The Spirit of '76 (1990)

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Movie Info

Making great fun of the '70s, this lively sci-fi comedy centers on a trio of time travellers who go into the past in hopes of retrieving the Constitution to celebrate America's 300th birthday. Unfortunately, the travelers end up in 1976 not 1776. The trouble is, they don't realize it.

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Critic Reviews for The Spirit of '76

All Critics (5)

Uneven but fairly amusing sendup of '70s culture

Dec 2, 2005 | Rating: 3/5

...the film's just not funny...

Nov 6, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Long before Austin Powers and That 70's Show "created" the 1970's nostalgia wave there was a cheap little indie comedy that came and went before anybody noticed.

Apr 27, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

You might get a campish kick from The Spirit of '76...Where else can you find a film that has teen idol David Cassidy sharing time with new wave fave Devo?

Jun 5, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5

Audience Reviews for The Spirit of '76

As if you couldn't already tell from the DVD cover, "The Spirit of '76" is a silly blast of nostalgic kitsch. The year is 2176. A trio of American scientists from a gray, cheerless future aim to travel back in time to 1776, in order to find the forgotten Constitution and rediscover what once made their country wonderful. But their rickety capsule has a technical glitch, and they are sent back to 1976 instead. They soon meet up with two vapid teen brothers (played by Redd Kross' Steve and Jeff McDonald), and the plot doesn't go much further than this. Instead, we're just bombarded with a parade of campy '70s references, none of which are especially arcane or knowing. Disco, mood rings, Pop Rocks, feathered hair, smiley faces, the Bicentennial...you can guess the rest. The casting may be more entertaining than the script. Former teen idols David Cassidy and Leif Garrett have prominent roles, and there's something oddly epic about seeing them share a scene near the end. Other vintage icons playing along with the joke include Rob Reiner (his brother Lucas wrote and directed the film), Carl Reiner, Barbara Bain ("Mission Impossible," "Space: 1999"), Tommy Chong and Iron Eyes Cody, while then-trendy figures like Moon Zappa, Julie Brown and members of DEVO also turn up in cameos.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Hilarious movie! Definitely a movie from childhood. Whoa! I just commented on this previously. Oh well.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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