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American Pop (1981)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,630 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 25 critic

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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Title: American Pop (1981)

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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
Amy Levitt ...
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:

All those years, all those dreams, all those sons... one of them is going to be a star. 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

Ralph Bakshi:  as the voice of the piano player who tells a pregnant Bella that her song "is going to be a big hit. I think you should try it out." 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

[Louie and Zalmie are performing as the two halves of a dancing horse - Zalmie being the lower half]
Zalmie: Louie?
Louie: Yeah?
Zalmie: I'm 17 years-old. When's my voice gonna change already?
Louie: It's changin'. It's changin'.
Zalmie: I know it's changin'. When's it gonna change for good?
Louie: What's your rush?
Zalmie: I don't wanna be a horse's ass forever.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood High Part II (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Over There
Composed by George M. Cohan
Performed by Bob Grant and His Orchestra
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Good, but underviewed and misunderstood.
20 June 2003 | by (Modesto, California) – See all my reviews

This film was one that I was reluctant to see at first when it came out on video in the mid 90's. I eventually saw it and it interested me in many ways. The concept of a newly American family transcending through the century by ways of musical pop culture is an innovative idea. The main fault in the film resides on the fact that the filmmaker had somewhat misguided judgements on what exactly pop music and history was in the era that he was depicting. Apart from that I found the dialogue not condescending and the actor's voiceovers quite convincing. The verbal exchange between the character of Tony and the blonde was one of the most authentically written love scenes I have ever encountered in a movie. It was interesting to see the tortured characters succumb to weaknesses and eventually prevail at the end, however unrealistic it may have been represented. Some viewers of this film complain of the chopping rotoscoping used in it, but I found it refreshing seeing through the film to it's eventual endeavor by use of the actor's faces along with their voices. The grittiness of the film was more enjoyable to me. It showcased a lot of underrated talents of actors whose careers never took off such as Jeffrey Lippa and Lisa Jane Persky, among many others. It is often sad how talented represented actors get pushed aside the a world of notoriety. The most identifiable to me was Ron Thompson in the voice of Tony and Pete. I wish that I had seen him in so many other films. His verbal performance was enough to convince me that he was accomplished otherwise as an actor. I think that this film could have been a bit better if it were less presumptuous of the musical mainstream that carried the story through, but eventually it was entertaining. Though this film was not well known and a bit misguided I recommend viewing it at least once.


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