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|The Boy in the Plastic Bubble|
|Written by||Douglas Day Stewart|
|Story by|| Joe Morgenstern |
Douglas Day Stewart
|Directed by||Randal Kleiser|
|Starring|| John Travolta |
|Music by|| Mark Snow |
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producers|| Aaron Spelling |
|Production locations||Malibu Lake, California|
20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California
|Editor||John F. McSweeney|
|Running time||97 minutes|
|Production company||Spelling-Goldberg Productions|
The Boy in the Plastic Bubble is a 1976 American TV movie inspired by the lives of David Vetter and Ted DeVita, who lacked effective immune systems. It stars John Travolta, Glynnis O'Connor, Diana Hyland, Robert Reed, Ralph Bellamy and P.J. Soles. It was written by Douglas Day Stewart, produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg (who, at the time, produced Starsky and Hutch and Charlie's Angels ), and directed by Randal Kleiser, who would work with Travolta again in Grease shortly after. The original music score was composed by Mark Snow. The theme song "What Would They Say" was written and sung by Paul Williams. William Howard Taft High School was used for filming.[ citation needed ]
The movie first aired November 12, 1976 on the ABC television network.
John and Mickey Lubitch conceive a child. After multiple previous miscarriages and the death of their first son (who was born without a functioning immune system), Mickey fears the likelihood that something gravely wrong could happen to their child. John assures her that the odds of their next child being born with the same condition are low.
The pregnancy results in the birth of a live baby boy, whom they name Tod. Tod's immune system also does not function properly, meaning that contact with unfiltered air may kill him. John and Mickey are told he may have to live out his entire life in incubator-like conditions. After a strenuous four years of Tod living in the hospital, Mickey convinces John to find a way to bring Tod home. He lives with his parents in Houston, Texas. He is restricted to staying in his room all his life where he eats, learns, reads, and exercises, while being protected from the outside world by various coverings.
As Tod grows, he wishes to see more of the outside world and meet regular people his age. He is enrolled at the local school after being equipped with suitable protective clothing, similar in style to a space suit. He falls in love with his next door neighbor, Gina Biggs, and he must decide between following his heart and facing near-certain death, or remaining in his protective bubble forever. In the end, after having a discussion with his doctor who tells him he has built up some immunities which may possibly be enough to survive the real world, he steps outside his house, unprotected, and he and Gina ride off on her horse.
David Vetter, the boy who inspired this film, questioned the film's depiction of how sterile Tod's use of the spacesuit was. Vetter scoffed at the idea that Travolta's character could simply wear the space suit back into the isolator without contaminating the bubble.
The film was nominated for four Emmy Awards, winning one posthumously for Hyland.
Travolta's positive experiences on the film led him to request Kleiser as director when he was cast as the lead in the 1978 film Grease ; Kelly Ward also appeared in that film.
Days after Bill Clinton was inaugurated as U.S. President, William Safire reported on the phrase "in the bubble" as used in reference to living in the White House.Safire traced that usage in U.S. presidential politics to a passage in the 1990 political memoir What I Saw at the Revolution by Peggy Noonan, where she used it to characterize Ronald Reagan's "wistfulness about connection"; Richard Ben Cramer used the phrase two years later in What It Takes: The Way to the White House with reference to George H. W. Bush and how he had been "cosseted and cocooned in comfort by 400 people devoted to his security" and "never s[aw] one person who was not a friend or someone whose sole purpose it was to serve or protect him." Noonan's use was a reference to The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.
The film inspired the first song on the 1986 Paul Simon album Graceland .In 1992, the film's premise was satirized in the seventh episode of the fourth season of Seinfeld . It was also the subject of the 2001 comedy film Bubble Boy and the 2007 musical In the Bubble produced by American Music Theatre Project and featuring a book by Rinne Groff, music by Michael Friedman and Joe Popp and lyrics by Friedman, Groff and Popp.
The film was mentioned several times on the series That '70s Show , in the episodes of NCIS "SWAK" and "Thirst", on the Family Guy episode "The Father, The Son and The Holy Fonz" and in the film Superstar . In "Thirst" "Very Special Agent" Tony DiNozzo mentions it to partner Tim McGee, who asks if it was "pre or post Barbarino" to which Tony says that he thinks it was post, suggesting that Tim watch it on Netflix. It was actually during Welcome Back, Kotter , which began in 1975.
The film had a personal impact on Travolta and Hyland, who began a six-month romantic relationship until her death, after the film ended principal photography.
In an episode of Dance Moms , Abby Lee Miller said the girls are doing a dance inspired by the movie.
The film is referenced in two episodes of The Simpsons . In the Season 10 episode "Viva Ned Flanders," as the townspeople of Springfield mock Ned Flanders for never doing anything exciting in his entire life, Carl Carlson remarks "Even the boy in the bubble had a deck of cards." During the Season 13 episode "Little Girl in the Big Ten," Bart contracts a rare illness and is confined to a giant plastic bubble (similar to a hamster ball) in order to prevent him from spreading it to others.
John Joseph Travolta is an American actor and singer. He rose to fame during the 1970s, appearing on the television sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–1979) and starring in the box office successes Carrie (1976), Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978). His acting career declined throughout the 1980s, but he enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s with his role in Pulp Fiction (1994) and has since starred in the films Get Shorty (1995), Broken Arrow (1996), Face/Off (1997), Swordfish (2001), The Punisher (2004), Hairspray (2007), Bolt (2008) and The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009).
Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy film based on the 1971 musical of the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Written by Bronte Woodard and directed by Randal Kleiser in his theatrical feature film debut, the film depicts the lives of greaser Danny Zuko and Australian transfer student Sandy Olsson who develop an attraction for each other. The film stars John Travolta as Danny, Olivia Newton-John as Sandy, and Stockard Channing as Betty Rizzo, the leader of the Pink Ladies.
