5.7/10
3,967
36 user 4 critic

The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (1976)

The girl next door makes a teen born with immune deficiencies want to leave his germ-free bubble.

Director:

Randal Kleiser

Writers:

Douglas Day Stewart (teleplay), Joe Morgenstern (story) (as Joseph Morgenstern) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,701 ( 43)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Urban Cowboy (1980)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Bud is a young man from the country who learns about life and love in a Houston bar.

Director: James Bridges
Stars: John Travolta, Debra Winger, Scott Glenn
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Anxious about his future after high school, a 19 year old Italian American from Brooklyn tries to escape the harsh reality of his bleak family life by dominating the dance floor at the local disco.

Director: John Badham
Stars: John Travolta, Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller
Staying Alive (1983)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

It's five years later and Tony Manero's Saturday Night Fever is still burning. Now he's strutting toward his biggest challenge yet - succeeding as a dancer on the Broadway stage.

Director: Sylvester Stallone
Stars: John Travolta, Cynthia Rhodes, Finola Hughes
Perfect (1985)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

A female aerobics instructor meets a male reporter doing a story on health clubs, but it isn't love at first sight.

Director: James Bridges
Stars: John Travolta, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ramey Ellis
Michael (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two tabloid reporters checking out a report of the Archangel Michael living with an old woman find that it's true. But that's not the only surprise.

Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: John Travolta, Andie MacDowell, William Hurt
The Experts (1989)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Travis and Wendell are kidnapped while on their way to opening a nightclub in rural Nebraska. The KGB spy Cameron Smith takes them to the U.S.S.R. instead with the intention of teaching KGB... See full summary »

Director: Dave Thomas
Stars: John Travolta, Arye Gross, Kelly Preston
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.9/10 X  

A lonely socialite and a young drifter enter into a May-December romance.

Director: Jane Wagner
Stars: Lily Tomlin, John Travolta, Andra Akers
Phenomenon (1996)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An ordinary man sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis.

Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After a single, career-minded woman is left on her own to give birth to the child of a married man, she finds a new romantic chance in a cab driver. Meanwhile, the point-of-view of the newborn boy is narrated through voice-over.

Director: Amy Heckerling
Stars: John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Olympia Dukakis
Bubble Boy (2001)
Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A young man who was born without an immune system and has lived his life within a plastic bubble in his bedroom finds out that the woman he has loved since childhood is about to be married ... See full summary »

Director: Blair Hayes
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Swoosie Kurtz, Marley Shelton
Broken Arrow (1996)
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Terrorists steal nuclear warheads from the U.S. military but don't count on a pilot and park ranger spoiling their plans.

Director: John Woo
Stars: John Travolta, Christian Slater, Samantha Mathis
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Tod Lubitch
Glynnis O'Connor ... Gina Biggs
Robert Reed ... Johnny Lubitch
Diana Hyland ... Mickey Lubitch
Karen Morrow ... Martha Biggs
Howard Platt ... Neighbor
Buzz Aldrin ... Buzz Aldrin
Ralph Bellamy ... Dr. Gunther
John Friedrich ... Roy Slater
Kelly Ward ... Tom Shuster
Skip Lowell Skip Lowell ... Bruce Shuster
John Megna ... Smith
Vernee Watson ... Gwen
Darrell Zwerling ... Mr. Brister (as Darryl Zwerling)
P.J. Soles ... Deborah
Edit

Storyline

Based on a true story, Tod Lubitch is born with a deficient immune system (which is unlike being born with AIDS). As such, he must spend the rest of his life in a completely sterile environment. His room is completely hermetically sealed against bacteria and virus, his food is specially prepared, and his only human contact comes in the form of gloved hands. The movie follows his life into a teenager. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Born with no immunity against disease, he lives in a plastic prison. Inside he is protected. Outside, there is the chance of death. But the chance of love.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 November 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bubble Trouble See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is in the public domain. See more »

Goofs

John Travolta's character would not have been able to walk back into his bubble wearing his special suit after walking around outside in it. The suit would have contaminated the sterile environment. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Lubitch: My son is not a freak!
See more »

Connections

Featured in No Small Parts: Anne Ramsey (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

What Would They Say
(uncredited)
Composed by Paul Williams
Sung by Paul Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
John Travolta Puts on Protection
24 April 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

"John Travolta stars as Tod Lubitsch, a teenager who was born without disease immunities. Tod is forced to live out his life in incubator conditions. When he ventures outdoors, he must be encased in a huge plastic bubble. He falls in love with Gina Biggs (Glynnis O'Connor), and must decide between following his heart or facing near-certain death," according to the DVD sleeve description, "Diana Hyland won an Emmy for her portrayal of Travolta's mother."

Ms. Hyland was nominated posthumously, as "Best supporting Actress"; and, Mr. Travolta accepted the award.

This corny "ABC Friday Night Movie" was, nevertheless, a TV winner. There seems to be a serious mistake is storytelling as, following Mr. Travolta's clapping push-up contest with Kelly Ward (as Tom Shuster), we see Travolta's perfect "bubble" environment contaminated by both his young co-stars and a dirty $10 bill. You could also point out Travolta was well past high school age - then again, he spent more years there on "Welcome Back, Kotter" than he did in reality.

Changing hairstyles and demeanor, Hyland and father Robert Reed (as Johnny) manage the passing decades well.

This drama is not about the lead character's medical condition. It is about sex - specifically, about the desire for sex between two young people who are obviously falling in love. Teenagers who saw this movie on television in 1976 (and in rerun) surely made the connection. Travolta looks very sexy in his gym shorts and eye make-up. And, Ms. O'Connor appears in an eye-popping baby-blue bikini which would have, if applicable, worn off many a remote's rewind button.

"I wanna be dirty!" Travolta's roommate John Friedrich exclaims, "I wanna make it with everything that walks!"

The sexual content didn't stop at the cutting room floor, with Travolta letting known an affair with one of his co-stars. If you're NOT already "in the know" you'd surely think it was O'Connor. Well, surprise, you're wrong… You're next guess is Mr. Reed. Good one. But, wrong again… It was revealed to be movie "mother" Hyland. An familiar American TV favorite, she tragically died of breast cancer within a year. This movie was an important part of Travolta's post-"Kotter" stardom.

Neatly directed by Randal Kleiser, the ending is an exhilaratingly symbolic release of tension.

***** The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (11/12/76) Randal Kleiser ~ John Travolta, Glynnis O'Connor, Robert Reed, Diana Hyland


2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed