IMDb > "An American Family" (1973)
"An American Family"
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"An American Family" (1973) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1973-


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5.8/10   174 votes »
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Release Date:
11 January 1973 (USA) See more »
This was the original "Real World". The show was a weekly documentary which followed the real life travails of the Loud family... See more »
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User Reviews:
A blast from the past See more (12 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 7 of 13)
Patricia Loud ... Herself (12 episodes, 1973)
Bill Loud ... Himself (12 episodes, 1973)

Lance Loud ... Himself (12 episodes, 1973)
Kevin Loud ... Himself (12 episodes, 1973)
Grant Loud ... Himself (12 episodes, 1973)
Delilah Loud ... Herself (12 episodes, 1973)
Michelle Loud ... Herself (12 episodes, 1973)

Series Produced by
Jacqueline Donnet .... coordinating producer (unknown episodes)
Craig Gilbert .... producer (unknown episodes)
Susan Lester .... associate producer (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Pat Cook (unknown episodes)
Eleanor Hamerow (unknown episodes)
David Hanser (unknown episodes)
Ken Werner (unknown episodes)
Series Production Management
Hal Hutkoff .... production manager (unknown episodes, 1973)
Michael Podell .... production manager (unknown episodes)
Kathleen Walsh .... production manager (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
Thomas Halpin .... sound editor (unknown episodes)
Peter Pilafian .... additional sound (unknown episodes)
Dick Vorisek .... sound mixer (unknown episodes)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Joan Churchill .... additional photographer (unknown episodes)
Thomas C. Goodwin .... assistant camera (unknown episodes)
Michael Levine .... assistant camera (unknown episodes)
Peter Smokler .... assistant camera (unknown episodes)
Series Editorial Department
Joanna Alexander .... assistant editor (unknown episodes)
Robert Alvarez .... assistant editor (unknown episodes)
Hal Hutkoff .... assistant editor (unknown episodes)
Janet Lauretano .... assistant editor (unknown episodes)
Series Other crew
Elinor Bunin .... title designer (unknown episodes)
Alice Carey .... production secretary (unknown episodes)
Kristin Glouer .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
David Henry .... production assistant (unknown episodes)


Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:720 min

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Featured in Cinema Verite (2011) (TV)See more »


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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
A blast from the past, 7 January 2003
Author: Bobs-9 from Chicago, Illinois, USA

While channel-surfing last night I came across what appeared to be an old, fuzzy color film of a drag queen review on Public TV last night. Intrigued, I looked it up and discovered it was an episode of the old pioneering reality series "An American Family," something I had completely forgotten for the last 30 years. This was the episode where Pat Loud goes to New York to visit with her son Lance, who was openly gay and living beyond his means at the Chelsea Hotel amongst other arty young gay men. This must have been pretty shocking stuff for the early 1970s. I really knew nothing about Lance, but listening to his very young self rambling incoherently about what he wanted out of life, I felt a bit sad for him, and on searching the Internet the next day I found out that he had died from complications of AIDS in 2001. He lived a colorful life that was not without success (punk band front man, journalist), but back then in the 1970s he looked to me like one sad, confused kid.

I still recall the media hype surrounding this series, and watching the premier back in 1973 when it first aired. What struck me most about this California family then was their considerable affluence, so foreign to my own life experience. I remember seeing a report, aired some time after the series had run, in which Corporate executive Bill Loud (the father) complained about the effect it had on the life of his family, and how his co-workers regarded him. That "Lance in New York" episode certainly must have given those old-fashioned corporate guys a good chuckle. But the report also spoke to the vehement class hatred which the series had unexpectedly stirred up. Letters sent to the Loud family contained threatening statements like "you'd better watch out for your kids," and so on. I can, in fact, vividly recall the Loud siblings being introduced one by one in that premier episode, and the shout of disdain my mother issued when the youngest son was shown noisily practicing his trombone in his bedroom. Why that disdain for such an innocent activity? Well, if you've spent your entire life living in cramped urban apartments, you know that you can't let your child learn the friggin' trombone at home (assuming you can buy the damned thing for him in the first place), unless you want to risk eviction. Envy? Yeah, sure, but sometimes it gets the better of you. Class hatred in this country seems likely be exacerbated in the next few years by both the major political parties. Some things never change.

This New York episode was certainly a fascinating time capsule of the late hippie era. I wonder if you can still climb to the top of a fountain in the park (as someone was shown doing in this episode) without getting arrested in what is still pretty much Giuliani's New York?

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