Old School (film)

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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
Production
company
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.

Plot[edit]

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 his friend Frank’s (Will Ferrell) wedding party and does not make a good impression.

Mitch 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.

The trio run into Dean Pritchard (Jeremy Piven) who informs them that Mitch's house is specifically designated for social services and community housing. Bernard proposes starting a fraternity that is open to anyone to meet the Dean's criteria.

One of the fraternity members, "Blue", has a heart attack and collapses during his birthday celebration. At Blue's funeral, Frank's wife says 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 by completing a series of activities that range from academics and athletics to community service, debate, and school spirit.

The men are able to complete all of the activities successfully but fail since the deceased member of the fraternity (Blue) was still on their roster.

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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

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.

The screenplay was written as a comedic answer to Fight Club,[2] and there are numerous parallels in the script.

Release[edit]

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."[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

Awards[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

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

Sequel[edit]

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.”[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]