Paul Hamilton Williams Jr. is an American composer, singer, songwriter and actor. He is known for writing and co-writing popular songs performed by a number of acts in the 1970s, including Three Dog Night's "An Old Fashioned Love Song" and "Out in the Country", Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World", David Bowie's "Fill Your Heart" and the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays". Williams is also known for his musical contributions to films, including the Oscar-nominated song "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie, and writing the lyrics to the #1 chart-topping song "Evergreen", the love theme from the Barbra Streisand film A Star Is Born, for which he won a Grammy for Song of the Year and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. He wrote the lyrics to the opening theme for the television show The Love Boat, with music previously composed by Charles Fox, which was originally sung by Jack Jones and, later, by Dionne Warwick.
Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal is an American actor and producer. Born into the Gyllenhaal family, he is the son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner. He began acting as a child, making his acting debut in City Slickers (1991), followed by roles in his father's films A Dangerous Woman (1993) and Homegrown (1998). His breakthrough roles were as Homer Hickam in October Sky (1999) and as a psychologically troubled teenager in Donnie Darko (2001). The disaster film The Day After Tomorrow (2004) was his most widely seen film up until that point.
Bubble Boy is a 2001 American comedy film directed by Blair Hayes, starring Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role. It was inspired by the 1976 movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. A musical by the same name was written by the same authors and first performed in 2008.
Big Top Pee-wee is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Randal Kleiser. A stand-alone sequel to Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), the film stars Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman, with Susan Tyrrell, Kris Kristofferson, Penelope Ann Miller, and Valeria Golino also starring in supporting roles. The original music score is composed by Danny Elfman. It was released on July 7, 1988, and grossed $15 million against a $20 million dollar budget.
Mickey Blue Eyes is a 1999 romantic comedy crime film directed by Kelly Makin. Hugh Grant stars as Michael Felgate, an English auctioneer living in New York City who becomes entangled in his soon-to-be father-in-law's mafia connections. Several of the minor roles are played by actors later featured in The Sopranos.
David Phillip Vetter was an American who was a prominent sufferer of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a hereditary disease which dramatically weakens the immune system. Individuals born with SCID are abnormally susceptible to infections, and exposure to typically innocuous pathogens can be fatal. Vetter was referred to as "David, the bubble boy" by the media, as a reference to the complex containment system used as part of the management of his SCID. Vetter's surname was not revealed to the general public until 10 years after his death in order to preserve his family's privacy.
The Blue Lagoon is a 1980 American romantic survival drama film directed by Randal Kleiser from a screenplay written by Douglas Day Stewart based on the 1908 novel of the same name by Henry De Vere Stacpoole. The film stars Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins. The music score was composed by Basil Poledouris and the cinematography was by Néstor Almendros.
Diana Hyland was an American stage, film and television actress.
John Randal Kleiser is an American film and television director, producer, screenwriter and actor, best known for directing the 1978 musical romantic-comedy film Grease.
Ted DeVita suffered from severe aplastic anemia requiring him to live in a sterile hospital room for the last eight years of his life.
John Anthony Megna was an American actor, director and teacher. His best known role is that of "Dill" in the film To Kill a Mockingbird.
Timothy Daniel Considine is an American former child actor of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He later became a writer, photographer, and automotive historian.
Glynnis O'Connor is an American actress of television, film, radio, and theater. She first gained wide attention in the mid-1970s with leading roles in the television version of Our Town and in the short-lived series Sons and Daughters. She also co-starred with Robby Benson in the films Jeremy in 1973 and Ode to Billy Joe in 1976, as well as with Jan-Michael Vincent in the film Baby Blue Marine in 1976.
Pamela Jayne Soles is a German-born American actress. She made her film debut in 1976 as Norma Watson in Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976) before portraying Lynda van der Klok in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and Riff Randell in Allan Arkush's Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979).
Kelly Ward is an American actor and voice director for television animation. He is most famous for his role as T-Bird Putzie in Grease (1978).
Bubble boy, boy in the bubble or boy in the plastic bubble may refer to:
"The Bubble Boy" is the 47th episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld. It is the seventh episode of the fourth season. In this episode, the cast visits a youth who lives in quarantine due to an immune deficiency on the way to Susan's family cabin.
Jake Gyllenhaal is an American actor and producer who has appeared in over 35 motion pictures, three television programs, one commercial, and four music videos. He made his film debut in 1991 with a minor role in the comedy-drama City Slickers. In 1993, he appeared in A Dangerous Woman, a motion picture adaptation directed by Gyllenhaal's father Stephen Gyllenhaal and co-written by his mother Naomi Foner that was based on the novel of the same name by Mary McGarry Morris. In the following year, he portrayed Robin Williams' son in an episode of the police procedural television series Homicide: Life on the Street; the episode was directed by his father. In 1999, Gyllenhaal starred in the Joe Johnston-directed drama October Sky; the film was received warmly by critics, and Gyllenhaal's portrayal of the NASA engineer Homer Hickam was praised.
AMTP's newest musical was inspired by multiple "bubble boy" sources in pop culture, including the 1976 Emmy-nominated made-for-television movie "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble," starring John Travolta; the 1987 Paul Simon song "The Boy in the Bubble"; a 1992 "Seinfeld" television episode; and Bandeira Entertainment's 2001 screen comedy "Bubble Boy," starring Jake Gyllenhaal, (and more potently, the protests surrounding the Gyllenhaal film).
At the cast party, Travolta remembers, 'we admitted not only a friendly attraction but a sexual one. The intensity of it was new to both of us.'...She [later] told him that their six months together were the happiest time of her life.... Says Travolta, 'I would have married her.'