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The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)

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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(teleplay), (story) (as Joseph Morgenstern) | 1 more credit »
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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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Karen Morrow ...
Howard Platt ...
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John Friedrich ...
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Skip Lowell ...
John Megna ...
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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

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Born with no immunity against disease, he lives in a plastic prison. Inside he is protected. Outside, there is the chance of death. But the chance of love.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

12 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bubble Trouble  »

Filming Locations:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, 22-year-old 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 writer and producer Joseph Goodson when she passed away on Sunday, March 27, 1977, four months after their TV movie's broadcast, and while Travolta was filming Saturday Night Fever (1977). See more »

Goofs

A boy slips an unsterilized ten-dollar bill into Tod's bubble. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Lubitch: [to his wife] There were never two people in the world that were more meant to be parents than you and me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Robot Chicken: Metal Militia (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
"Aren't you ever gonna get out of this thing?"
29 July 2016 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

John Travolta effortlessly made the leap from TV Sweathog to teenage heartthrob with this popular ABC movie-of-the-week, executive produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, about a boy born without immunities who is taken out of the hospital after his first four years to live at home in a germ-free zone. The adults of the piece (Robert Reed and Emmy-winner Diana Hyland as Travolta's parents, Ralph Bellamy as his doctor) are good, but audiences in 1976 were mostly interested in Travolta's presence. He doesn't give a multi-layered performance--he's overeager when trying for simple charm, and he's least convincing in situations where he's meant to be hurt--but, for a newcomer, he certainly displays enormous self-confidence and charisma. Girl-next-door Glynnis O'Connor rolls her eyes and grins like she's never talked to a boy before (which may be the fault of director Randal Kleiser), although the two match up well in the puppy love department. The film's final moments--aimed directly at budding romantics--is a bit much, yet overall it's well-made and memorable, a touchstone movie for kids in the '70s.


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