Serial (1980)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  28 March 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 706 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 12 critic

It's the end of the 70s. Hippies are assimilating, women are raising their consciousness, and men are becoming confused and ineffectual. Don't expect to be able to keep track of all the ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harvey Holroyd
Kate Linville Holroyd
Jennifer McAllister ...
Joanie Holroyd
Sam Chew Jr. ...
Anthony Battaglia ...
Sam Stone
Angela Stone
Ann Weldon ...
Dr. Leonard Miller
Jon Fong ...
Luckman Skull


It's the end of the 70s. Hippies are assimilating, women are raising their consciousness, and men are becoming confused and ineffectual. Don't expect to be able to keep track of all the names or who's sleeping with who; the picture very skillfully conveys the hopeless muddle through which the many characters move as they try to Find Themselves. Written by Molly Malloy <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One mellow movie about creative divorce, group jacuzzis, organically-fed mistresses, and therapeutic adultery. See more »




R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

28 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crazy Family - Eine total verrückte Familie  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Harvey Holroyd: We can't make it here. We've got to get away.
Kate Linville Holroyd: I know.
Harvey Holroyd: You do?
Kate Linville Holroyd: Yes.
Harvey Holroyd: Well then what do you guys think about Denver?
Kate Linville HolroydJoanie Holroyd: Denver?
Kate Linville Holroyd: What's in Denver except a lot of snow?
Harvey Holroyd: Well, my new job, and our new place, and Joanie's new school. It's going to be rough at first, but I think if we keep an eye on our spending we're going to be alright.
Kate Linville Holroyd: Oh, it won't be that rough.
Harvey HolroydKate Linville Holroyd: [Kiss]
See more »


A Changing World
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Performed by Michael Johnson
Courtesy of EMI/Columbia
See more »

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User Reviews

This IS the Seventies
4 July 2001 | by (NH -- the First primary State) – See all my reviews

"Serial" IS the Seventies!!! With the exception of Disco (and I'm not complaining) this movie captures all the angst, sexual pseudo-liberation, and self-help movements we experienced in the 1970s.

Martin Mull and Tuesday Weld made a perfect Harvey and Kate Holroyd, a "typical" Marin County couple. They make their way through a sea of 1970s kitsch, complete with sexual experimentation and cults. Their teenage daughter Joanie also tries everything, eventually joining "The Sunnies," a religious cult.

The movie abounds with scenes of the 1970s. For example, in Kate's women's conscious-raising group, the wives invite the African-American maid to join them. When they ask her about the sex in her marriage, her husband's prowess doesn't disappoint them. When they ask her about Black men's sexuality in general, she answers "I wouldn't know. I've never been to bed with anyone but Wong." Reverend Spike (Tommy Smothers) makes religion hip at all occasions.

Kate and Harvey both learn the hard way that sex is not the euphoria as overhyped in the 1970s. They separate for a while, and Harvey has an affair with an 18-year old cashier from the supermarket. They have so much sex that Harvey gets worn out. Kate has a very unsatisfying affair. She also tries to start something with a young South American man who turns out to be gay and living with her hairdresser, who nearly uses his scissors on her in jealousy. Kate also tries est, a popular cult of the time. I got a special laugh from the est references, as I worked with a few estholes (that's what they call themselves) who tried to recruit me. Kate and Harvey manage to retrieve Joanie from the Sunnies and they get back together, giving the film its obligatory happy ending.

I also highly recommend the book, "The Serial" by Cyra McFadden.. It may not still be in print these days, but if you can get a hold of it, you won't stop laughing. I had the opportunity to read the book before I saw the movie and I got a lot more of the subtleties. There were a few elements, like the Skulls and Rev. Spike, that the film added. I believe the book was originally written in installments (hence the name "Serial") in Marin County.

If you ever get the chance to see the movie or read the book, do it! A great comedy gem!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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Where's the dvd?! dekkard8
Keep coming back to it- a Classic moore2772
Released on this date... 44yearoldscotch
D/J on the radio as Harvey and Kate wake up tenglish61
Name that tune... derek_one
anyone read the book? cagle94
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