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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:

One family, 4 generations, in love with the sound of American Pop. 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

Rotoscoped footage of James Cagney and Jean Harlow dancing from the 1931 film "The Public Enemy" is included in the ballroom dance scene when Bella is singing "Bill". See more »

Goofs

When Pete is playing "Night Moves" in the recording studio, his fingers are moving up on the piano although the notes in the song can clearly be heard going high to low. See more »

Quotes

Zalmie: Hey, Louie. I just seen the most beautiful thing I ever seen in the whole world.
Louie: Some pre-Prohibition booze, huh?
Zalmie: No. I seen the stripper gettin' dressed.
Louie: A stripper gettin' dressed ain't beautiful unless she's ugly to begin with.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Animation Lookback: Top 10 Controversial Cartoons (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Palm Leaf Rag
Composed by Scott Joplin
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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