Old School (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Todd Phillips|
|Produced by||Daniel Goldberg
|Screenplay by||Todd Phillips
|Story by||Court Crandall
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Edited by||Michael Jablow|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
92 minutes (Unrated)
Old School is a 2003 American comedy film released by DreamWorks Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company and directed by Todd Phillips. The story was written by Court Crandall, and the film was written by Phillips and Scot Armstrong. The film stars Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Will Ferrell as three depressed thirty-somethings who seek to re-live their college days by starting a fraternity, and the tribulations they encounter in doing so.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (December 2012)|
Attorney Mitch Martin (Luke Wilson) comes back from a business trip early and is shocked to find out that Heidi (Juliette Lewis), his girlfriend, takes part in orgies. Mitch breaks up with her. He encounters his high school crush, Nicole (Ellen Pompeo), at the wedding of his friend Frank (Will Ferrell) and does not make a good impression. Later, he finds a house located near the campus of the fictional Harrison University in New York State.
Mitch’s other friend Bernard (Vince Vaughn) throws a party at Mitch's house, dubbed 'Mitch-A-Palooza', which is a huge success. Frank gets drunk at the party and is seen streaking by his wife, putting a strain on their marriage. At the party, Mitch meets up with a young blonde whom 'stays the night' and later he finds out she is his boss's teenage daughter.
The trio run into an old acquaintance whom they used to ridicule at school: Gordon Pritchard (Jeremy Piven), who is now the College 'Dean'. He informs them that Mitch's house has been specifically designated exclusively for campus housing and so they must immediately vacate. Bernard invites the party goers back for a 'house-meeting' and proposes starting a fraternity that is open to anyone to meet the Dean's criteria of campus housing.
Following the party, Frank's wife has thrown him out, so he is temporarily living with Mitch. The new 'fraternity' carries out several (hazing) events throughout campus, attracting the attention of the Dean and other members of the faculty.
At a party for one of Bernard's children, Frank finds a tranquiliser-gun hidden in with animals from the petting zoo and accidently shoots himself in the neck, falls into the swimming-pool and is rescued from the pool by the zoo-keeper. Nicole brings her boyfriend Mark to the party and Mitch walks in on him in the bathroom in a 'clinche' with a girl from the catering firm. Mitch warns Nicole off Mark as 'not good enough' for her. Later, in attempt to ruin Nicole and Mitch's friendship: Mark recounts the bathroom incident to Nicole, as though it were he walking in on Mitch with the girl from the caterers; initially, she believes him and confronts Mitch about it. Mitch cannot believe Mark has said this and has no choice but to defend his reputation and tell her Nicole the truth about Mark's behaviour at the party.
One of the fraternity members, 'Blue', has a heart attack and collapses during a 'lube' wrestling match with two good-looking college girls at his birthday celebration. At Blue's funeral, Frank's wife says she wants a divorce, forcing Frank to live with Mitch.
Dean Pritchard claims the group violated university policies and the students who participated in the non-sanctioned fraternity are subject to expulsion. Mitch finds out that the group has the right to bypass this legality if all the fraternity complete a series of activities that range from academic tests, public debates, dance-displays, gymnastics and athletics to prove their community service, debate, and school spirit.
The men are able to complete all of the activities successfully, with an 84% average but since the deceased member of the fraternity (Blue) was still on their roster and did not compete, it dropped their overall average to 58% and they fail.
The Student Council President, Megan Huang, was earlier bribed by the Dean to revoke the fraternity's charter. Frank obtains a tape Megan secretly recorded revealing the Dean bribing her and the Dean is fired. The fraternity’s charter is reinstated and the fraternity moves into Dean Pritchard’s house.
Nicole visits Mitch and it is implied that they get together. Despite Bernard and Mitch withdrawing from the fraternity, Frank maintains his ties as leader. Mark and the Dean come to a bad end in the closing credits.
