual seekers, community-minded, experimental and questioning. We looked to the past to create the future. Many of us ended up in Marin County, in the northern section of the San Francisco Bay Area.

It is never really possible to perfectly signal the everyday mood of a cultural zeitgeist, though all movies attempt to, in varying degrees of success and intentionality. "The People," while to some a modest and moderately successful literary adaptation, is, to me, a stunning capture of the "mood" of Bolinas, California, 1971. The social remove of the "people" acted as an allegory for our cultural dissatisfaction.

Step backwards. While a lot of people in this time/place avoided television (though not my family), the broadcast of this movie generated a great deal of excitement for at least three main reasons.

At the top of reasons were the crew involved. The director, John Korty, was local to the area (though I forget exactly from where...) Also, of great interest was in the scene in which the schoolchildrens' story was told. Arthur Okamura was a Bolinas artist who did the illustrative paintings. (He also happened to be my father's best friend at the time.) Of course, for Northern California grounding, there is the ubiquitous Coppola involvement.

Another reason for the interest were the filming locations in Northern California. This was before every other movie was made in an over-speculated and glamorized-to-death San Francisco.

The final reason is the message of the film, most importantly the final scene in which the group is able to act as a single healing force. This manages to fairly sum up the collective dream of our little alternative society.

Is it a good movie? I actually can't say.

Then what can be said about this movie? Mostly is quite amazing that such a pristine cultural document exists in the form of a network movie of the week from its own era. Thousands of portrayals of "hippies" exist from the time, this is one of the few that is the real deal. It feels like an subversive art film that managed to get commercial sponsors.

That's pretty, uh, cool...


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