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The Spirit of '76 (1991)

Ann Block , Bob Casale  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Price: $13.11 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ann Block, Bob Casale, Gerald V. Casale, David Cassidy, Charles Dean
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: June 3, 2003
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008WJEP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,946 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Spirit of '76" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind the scenes
  • Additional scenes and outtakes
  • Music video: "1976" by Redd Kross
  • Easter eggs

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Musicals
Rating: PG13
Release Date: 3-AUG-2004
Media Type: DVD

A virtual pantheon of icons from the 1970s populate Spirit of '76, a 1991 homage of sorts to the decade of excessive, tacky design. David Cassidy plays an inventor from a drab, lifeless future that wants to send a team back to 1776 to retrieve the Constitution; a technical foul-up lands them in 1976 instead. You can imagine what follows: Crazy, funky get-ups and limp jokes about Watergate, self-actualization seminars, GM Pacers, streakers, and disco. Leif Garrett, Moon Zappa, Devo, Tommy Chong, Rob Reiner, and others make cameo appearances, as well as more contemporary personalities like Julie Brown. It would be charitable to assume that the filmmakers put all this together lovingly and didn't want to distract from the warm glow of nostalgia by making anything actually funny. Also featuring Olivia D'Abo, Geoff Hoyle, and members of the band Redd Kross. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manuki Manuki Manuki August 29, 2004
By Jizmo
This is a fun poke at 70s pop culture. It revolves around a team of time traveling scientists who come from 2176, meaning to travel to 1776, looking for The Constitution, to replace theirs lost in a magnetic storm, so they can get on with their business of running the country. Through a mechanical malfunction, they wind up in 1976 and the fun begins!

A note for historical accuracy: While the film would have to take place in 1976 to be able to poke fun at the heyday of David Cassidy and Leif Garrett - two of the film's stars - The Constitution wasn't written until Sept. 1787. The time traveling scientists would have to want to travel back to 1787, and wouldn't as likely end up in 1976. The film wouldn't be as much fun if taken place in 1987, now would it? Still, don't let that blaring inaccuracy spoil the fun for you. Just turn off your brain and enjoy the ride...

As just a couple of examples of the satirical parody within, David Cassidy's character (one of the time traveling scientists) picks up and looks at a Partridge Family lunchbox and laments about how terrible it would be if he and his companions were to be stuck there. Great self-parody.

In another scene, Tommy Chong is in a "head shop" extolling the virtues of a bicentennial bong which has pictures of the founding fathers on it's base. "See, you can learn about the presidents while you're getting wasted."

Just a few examples of the tounge-in-cheek, nose-thumbing homage to that silliest of decades. The list of cultural references goes on and on. Bicentennial fever, mile-long gas lines, pop-rocks 'n soda (remember that, Boomers?)... Too many to get into real discussion about over such a stupid (albeit painfully funny at times) movie.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weeeeeeelllll! June 27, 2003
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
How can you not get into this movie? It is so silly and tongue-in-cheek! Three time travelers (one of whom is David Cassidy) from 2176 aim to go back in time to 1776, "the birth of our nation", to retrieve the recorded history that was lost in the magnetic storm. Those big sillies! They wind up in 1976 instead and run smack into our beloved McDonald brothers (who helm Redd Kross, one of the greatest bands ever). Hilarity ensues as the time travelers attempt to learn about the history of our country while shopping for leisure suits, driving Pacers and learning to do the Hustle. There's something for everyone: a groovy soundtrack, a love story, car chases, Leif Garrett, fabulous fashions, a science fair, even the Meathead! Liam O'Brien as Rodney Snodgrass just steals the show! Sit back, relax, enjoy, and just "BE"! See this film so you won't be stuck thinking, "Watashiwa manuki!"
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ludicrous Nostalgia April 25, 2004
This was a fun, but not perfect movie. If you grew up in the '70s it will definitely amuse you- if you didn't, well you may find it a bit silly but I don't think it will have the same punch.
A group of scientists sends a team back to retrieve "the Constitution" which has been lost. Only one man is old enough to remember it, and he's too senile to get the details straight. A malfunction sends the team to 1976 rather than their goal of 1776 and thus the premise of the movie. Will they find what they are looking for in the age of butterfly collars, the Carpenters and Grand Funk Railroad? Well I won't spoil the film by giving away the ending, but now you know the basic plot at least. If you are still not tempted to go out and see the movie, then it's probably not really for you. If on the other hand you are thinking, "Oh man, Grand Funk Railroad! I remember them!" then you may well find this movie very entertaining.
If you enjoy movies with the stereotypical pair of stoned (or stupid) teens ala "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", "Dude, Where's My Car?", or "Dumb and Dumber", you may enjoy this film as well, even if you have no recollection of the '70s.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Retro blast! February 19, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
If you were a kid in the 70's like me, then this film will bring back great memories. The film hits has just the right goofball tone. A fun parody, but you do get involved with the characters and their mission to find the Constitution. A great film for parties or a group of friends. This film played at midnights in LA for awhile, and seems to have an underground cult status. Alot more fun than Rocky Horror, which is too wierd for many of us. David Cassidy and Lief Garrett were well cast, playing their roles with the right irony. A satisfying ending wraps it up with " Saturday Night " blasting by the Bay City Rollers!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for any "bad movie" party. November 20, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
NOW AVAILABLE NEW ON DVD so don't give anyone $25 for a used VHS copy.

Okay it's not "Gone With The Wind". Leonard Maltin thinks it's lame so I had to check it out. If you lived through the era of exploding Pinto's, David Cassidy, Leif Garrett and those wide AMC cars it's great mindless entertainment. The casting and subject match superbly. So let Leonard watch "The English Patient" one more time and check out "Spirit of '76". Choose it along with UHF (Weird Al), Martians Go Home (Randy Quaid), Frankenhooker and Motel Hell for a super "bad movie party".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 70s have never been funner! February 4, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I watched this movie over 10 times and I loved every minute of it. I'm into the seventies theme, and the fashions, music, and especially the teen heart throbs ( David Cassidy and Leif Garrett) made the movie fun to watch. It's a fun movie, I think it's neat, funny, and cute. If you are a fan of David Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or of the 70s then this is the movie for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great cult film
I saw this movie for the first time in 1994 and I howled. Such a great cult film. I love it still.
Published 3 months ago by Dorothy James
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 3 months ago by Joan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
I loved this movie when I first saw it and will probably watch it forever. It is so funny and ridiculous and makes fun of the 70's (which I grew up in).
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the '70's
All camp, all fun and all stereotypes jammed together in one strained movie. This is more a reflection and biography of Alameda, CA and the movie features many teachers, and places... Read more
Published 6 months ago by The Racket
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie.
I watched this movie probably 10 times and laughed every time. You have to have a goofy sense of humor when you buy this movie.
Published 10 months ago by Mike Del Vacchio
4.0 out of 5 stars Spirit of 76
Any movie, in my opinion, that has both of my favorite teen idols David Cassidy and Leif Garrett is a winner in my book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Raven
5.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past
Great lighthearted movie, lots of laughs. It's been a family favorite for years. So glad they have it on DVD now as it used to be impossible to find.
Published 17 months ago by Halycon
5.0 out of 5 stars A loving tribute to the coolest decade.
Yes, the movie is a parody, but one done by people who know how cool and how extravagant the 70's were. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Figureguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Kduis
Kinda corny, but David Cassidy is in it I have loved anything he does since watching him in The Partridge family
Published 18 months ago by Khairan P Duis
4.0 out of 5 stars Its different
Its a different type of music but it was good.It was funny and interestingly ironic.Cassidy still looks great as usual
Published 18 months ago by redgrl60
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