The producers of In Search of America never declared outright that the made-for-TV film was intended as a series pilot, but there sure are plenty of loose plot ends. Carl Betz and Vera Miles play the parents of shaggy-haired college dropout Jeff Bridges. At the boy's suggestion, Betz and Miles pack their family--including grandma Ruth McDevitt- ...Read MoreThe producers of In Search of America never declared outright that the made-for-TV film was intended as a series pilot, but there sure are plenty of loose plot ends. Carl Betz and Vera Miles play the parents of shaggy-haired college dropout Jeff Bridges. At the boy's suggestion, Betz and Miles pack their family--including grandma Ruth McDevitt--into a 1928 Greyhound bus and hit the road, in search of you-know-where. The picaresque plotline brings the family in contact with a variety of colorful characters. Written by Lewis John Carlino, a name that would mean a lot more to filmgoers after The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1976), In Search of America was first telecast March 23, 1971. Hal Erickson, RoviRead Less
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I bought this for $1 in the bargain bin. Within five minutes I could tell it would be one of the worst movies I had ever seen, and yet I couldn't stop watching it. The movie supposedly centers around Bridge's character dropping out of college to go "find himself" and the predictable 1970 generation gap showdown as a result. Bridges brings home an old bus and begins restoring it in the driveway, which translated through the camera lens, means he cleaned, polished, and painted while some awful chanting/singing took place in the background. One magic moment took place when Dad pulls in the drive in the requisite wood paneled station wagon (after work at his 9 to 5 establishment job of course) and with a roll of the eyes begins tinkering with the old bus alongside his son. Could an old bus bridge the generation gap? Bridges talks his parents and grandmother (who's just a little too hip) into taking an extended trip with him in the bus. In a scene that was sexist even by 1971 standards, the first night camping out found the "women-folk" preparing dinner in the bus while the men-folk stretched their legs. Of course the newfangled microwave oven malfunctioned, causing sparks, and it was the men-folk to the rescue. I was embarassed to be a man at that point. The rest of the movie centered around a Woodstock style rock festival (which never actually took place by the way) and the interaction(s) between the uptight parents and the "new generation" of young people. The young people in the movie were surprisingly whiney and defensive, not a very positive image. This was confusing, as I thought the whole purpose and message in the movie was to show how much beter the world would be if the young people were just given a chance. A couple wants to have a baby with no interference from a doctor, a young girl is tired of being on a dialysis machine so he hides out from her parents, the one black person in the entire movie is an apparently insane person who fancies himself a witch doctor and of course hits it off with the "too hip" grannie. I'm not a movie person. It's all but impossible to get me to sit through 90 minutes of anything, let alone a 40 year old piece of junk like this. Yet I did. And I'd watch it again. It's just that stupid. And Vera Miles (the Mom) is hot.