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Film / Bradleys Summer

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Bradley is bored. He's going to have to stay with his aunt while his parents are on a business trip to Japan, and he's not looking forward to it.

Fortunately, his summer turns out to be quite eventful. After he joins a detective club founded by the local Meddling Kids, he ends up embroiled in a terrorist plot to blow up a congresswoman during a party held at the house where Bradley is staying! With the help of an invisibility potion created by a member of the club, Bradley and the other kids try to expose and stop the terrorists.

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This is a film made by a group called "Leadership Through Drama", an organization based in Iowa that aims to give kids better confidence and skills by allowing them to produce their own movies. The writing, producing, directing, and most of the acting (besides many adult characters) are all done by middle school and high school students. If you'd like to watch the movie yourself, the entire film is available freely on YouTube here.


This film provides examples of:
  • Adults Are Useless: Played straight before being subverted later. When four of the kids go to rescue Kelly from the terrorists, the adults simply wish them luck but don't join them. Later, however, the drunken chef rescues the kids from the terrorists.
  • Are We There Yet?: Bradley says this classic line multiple times during the ride up.
  • The Butler Did It: In addition to doing it, he also was the leader of the terrorist organization.
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  • Contrived Coincidence: How Kelly discovers the terrorists. One of them contacts her on AOL Instant Messenger by flubbing the intended screenname, accidentally contacting "Radio549" (who is Kelly) instead of "Radio249" (who is the terrorist's accomplice). Furthermore, said terrorist happens to be the one who plans to blow up the house at which Bradley is staying.
  • Crying Wolf: The kids have been wrong in the past with claims they took to the police, so the police naturally don't believe their current story about a terrorist plot in their hometown.
  • Dull Surprise: All the adults take the existence of a loud bomb explosion, a failed terrorist plot, and an invisibility potion surprisingly well.
  • Free-Range Children: Judging by their attempts to prove that a repairman is actually a thief, these kids' parents let them go everywhere.
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  • Hilarious Outtakes: As part of two separate YouTube videos.
  • Invisibility: A potion allows whoever drinks it to become invisible. Useful for both hijinks and stopping the bad guys.
  • Invisible Streaker: The potion doesn't make clothes invisible, so the user has no choice but to strip naked. This is later used for comedy.
  • Living with the Villain: The terrorist leader is the butler at the house where Bradley is staying.
  • Meaningful Name: Crisco loves to eat a lot. How lucky that he's named after a food company.
  • Puppy Love: Bradley and Kelly's mutual crush amounts to things like reaching for the same item in a store and holding hands for a split second by accident, or looking at each other and smiling.
  • Would Hurt a Child: While they don't physically punch or kick the kids or cause direct physical harm, the bad guys have no problem holding a knife to a kid's neck or pointing a gun to a kid's head.

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