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5-25-77 (2017)

'77 (original title)
2:59 | Trailer
Alienated, hopeful-filmmaker Pat Johnson's epic story growing up in rural Illinois, falling in love, and becoming the first fan of the movie that changed everything.
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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Francis Daley ... Pat Johnson
Austin Pendleton ... Herb Lightman
Colleen Camp ... Janet Johnson
Neil Flynn ... Dr. Callahan
Steve Coulter Steve Coulter ... Bill
Emmi Chen Emmi Chen ... Linda
Katie Jeep Katie Jeep ... Robin Braden
Justin Mentell ... Tony
Gwen Kmiec Gwen Kmiec ... Jody Johnson
Mark Lorenz Mark Lorenz ... Donny (as Mark Buenning)
Christopher McLinden ... Doug
Caitlin Barlow Caitlin Barlow ... Jenny
Ema Tuennerman Ema Tuennerman ... Dawn
Eddie Kunz ... Jeff Greene
Eric Miles Eric Miles ... Jay Johnson


Alienated, hopeful-filmmaker Pat Johnson's epic story growing up in rural Illinois, falling in love, and becoming the first fan of the movie that changed everything.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Did You Know?


A preview cut of this film was shown at "Star Wars Celebration IV" in Los Angeles. Appropriately enough, it was shown on 5-25-2007, the 30th anniversary of the premiere of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). After ten more years of additional work on the film, the final cut was released nationally on 5-25-17, on the 40th anniversary of the same occasion. See more »


Some shots show the characters driving on Gurnee, IL roads where Six Flags Great America's "American Eagle" wooden roller coaster can be prominently seen in the background.

The movie is set in 1977, but the American Eagle did not open until the 1981 season. See more »


Herb Lightman: Because Hollywood is the least likely place on the planet Earth for anyone's dreams to EVER come true.
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Alternate Versions

Versions of the film were screened on the festival circuit in 2008 and 2013 but additional scenes were filmed in 2015 and 2016, to be incorporated into the version released in 2017. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-25-77 See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

User Reviews

A Frenetic Mess
27 May 2017 | by 12B1PSee all my reviews

Ostensibly, 5-25-77 is a coming of age story regarding the filmmaking aspirations of its lead character, Patrick. And if that's all it tried to be, it might have been an excellent film.

There are so many subplots that the movie is nearly incoherent. Only a couple of these subplots wrap up. Many are seemingly dropped, and one or two don't even properly begin... they're just somehow there. Technical issues aside (and there are a lot of them), the narrative never seems to find its rhythm. By the end of the film, it's trying to be about love and finding oneself, but Patrick begins the film already seeming to know who he is. The rest is filler. Literally.

There is a very good sequence when Patrick visits Hollywood, but it's not enough to save the movie.

The editing is horrible, almost nonsensical. It's as though the filmmakers concentrated on six minutes at a time, without once giving thought to how those six minutes connect with the rest of the film.

The use of music in scenes is among the worst uses of music I've ever witnessed. In an early scene, the mix is so bad you can barely hear the characters talking. In a later scene that - if silent - would have been a beautiful, poignant moment, silly music instead up-ends the scene to the point of an eye-roll.

And the story? Well, were it not for the characters telling you what was going on at any given time, you wouldn't have a clue what it was.

I so very much wanted to like this film, but I so very much do not.

Several friends of mine have seen shorter versions (the one I watched was around 2 hours and 15 minutes), and they all speak highly of those shorter cuts. I'd be curious to watch them, but you couldn't pay me to sit through this one again. It hurt to watch.

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Release Date:

25 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

5-25-77 See more »

Filming Locations:

Gurnee, Illinois, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(Workprint Version)


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