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American Pop (1981)

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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:

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two dancers in the "Sing Sing Sing With a Swing" montage are the rotoscoped Nicholas brothers in Stormy Weather (1943). See more »

Goofs

The German Soldier who shoots the pianist is wearing an American Helmet with a Swastika painted on the front (which was not the case in any German forces during the war). Also, his weapon is obviously a semi-automatic rifle but he fires it full-automatic as though it were a sub-machine gun. See more »

Quotes

Man: Hey, DiNoble, what are you doin'?
Tony: Thinkin'.
Man: Thinkin' of what?
Tony: Clean thoughts.
Man: Then how come my dishes are dirty?
Tony: Dirty?
Man: Dirty.
Tony: Well, them poor dumb little bastards. They never learned the power of positive thought.
Man: I thought you said you was a dishwasher.
Tony: I'm a dishwasher.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer before soundtrack listings: The following songs were depicted as being written by fictional characters. The producer would like to thank the true composers. See more »

Connections

References Show Boat (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Waiting for the Man
Composed by Lou Reed
Performed by Lou Reed
Courtesy of RCA Records
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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