7.3/10
4,095
70 user 44 critic

American Pop (1981)

Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
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:

Ralph Bakshi

Writer:

Ronni Kern
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ron Thompson ... Tony / Pete
Mews Small ... Frankie (as Marya Small)
Jerry Holland Jerry Holland ... Louie
Lisa Jane Persky ... Bella
Jeffrey Lippa Jeffrey Lippa ... Zalmie
Roz Kelly ... Eva Tanguay
Frank DeKova ... Crisco (as Frank De Kova)
Rick Singer Rick Singer ... Benny (as Richard Singer)
Elsa Raven ... Hannele
Ben Frommer Ben Frommer ... Palumbo
Amy Levitt ... Nancy
Leonard Stone ... Leo Stern
Eric Taslitz Eric Taslitz ... Little Pete
Gene Borkan Gene Borkan ... Izzy
Richard Moll ... Beat Poet
Learn more

More Like This 

Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An outrageous, affectionate look at coming of age in the Eisenhower era in Brooklyn.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Richard Romanus, David Proval, Jesse Welles
Heavy Traffic (1973)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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
Coonskin (1975)
Animation | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Rabbit, a country-born trickster, takes over the organized crime racket in Harlem, facing opposition from the institutionalized racism of the Mafia and corrupt police.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Barry White, Charles Gordone, Scatman Crothers
Wizards (1977)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a wizard and his faire folk comrades fight an evil wizard who's using technology in his bid for conquest.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus
Fire and Ice (1983)
Animation | Fantasy | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

At the end of the ice age, an evil queen and her son are set on conquering the world using magic and warriors. The lone survivor of a crushed village fights back as does the king of Fire Keep.

Directors: Ralph Bakshi, Tom Tataranowicz
Stars: Randy Norton, Cynthia Leake, Steve Sandor
Fritz the Cat (1972)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Skip Hinnant, Rosetta LeNoire, John McCurry
Spicy City (1997)
Animation | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An anthology of sexy and risque animated stories in a futuristic city with a seamy side.

Stars: Michelle Phillips, Charlie Adler, Letitia Hicks
Animation | Short | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

In the cheap glitter and glow of a fading Coney Island, a group of characters live out their sordid, strange lives trying to get somewhere fast - any way they can.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Omar Jones, Robert Costanzo, Tina Romanus
Heavy Metal (1981)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A glowing green orb - which embodies ultimate evil - terrorizes a young girl with an anthology of bizarre and fantastic stories of dark fantasy, eroticism and horror.

Directors: Gerald Potterton, John Bruno, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Richard Romanus, John Candy, Joe Flaherty
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The Fellowship of the Ring embark on a journey to destroy the One Ring and end Sauron's reign over Middle-earth.

Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Christopher Guard, William Squire, Michael Scholes
Rock & Rule (1983)
Animation | Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A malevolent rock star kidnaps a singer to force her to participate in the summoning of a demon, and her band must help her stop him.

Director: Clive Smith
Stars: Don Francks, Greg Salata, Susan Roman
Animation | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Fritz the Cat may have lost one of his lives in the comics, but in his new movie, he has eight more lives left to go! While his wife screams at him, Fritz lights up a joint and reminiscences about what could have been.

Director: Robert Taylor
Stars: Skip Hinnant, Reva Rose, Bob Holt

Photos

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

Taglines:

Ralph Bakshi, creator of "Fritz the Cat" and "Lord of the Rings", now takes modern animation a quantum leap forward with a motion picture of incredible beauty. American Pop, the story of one family, four generations, in love with the greatest music of all time. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The two dancers in the "Sing Sing Sing With a Swing" montage are the rotoscoped Nicholas brothers in Stormy Weather (1943). See more »

Goofs

When Tony meets the waitress in Kansas, he asks her a number of questions which are references to songs about the state. He asks her, "Is everything up to date here?" which references Rodgers and Hammerstein's song "Kansas City" from the musical "Oklahoma!" However, that song actually concerns the Kansas City in Missouri, as another song from that show indicates. 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 »

Alternate Versions

In some versions of the film, dialog has been redone in at last two scenes, presumably to make points more clear. For example, in Little Pete's first scene, he is asked what his Dad would say about him hanging backstage with a rock band. In one version, Pete says "Nothing. He's dead." In the other version, he instead says "I never met my Dad. He's some kind of mystery" (which serves as a better setup for information learned later) Also, Tony returns to the band's apartment after his release from the hospital, only to find they have moved out. In both versions, under 'People Are Strange,' we hear him on the phone with a friend, but the phone conversations begin completely differently. In one we never learn what happened to the band, only that they seemed to have moved out and left Tony behind, while in the other we learn that the band has gone on to big things, with a gold album. Both versions' phone calls end the same way, though, with Tony desperately asking his friend for money or drugs. See more »

Connections

Referenced in [Cargo] (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Waiting for the Man
Composed by Lou Reed
Performed by Lou Reed
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

User Reviews

Good, but underviewed and misunderstood.
20 June 2003 | by LeMille0See 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.


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 70 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Russian | Yiddish

Release Date:

13 February 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amerykańska muzyka pop See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed