Americathon (1979) - Rotten Tomatoes

Americathon (1979)





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Movie Info

With the United States facing a major financial crisis, desperate President Chet Roosevelt resorts to an unusual method of increasing revenue: holding an international telethon to help save America. This alleged comedy attempts to mix political satire and broad comedy.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Michael Mislove, Monica Johnson, Neal Israel
On DVD: Nov 30, 2010


John Ritter
as President Chet Roose...
Peter Riegert
as Eric McMurkin
Harvey Korman
as Monty Rushmore
Fred Willard
as Vincent Vanderhoff
Zane Buzby
as Mouling Jackson
Nancy Morgan
as Lucy Beth
Elvis Costello
as The Earl of Manchest...
Chief Dan George
as Sam Birdwater
Tommy Lasorda
as Announcer
Jay Leno
as Larry
Meat Loaf
as Oklahoma Roy
Howard Hesseman
as Kip Margolis
Robert Beer
as David Eisenhower
Nellie Bellflower
as VP Advertising
Jimmy Weldon
as VP Research
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Critic Reviews for Americathon

There are no critic reviews yet for Americathon. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for Americathon

Not quite as bad as its reputation, but pretty damn bad. I laughed out loud a few times, but mostly I was bored. A great idea destroyed mostly by clumsy direction. A miss for sure.


What happens when a bankrupt America finally faces foreclosure from the world wealthiest man? Why hold a nationwide telethon of course!

A typical 70's ensemble cast acts out a script that is Sardonic, Shallow and actually funnier now than it was at the time of it's release due to the casting and how the actors careers turned out. This flick is definitely personality driven to the point near Shatnerian in it's seeming denial (or Obliviousness) of the absurdity of the script or story.

Strong points include (some spoilers);

John Ritter as the President of the United States. Probably seemed like a strong lead then as he was still a newcomer to acting and mostly known for "Three's Company". Hysterical in hindsight as he found his niche (post Wholly Moses) playing Clueless, overly passive but well meaning father figures. (see; Problem Child series, 8 simple Rules and real Men).

Meat Loaf in a cameo battles the last running car in the world.

The Telethon is a stinking failure until somebody shoots the MC, A truly narcissistic ass played to perfection by Harvey Korman. After America responds with donations to the Bleeding Korman, crew members note "If I had know America wanted to see [Korman] shot, I would have done it days ago."

A supposed sexy scene with Ritter and a Korean Punk superstar in what might be the least sexy 30 seconds ever on film.

If you are a fan of "bad movies" such as the "Big Bus", bring this forgotten gem to your next group viewing. It will probably get you declared King of the Hill.

Mike M.
Mike Medina

I haven't seen this movie since it was originally released (I had the soundtrack on 8-Track!), but it had an all-star cast, a political satire about the country holding a telethon because it was going broke, and one of the more bizarre but cool actors I've ever seen, Zane Busby. Please release this movie on DVD!!!

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