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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:

All those years...All those dreams...All those sons...One of them is going to be a star. See more »

Genres:

Animation | Drama | Music

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

Ralph Bakshi: as the voice of the piano player who tells a pregnant Bella that her song "is going to be a big hit. I think you should try it out." 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

Tony: What is this?
The Blonde: Corn.
Tony: Corn? Corn comes in a little white box from Birdseye. Corn? Kansas is corny! Can ya eat it?
The Blonde: Yeah.
Tony: Can ya smoke it? Can ya drink it? Can ya lie in it?
The Blonde: Sure.
Tony: Then lie in it with me.
The Blonde: Are you crazy?
Tony: Yeah, I'm crazy. I'm crazy in love with your blue eyes... and your corn-silked hair. Your corn-silked hair. I'll never eat corn again without thinkin' about you. Canned corn, candy corn, popcorn, Crackerjacks! You're the prize in my box! And my box is this country. It's all tinfoil ...
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 »

Connections

Referenced in We Are Your Friends (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Free Bird
Composed by Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant
Performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

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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.


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