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The Spirit of '76 (1990)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 12 October 1990 (USA)
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Future Americans decide to time travel to 1776 to ask the founding fathers for the solutions to their problems. A glitch in the time machine changes their destination to 1976. Still ... See full summary »

Director:

Lucas Reiner

Writers:

Roman Coppola (story), Lucas Reiner (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Mothersbaugh ... Chevron-17 (as Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo)
Gerald V. Casale Gerald V. Casale ... Yale-44 (as Gerald V. Casale of Devo)
Carl Reiner ... Dr. Von Mobil
Nancye Ferguson Nancye Ferguson ... Nurse
David Cassidy ... Adam-11
Bob Casale ... Ron-29 (as Bob Casale of Devo)
David Kendrick David Kendrick ... Ron-31 (as David Kendrick of Devo)
Geoff Hoyle Geoff Hoyle ... Heinz-57
Olivia d'Abo ... Chanel-6
Jeffrey McDonald Jeffrey McDonald ... Chris Johnson (as Jeff McDonald)
Steve McDonald Steve McDonald ... Tommy Sears
Liam O'Brien Liam O'Brien ... Rodney Snodgrass
Ann Block Ann Block ... Chris' Mom
Charles Dean Charles Dean ... Chris' Dad
Martin von Haselberg ... Agent 1
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Storyline

Future Americans decide to time travel to 1776 to ask the founding fathers for the solutions to their problems. A glitch in the time machine changes their destination to 1976. Still believing themselves to be in 1776, the time travellers attempt to study this "ideal" civilization. 70's jokes, props and stars abound. Written by Bob Eichler <robert_eichler@fmso.navy.mil>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A close-up look at the most embarrassing decade in history.

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Azok a csodás 70-es évek See more »

Filming Locations:

Alameda, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,979, 14 October 1990

Gross USA:

$52,310

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,310
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Deluxe)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The acronym "CIA" stood for "Custom Industrial Appliances". See more »

Goofs

When Eddie Trojan and Chanel-6 are riding in Eddie's car the song 'Don't Fear The Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult is playing. The date is July 4, 1976. 'Don't Fear The Reaper' was not recorded until August 1976, and it became a billboard hit in November 1976. See more »

Quotes

Cheryl Dickman: What sign are you? Because my mood ring just, like, totally changed colors.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits of the movie featured the zodiac sign symbol of each cast and crew member on the production next to their name. See more »

Connections

References Starsky and Hutch (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Speed Racer
Composer: Zavalla-Riss Productions, Inc.
Publisher: Far East Music Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

Had potential.
27 May 2008 | by BlueghostSee all my reviews

I saw this one evening with my boss who had done a lot of feature work. His one comment was this; "This just shows that you can make any kind of film you want if you have the right connections." The gist here being that he didn't like it, and thought the film was sorely lacking on a number of levels.

I agreed with him.

Having lived through the 70s, as had my former manager, we were hoping for a bit of a send-up and otherwise a humorous tribute to what one stand-up comic described as a "cultural depression". Tassles on banana seat bikes, flared out bell bottom genes and slacks, paisley print shirts, apple caps, gas lines, disco, and, of course, exploding Pintos. But it was not to be.

Instead of commentary on why the nation (and the then "Western Free World") veered in that direction, we were given superficial exposition to the cultural tidbits of 1976. They're like minor vignettes for a variety show done during the post-sexual revolution.

The promised exploration and exposition of 1976 America (as it loosely related to the nations founding in 1776 ... part of the gag) is lost. There's no emotional connection whatsoever, just a loose and feebly scripted "homage" to the peculiarities and trends of the time. It's as if the script was written by a first or second year film student. The story lacks a larger theme and deeper emotional focus.

Still, it's worth a smirk to look at one time. My boss wasn't too pleased that I had dragged him to see a midnight showing after work (especially since we had a 7AM call time the next morning ... but I digress), but I have to admit that my curiosity of seeing the film had been satisfied. And although I agree with my former employer's comment, and have ripped the film apart in this review, I did, in a very not-so-serious way, enjoy it for what it was. Still, it's not a film I'd add to my DVD collection.

Watch at your own risk.


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