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I remember watching an English language (probably live-action) film as a kid (on the TV, but I don't think it was a series) about which I remember the part where there was a group of people who could turn invisible when they held their breath and, at one point, they are almost given away while hiding when one (possibly a child) can't hold thier breath long enough. They were possibly aliens. This would have been early 80s, I think, but possibly an older movie being reshown. What movie was it?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Earthbound (1981) [IMDB]

Based on the holding-one's-breath-to-turn-invisible plot device, the time-period, and the match of many other descriptions you gave, I'm guessing this is the film you are looking for.

In the comments for this video, someone posted:

"Thank you for uploading this. I must have seen it when it aired on NBC in '82, because I remember the "holding your breath to turn invisible" thing, and particularly the scene shown briefly at 3:04. It's been bugging me for decades, wondering what this movie was. Now I know. :D"

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This is also something that happens in the movie Paul(2011) – Ingó Vals Jan 23 '12 at 16:37
It's not Paul, he said it happened when he was a kid. – Andrew Latham Jan 23 '12 at 16:48
Also referenced in Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" to help Chihiro get across the bridge of Spirits. – Andrei Freeman Mar 12 '12 at 2:24

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