- Luke Wilson as Mitch "The Godfather" Martin
- Will Ferrell as Frank "The Tank" Ricard
- Vince Vaughn as Bernard "Beanie" Campbell
- Jeremy Piven as Dean Gordon "Cheese" Pritchard
- Ellen Pompeo as Nicole
- Juliette Lewis as Heidi
- Leah Remini as Lara Campbell
- Perrey Reeves as Marissa Jones
- Craig Kilborn as Mark
- Sara Tanaka as Megan Huang
- Simon Helberg as Jerry
- Seann William Scott as Peppers
- Elisha Cuthbert as Darcie Goldberg
- Patrick J. Adams as Patch
- Patrick Cranshaw as Joseph "Blue" Pulasky
- Rick Gonzalez as Spanish
- Jerod Mixon as Weensie
- Matt Walsh as Walsh
- Artie Lange as Booker
- Robert Corddry as Warren
- Todd Phillips as Gang Bang Member
- Bryan Callen as Avi, the Waiter
- Harve Presnell as Mr. Springbrook
- Snoop Dogg as himself
- James Carville as himself
- Warren G as himself
- Abdul Goznobi as Abdul
- Terry O'Quinn (uncredited) as Goldberg
- Andy Dick (uncredited) as Barry, Oral Sex Instructor
|This section requires expansion. (September 2008)|
The film is set in La Crescenta, California. Filming locations included Palisades High School, UCLA, USC and Harvard University. The film is considered a forerunner to the Frat Pack since three of its stars are core members of that group.
The film received mixed to positive reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 60% of critics gave the film a positive review based on a sample of 160 reviews, with an average score of 5.6/10; the consensus stated "While not consistently funny, the movie does have its moments." At the website Metacritic, which utilizes a normalized rating system, the film earned a rating of 54/100 based on 32 reviews by mainstream critics.
The film grossed $17,453,216 in 2,689 theaters in its first opening weekend at the U.S. Box office, opening at #2 behind Daredevil which was on its second week at the top spot. Old School has had gross receipts of $75,585,093 in the U.S. and Canada and $11,470,256 in international markets for a total of $87,055,349 worldwide.
- In 2003, Artios Awards nominated Old School for best casting for feature film.
- In 2003, The MTV Movie Award Nominated Old School for Best Comedic Performance (for Will Ferrell, losing to Jack Black for School of Rock) and Best On-Screen Team.
- In 2004, Taurus Award nominated Old School for Best Fire Stunt.
- in 2012, Spike Guys' Choice Awards Guy Movie Hall of Fame: Old School
|This section requires expansion. (August 2009)|
At the Mitch-a-palooza party, Snoop Dogg and Kokane perform "Paper'd Up", sampling Eric B & Rakim's track "Paid in Full". The soundtrack also included "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas, "Hungry Like the Wolf", "Farmer in the Dell", "Gonna Make You Sweat", "Louie Louie", "Chariots of Fire", "Good Lovin' Gone Bad", "Master of Puppets" by Metallica, "Playground in My Mind" by Clint Holmes and "The Sound of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel. The main song in this movie is "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake, which is played when Will Ferrell's character is fixing his car and in the closing credits. Also, The Dan Band sings one of the famous songs of Bonnie Tyler, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (with some interesting improvisational departures as to the cover's lyrics), and Styx's "Lady". During the introductory sequence Ryan Adams' "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)", co-written with David Rawlings, can be heard. Most memorably during the metal detector scene.
In 2006, a sequel to Old School was written by Scot Armstrong but was turned down by original stars, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn. The story concerned the aging fraternity going to Spring Break. While promoting Semi-Pro in 2008, Ferrell had this to say about the defunct project: “I read [the script]. Some super funny set pieces, but I don’t know. I think Vince [Vaughn] had the same reaction. We’re just kind of doing the same thing again. It was like us going to Spring Break, but we’ve got to find this guy who’s the head of a fraternity. Once again, funny things but it’s just us once again back in a fraternity setting. It just felt like it was repeating. But watch, I’m over-thinking it.”
- "Old School (2003) - Filming locations". IMDb. Retrieved June 1, 2009.[dead link]
- "Old School (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
- "Old School". MetaCritic. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
- "Old School". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
- Old School, The  Soundtrack Splat.TV
- Will Ferrell Talks Land of the Lost, Old School 2, Elf 2 and A Confederacy of Dunces
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- Old School at the Internet Movie Database
- Old School at Box Office Mojo
- Old School at Rotten Tomatoes
- Old School at Metacritic