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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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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

In the opening scenes, as the baby is wheeled down the hospital corridor in the sealed incubator the actors accidentally lift the camera side of the incubator allowing germ-filled air to enter the incubator. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ernest Gunther: May we have the air conditioning ducts and heat vents closed, please. And no movement while the air settles down. Anybody down there planning on having an itch, please scratch it now. Not later, please.
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Connections

Referenced in Superstar (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
It's okay...but the end is a bit of a cliffhanger
8 August 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" was a made for TV movie which gave John Travolta a chance to do something beyond his lunk-head character on "Welcome Back Kotter"...and just before he shot to super-stardom with "Saturday Night Fever". He plays a young man who was born without an immune system and the show details his difficulties dealing with having a plastic wall always between himself and the outside world. The problem becomes MUCH worse when he falls in love with the girl next door and he realizes he probably will never be able to touch her.

The story is based very broadly on a real case. Travolta is decent in the role and the film is a decent family movie, though the ending is a bit bizarre as it leaves you on such a cliffhanger. I liked it as lot as a kid--seen now, it just seems okay. Generally enjoyable and well written but the ending is a letdown...at least for me.


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