Old School (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Old School
Old s poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Todd Phillips
Produced by Daniel Goldberg
Joe Medjuck
Todd Phillips
Ivan Reitman
Screenplay by Todd Phillips
Scot Armstrong
Story by Court Crandall
Todd Phillips
Scot Armstrong
Starring Luke Wilson
Will Ferrell
Vince Vaughn
Jeremy Piven
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Mark Irwin
Edited by Michael Jablow
Distributed by DreamWorks Pictures
Release dates
  • February 21, 2003 (2003-02-21)
Running time
91 minutes
92 minutes (Unrated)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $24 million
Box office $87,055,349

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.


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 new 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 accidentally 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.



The film is set in La Crescenta, California. Filming locations included Palisades High School, UCLA, USC and Harvard University.[1] The film is considered a forerunner to the Frat Pack since three of its stars are core members of that group.


Critical reception[edit]

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."[2] 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.[3]

Box office[edit]

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.[4]



At the Mitch-a-palooza party, Snoop Dogg and Kokane perform "Paper'd Up", sampling Eric B & Rakim's track "Paid in Full".[5][6] 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.”[7]


External links[edit]