MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 2,751 this week

American Pop (1981)

7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,448 users  
Reviews: 59 user | 16 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.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 30 Jan 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 01 Oct 2011
 
a list of 44 titles
created 12 Mar 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 22 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: American Pop (1981)

American Pop (1981) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American Pop.

User Polls

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Coonskin (1975)
Animation | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A multi-layered satire of race relations in America. Live-action sequences of a prison break bracket the animated story of Brother Rabbit, Brother Bear, and Preacher Fox, who rise to the ... See full summary »

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Barry White, Charles Gordone, Scatman Crothers
Heavy Traffic (1973)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An "underground" cartoonist contends with life in the inner city, where various unsavory characters serve as inspiration for his artwork.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Joseph Kaufmann, Beverly Hope Atkinson, Frank DeKova
Cool World (1992)
Animation | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A comic strip vamp seeks to seduce her cartoonist creator in order to cross over into the real world.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Gabriel Byrne, Kim Basinger, Brad Pitt
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A troubled rock star descends into madness in the midst of his physical and social isolation from everyone.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson
Almost Famous (2000)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Billy Crudup, Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christian Bale
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mark runs a pirate radio station and causes an uproar when he speaks his mind and enthralls fellow teens.

Director: Allan Moyle
Stars: Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis, Annie Ross
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A young girl finds that all the books she chooses in the library have been previously checked out by the same boy. Later she meets a very infuriating fellow... could it be her "friend" from... See full summary »

Director: Yoshifumi Kondô
Stars: Youko Honna, Issei Takahashi, Kazuo Takahashi
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tôkyô.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Miki Imai, Toshirô Yanagiba, Youko Honna
Animal Farm (1954)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A successful farmyard revolution by the resident animals vs. the farmer goes horribly wrong as the victors create a new tyranny among themselves.

Directors: Joy Batchelor, John Halas
Stars: Gordon Heath, Maurice Denham
The Doors (1991)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan
Edit

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)
Richard Singer ...
Benny
Elsa Raven ...
Hannele
Ben Frommer ...
Palumbo
Amy Levitt ...
Nancy
...
Leo Stern
Eric Taslitz ...
Little Pete
Gene Borkan ...
Izzy
...
Beat Poet
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

musician | pop | 1980s | jewish | 20th century | See more »

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

13 February 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Pop  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

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

Connections

Edited from The Public Enemy (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Look for the Silver Lining
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Buddy G. DeSylva (as B.G. De Sylva)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
It's DEFINITELY different...
24 May 2004 | by (Mad City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

If nothing else, Ralph Bakshi is an innovator. He has been ever since he did the first X-rated cartoon, FRITZ THE CAT.

He's also been uneven in his work. He either does great things, like FRITZ, or he produces forgettable, total bombs like COOL WORLD.

Just the same tho, I've very much enjoyed his stuff over the years. My personal favorites are HEY GOOD LOOKIN' and AMERICAN POP.

AMERICAN POP is a daring concept; a feature length, multigenerational saga that tells the story of an immigrant family's American adventure.

When it works (and that's MOST of the time), it works WELL. Bakshi did his historical homework on this one, as well as the musical homework required in telling the story of a family of entertainers.

His characters achieve the goal that EVERY cartoonist tries for; on some level, we find ourselves identifying with those characters, and CARING about them... ALL of them, from the turn of the century song plugger on the streets of New York City, to the Heavy Metal rocker who finally achieves the American Dream.

In some places tho, Bakshi's attempts at innovation have a rather bizzare effect, and sometimes just plain DON'T WORK with his audiences, even for those who LOVE his work.

I'm thinking specifically of the somewhat startling attempt to use cartoon characters in a sexual situation. Somehow, the sight of a cartoon character opening his pants to expose jockey shorts prior to making love with ANOTHER cartoon character is jarring and unsettling in the extreme. It's not a matter of prudishness... it's just that the idea of realistically drawn cartoon characters having sex is a bit of a leap of imagination that many can't easily negotiate.

Another place that it doesn't quite work is during the sequence during the Vietnam years.

We've ALL seen the horrible news film clip of the police chief of Saigon personally executing a prisoner, shooting him in the head with his snub nosed revolver. Bakshi produced a very short cartoon version of that clip for the film. It's intention in the montage is clear and powerful, but somehow the idea of cartooning this horrendous act is even more deeply disturbing to the viewer than the ORIGINAL film was. It might have been MORE acceptable if Bakshi had used a Rotoscoped version of it that was LESS cartoonlike, as he did with other file footage used in the movie.

Just the same... overall, Bakshi's bold experimental film WORKS, and works well.

AMERICAN POP, despite it's faults, is a breakthru for the art of animation. It's a successfully mounted drama, done in animation. Disney came close sometimes, but Bakshi boldly went where Disney didn't dare to.

For anyone who loves animation, and anyone who loves music... AMERICAN POP gets MY vote.


11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did you see this at a theater? batfan34
Does anyone know who covered Dylan's 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright?' Havensrok
Favorite Song! Angry_Arguer
How did Frankie die? andy5421
American Pop: The Next Generations fagriculture
Is Night Moves Tony's Unfinished song? miley51
Discuss American Pop (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?