7.2/10
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American Pop (1981)

The story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music in the 20th century.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tony / Pete
...
Frankie (as Marya Small)
Jerry Holland ...
Louie
...
Bella
Jeffrey Lippa ...
Zalmie
Roz Kelly ...
Eva Tanguay
...
Crisco (as Frank De Kova)
Rick Singer ...
Benny (as Richard Singer)
Elsa Raven ...
Hannele
Ben Frommer ...
Palumbo
...
Nancy
...
Leo Stern
Eric Taslitz ...
Little Pete
Gene Borkan ...
Izzy
...
Beat Poet
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Storyline

"American Pop" is the animated story of a very talented and troubled family starting with 19th century Russia and moving through several generations of musicians. The film covers American popular music from the pre-jazz age through rhythm and blues, 1950s rock 'n' roll, drug-laden psychedelia, and punk rock, finally ending with the onset of New Wave in the early 1980s. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Zalmie should have been a star, but there were complications. Benny could have been famous, but life got in the way. Tony had a brush with success, but had to let it go. So it was up to Pete to grab it, hold it, and make himself heard. See more »

Genres:

Animation | Drama | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

13 February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerykanska muzyka pop  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the gangland scenes are rotoscoped footage from The Public Enemy (1931). See more »

Goofs

When Tony meets the waitress in Kansas, he asks her a number of questions which are references to songs about the state. He asks her, "Is everything up to date here?" which references Rodgers and Hammerstein's song "Kansas City" from the musical "Oklahoma!" However, that song actually concerns the Kansas City in Missouri, as another song from that show indicates. See more »

Quotes

Palumbo: Don't you think it's time for a wedding?
Zalmie: How can I ask her? I don't have a cent.
Palumbo: You should have thought of that before you got her pregnant.
Zalmie: Who thinks at a time like that?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the late, great Jimi Hendrix. See more »

Connections

Edited from The War at Home (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

California Dreamin'
Composed by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips (as Michelle Gillian)
Performed by The Mamas and the Papas
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great impression of the music
27 June 2010 | by (Palatine, IL) – See all my reviews

I saw American Pop in a suburban Chicago theater when it was first released.

I was impressed with the film and have always enjoyed it as a musical rather than a drama. At the time the surround sound was striking as was the alternate form of animation(rotoscope)and use of color. Being able to see American Pop in 35mm on a large screen was an experience, as I believe many of the film's critics have only seen inferior video versions.

With musical selections dating from the 1920s through 1980 this film is a fantastic visualization of the spirit and essence of American music. The dance sequences from the Big Band era are especially effective.

I have shown it in my high school music appreciation class a few times with very negative reactions from the students. I dig American Pop, however, and I know others of my generation will enjoy it.

Ralph Bakshi, a true artist.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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