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The Spirit of '76 (1990)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 12 October 1990 (USA)
1:46 | Trailer

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Future Americans decide to time travel to 1776 to ask the founding fathers for the solutions to their problems. A glitch in the time machine changes their destination to 1976. Still ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chevron-17 (as Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo)
Gerald V. Casale ...
Yale-44 (as Gerald V. Casale of Devo)
Dr. Von Mobil
Nancye Ferguson ...
Bob Casale ...
Ron-29 (as Bob Casale of Devo)
David Kendrick ...
Ron-31 (as David Kendrick of Devo)
Geoff Hoyle ...
Jeffrey McDonald ...
Chris Johnson (as Jeff McDonald of Redd Kross)
Steve McDonald ...
Tommy Sears (as Steve McDonald of Redd Kross)
Liam O'Brien ...
Rodney Snodgrass
Ann Block ...
Chris' Mom
Charles Dean ...
Chris' Dad
Martin von Haselberg ...
Agent 1 (as Martin Von Haselberg of The Kipper Kids)


Future Americans decide to time travel to 1776 to ask the founding fathers for the solutions to their problems. A glitch in the time machine changes their destination to 1976. Still believing themselves to be in 1776, the time travellers attempt to study this "ideal" civilization. 70's jokes, props and stars abound. Written by Bob Eichler <robert_eichler@fmso.navy.mil>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A close-up look at the most embarrassing decade in history.


Comedy | Sci-Fi


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Azok a csodás 70-es évek  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


The slogan on the banner for the Bicentennial Science Fair read: "200 years of better living through science". See more »


When Eddie Trojan and Chanel-6 are riding in Eddie's car the song 'Don't Fear The Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult is playing. The date is July 4, 1976. 'Don't Fear The Reaper' was not recorded until August 1976, and it became a billboard hit in November 1976. See more »


Dr. Von Mobil: We, the People, have a right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you. One nation, invisible, with Liberty and Christmas for all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All people listed in credits have their astrological signs listed too. See more »


References The Six Million Dollar Man (1974) See more »


Get Dancin'
Written by Kenny Nolan and Bob Crewe (as Bob Crew)
Performed by Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes
Featuring Monti Rock III (as Sir Monti Rock III)
Produced by Bob Crewe (as Bob Crew)
Used by permission of Delicious Apple Music, Downtown Music and Heart's Delight
See more »

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User Reviews

Had potential.
27 May 2008 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

I saw this one evening with my boss who had done a lot of feature work. His one comment was this; "This just shows that you can make any kind of film you want if you have the right connections." The gist here being that he didn't like it, and thought the film was sorely lacking on a number of levels.

I agreed with him.

Having lived through the 70s, as had my former manager, we were hoping for a bit of a send-up and otherwise a humorous tribute to what one stand-up comic described as a "cultural depression". Tassles on banana seat bikes, flared out bell bottom genes and slacks, paisley print shirts, apple caps, gas lines, disco, and, of course, exploding Pintos. But it was not to be.

Instead of commentary on why the nation (and the then "Western Free World") veered in that direction, we were given superficial exposition to the cultural tidbits of 1976. They're like minor vignettes for a variety show done during the post-sexual revolution.

The promised exploration and exposition of 1976 America (as it loosely related to the nations founding in 1776 ... part of the gag) is lost. There's no emotional connection whatsoever, just a loose and feebly scripted "homage" to the peculiarities and trends of the time. It's as if the script was written by a first or second year film student. The story lacks a larger theme and deeper emotional focus.

Still, it's worth a smirk to look at one time. My boss wasn't too pleased that I had dragged him to see a midnight showing after work (especially since we had a 7AM call time the next morning ... but I digress), but I have to admit that my curiosity of seeing the film had been satisfied. And although I agree with my former employer's comment, and have ripped the film apart in this review, I did, in a very not-so-serious way, enjoy it for what it was. Still, it's not a film I'd add to my DVD collection.

Watch at your own risk.

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