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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.

Director:

Ralph Bakshi

Writer:

Ronni Kern
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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
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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:

The State of the Art in Living Animation See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew | Russian | Yiddish

Release Date:

13 February 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amerykanska muzyka pop See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$6,000,000
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the "People Are Strange" song, an animated scene of the Bay Lop execution is briefly shown. See more »

Goofs

The German Soldier who shoots the pianist is wearing an American Helmet with a Swastika painted on the front (which was not the case in any German forces during the war). Also, his weapon is obviously a semi-automatic rifle but he fires it full-automatic as though it were a sub-machine gun. See more »

Quotes

[Tony has injured himself and lies in bed wearing casts around his neck, leg, and arm]
Man: How do you feel?
Tony: Like a fuckin' M&M: dig my thin candy shell.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer before soundtrack listings: The following songs were depicted as being written by fictional characters. The producer would like to thank the true composers. 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

References Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

This Train
Composed by Peter Yarrow and N. Paul Stookey (as Paul Stookey)
Performed by Peter Paul & Mary
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well Done. Aces for Bakshi
17 July 2007 | by 70shoeSee all my reviews

What a genuinely interesting and touching film. The rotoscoped animation may not be everyone's cup of tea but it works just fine here. I honestly think it's use was a big plus as it gives this human story a human, life like quality.

If this was done today it would be slopping over with re-do tunes by current pop nobodies to jam onto a "music from and inspired by" CD not to mention it would be poorly cast with Hollywood no talents.

The casting here doesn't leave you straining to identify celebs, it just has good actors portraying good characters. You focus on the story of the family, which after all is the point.

Underrated and very much worth your time.


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