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The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama | Romance  -  12 November 1976 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 2,911 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 2 critic

Based on a true story, Tod Lubitch is born with a deficient immune system (which is unlike being born with AIDS). As such, he must spend the rest of his life in a completely sterile ... See full summary »

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Title: The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (TV Movie 1976)

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (TV Movie 1976) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Diana Hyland ...
Karen Morrow ...
Howard Platt ...
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John Friedrich ...
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Skip Lowell ...
John Megna ...
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Gwen (as Vernee Watson)
Darrell Zwerling ...
Mr. Brister (as Darryl Zwerling)
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Storyline

Based on a true story, Tod Lubitch is born with a deficient immune system (which is unlike being born with AIDS). As such, he must spend the rest of his life in a completely sterile environment. His room is completely hermetically sealed against bacteria and virus, his food is specially prepared, and his only human contact comes in the form of gloved hands. The movie follows his life into a teenager. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

12 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, John Travolta and 40-year-old Diana Hyland began dating and eventually fell in love, despite the fact that Hyland was nearly 18 years older than Travolta. She was still in the process of getting divorced from Joseph Goodson when she passed away on Sunday, March 27th, 1977, four months after their TV movie's broadcast, and while Travolta was filming "Saturday Night Fever." See more »

Goofs

Tod Lubitch is assigned a "bubble" roommate, Roy Slater, who has not been outside or in contact with the outside world for months. However, when Slater jumps on his bed, the soles of his bare feet are filthy. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Lubitch: My son is not a freak!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Being Human: What's Blood Got to Do With It? (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

What Would They Say
(uncredited)
Composed by Paul Williams
Sung by Paul Williams
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User Reviews

 
Well, I made it all the way through... that's something
30 September 2013 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I remember watching this on TV the first (only?) time it was run. I don't remember why I watched it; although I was a teenage girl when he was at the height of his popularity, I was never a Travolta fan and never got the hype about him. (One English class assignment in the 9th grade was to watch "Welcome Back Kotter" with the sound off and try to follow the story... I complained long and loud about having to waste a valuable half-hour of TV time watching "Kotter", although I'm sure the teacher chose it because almost everyone would have been watching it anyway.)

I found the film on streaming last weekend and watched it again for a nostalgia buzz; discovered that the only thing I remembered was a few bars of Paul Williams' song at the end (never got the hype about Williams either). Strangely, the streaming version seems to have the same flaws other reviewers have mentioned about their DVDs; at times it squiggles up like I remember VHS recordings doing when they'd been over-watched or stored improperly.

I guess the biggest problem I had with this film overall was the almost complete lack of tension. Todd seems reasonably content to stay in his bubble, with only occasional displays of frustration or unhappiness at his isolation. Okay, if he's fine with it, let's leave him in there and go make a movie about someone who throws hissy fits; it's more interesting. (Well, Todd did have one hissy fit... but it seemed over the top and out of place since he was so placid the rest of the time.)

The supporting cast was kind of cool... you get to see P.J. Soles who was in "Carrie" (with Travolta), and Kelly Ward and Darryl Zwerling who were in "Grease" (with Travolta).

Inconsistent, dull, simplistic. If it had a different actor in the lead I don't think I would have liked it any better, so I'm not hanging all the blame on Barbarino. There just isn't much here substance-wise.

P.S. Add me to the list of people who are positive that's a sailboat, not a mysterious white-robed figure, in the background at the end... although I'll admit it gave me a start and I said out loud "what the heck is THAT?" before figuring it out.


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