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Recap / The Brady Bunch S 2 E 4 The Ununderground Movie

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Unlike the Schwartzes, with whom he had an acrimonious relationship, Robert Reed had a wonderful relationship with his six juvenile co-stars on The Brady Bunch, and often gave them advice on life and the acting profession. He was very much like a second father to Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Chris Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland and Susan Olsen, and several of the kids' biographies point this out, and even Sherwood and Lloyd Schwartz have readily admitted this.

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Sometime in 1970, Reed gave each of the kids a Super 8 movie camera as a gift, hoping to inspire their own movie-making careers and creativity. Much appreciated gift it definitely was, and it even inspired a TV special where the kids – now adults – shared some of their home videos made with Reed's present.

Of course, in the Brady universe, what family wouldn't be cool without a movie camera? You can bet Mike Brady owned a movie camera and as a proud papa, often filmed his children, his wife and Alice at home just being a family. If real-life films existed, fans would be treated to some unique bonding and good times. Alas, some do exist as Greg is allowed to borrow the camera to make "The Un-Underground Movie."

The topic of this special film is one on the First Thanksgiving, called "Our Pilgrim Fathers." For his American history class (honors, no dobut), Greg wants to make a movie on the landing on Plymouth Rock, the first harsh winter in Massachusetts, and the eventual first Thanksgiving meal. Mike and Carol are cast as John Smith and Priscilla Alden, while Alice is Gov. John Carver; the younger siblings are all either Native Americans or Pilgrim children. Greg wants full control of the project, as in his mind, he knows exactly what he wants to say and how he wants the film to look. The family, though well-meaning, have a few suggestions of their own and while Greg is receptive at first, he eventually is bombarded with demands and recommendations. Greg finally loses his cool and threatens to cancel the film immediately.

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After cooling off and some consulting with his parents, Greg agrees to work with everyone – his parents, Alice and the siblings – and the result was a masterpiece that rightly earns an A-plus! Only a brief excerpt of the film is shown – much of the second half of the episode is devoted to a montage of the family actually filming the movie and the bonding that results – but it shows that Greg, and by extension, Williams, was a very adept movie producer, editor and director.

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Tropes present in this episode:

  • Girls with Moustaches: With the help of some makeup as well, this turns Alice into a convincing Gov. John Carver.
  • In-Camera Effects: Greg uses several effects, such as undercranking and overcranking, to make his film more "artsy."
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Even though it originally aired Oct. 16, 1970, a full month-plus before turkey day in the United States, the Thanksgiving theme is strongly evident. As such, for many years stations aired – and in some cases, still do – air this episode on or around Thanksgiving Day.
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