7.2/10
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67 user 41 critic

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

Some of the gangland scenes are rotoscoped footage from The Public Enemy (1931). 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

[Louie and Zalmie are performing as the two halves of a dancing horse - Zalmie being the lower half]
Zalmie: Louie?
Louie: Yeah?
Zalmie: I'm 17 years-old. When's my voice gonna change already?
Louie: It's changin'. It's changin'.
Zalmie: I know it's changin'. When's it gonna change for good?
Louie: What's your rush?
Zalmie: I don't wanna be a horse's ass forever.
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

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Cool World (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Smiles
Music by Lee S. Roberts
Lyrics by J. Will Callahan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The American Pop Music for Cinema and Music Lovers
26 January 2018 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

"American Pop" is a fantastic animation directed by Ralph Bakshi disclosing the American pop music in the Twentieth Century until 1980. The storyline follows four generations of a Russian Jewish family of refugees from the Russian Revolution that immigrate to America. Along the years, the boy Zalmie discovers life and love in night-clubs as performer and musician and becomes the patriarch of generations of musicians. The big picture of the American history is the background to present wonderful music, in blues, jazz, rock and roll, in one of the most beautiful soundtracks of the cinema history. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "American Pop"


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