Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Difference between revisions

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* Brad Hamilton's line "I will serve no fries until their time" is a reference to the popular [[Paul Masson#Paul Masson winery and brand|Paul Masson Wine]] commercial from the era, starring [[Orson Welles]]. His trademark "We will sell no wine...before it's time" was a part of pop culture for a while.
 
* Brad Hamilton's line "I will serve no fries until their time" is a reference to the popular [[Paul Masson#Paul Masson winery and brand|Paul Masson Wine]] commercial from the era, starring [[Orson Welles]]. His trademark "We will sell no wine...before it's time" was a part of pop culture for a while.
 
* The film has become an indisputable cult classic. On the DVD commentary, Sean Penn is quoted as saying "None of us ever expected it would turn into this thing that took on a life of its own."
 
* The film has become an indisputable cult classic. On the DVD commentary, Sean Penn is quoted as saying "None of us ever expected it would turn into this thing that took on a life of its own."
*The disgusted reaction by Phoebe Cates when she sees Judge Reinhold's character masturbating in the bathroom was real, not scripted. Reinhold ad-libbed the scene without telling anybody to flesh out his fantasy of Cates' character coming topless out of the swimming pool.
+
*The disgusted reaction by Phoebe Cates when she sees Judge Reinhold's character masturbating in the bathroom was real, not scripted. Reinhold ad-libbed the scene without telling anybody to flesh out his fantasy of Cates' character coming topless out of the swimming pool. To add more disgust, Reinhold brought a vibrator to use it on his crotch to react.
 
*Oddly enough, David Lynch was offered the directing job for this film, but he declined.
 
*Oddly enough, David Lynch was offered the directing job for this film, but he declined.
   

Revision as of 02:30, 13 May 2009

Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Fast Times at Ridgemont High film poster.jpg
Original movie poster.
Directed byAmy Heckerling
Produced byIrving Azoff
Art Linson
Written byCameron Crowe
StarringSean Penn
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Judge Reinhold
Phoebe Cates
Brian Backer
Robert Romanus
Lana Clarkson
Ray Walston
Forest Whitaker
Nicolas Cage
Music byDanny Elfman
CinematographyMatthew F. Leonetti
Edited byEric Jenkins
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
August 13, 1982
Running time
90 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish, Italian, Afrikaans
Budget$4,500,000 (estimated)
Box office$27,092,880 (USA) (sub-total)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen-comedy film written by Cameron Crowe (adapted from his book) and directed by Amy Heckerling. The film follows a school year in the lives of freshman Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh), freshman Mark Ratner (Brian Backer) and their respective friends Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates) and Mike Damone (Robert Romanus), who believe themselves wise in the ways of romance and counsel their younger counterparts. The ensemble cast of characters also includes Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), a perpetually stoned surfer, who faces off against uptight history teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), who is convinced that all of his students are on "dope." Stacy's brother, Brad (Judge Reinhold), is a popular senior who works to pay for a car.

It includes early appearances by several actors who would later become stars, including Sean Penn, Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Edwards, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, and Judge Reinhold. Notably, three of the actors who appeared in the film — Cage, Penn, and Whitaker — would win an Academy Award for Best Actor later on in their careers.

Crowe himself would soon become a celebrated Hollywood director and screenwriter, eventually winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his movie Almost Famous.

Plot

File:Phoebejennifer.jpg
Phoebe Cates and Jennifer Jason Leigh

Stacy Hamilton (Leigh) is a high school freshman who works at Perry's pizza parlor with the seemingly more sexually experienced Linda Barrett (Cates). Mark Ratner (Backer) also works in the mall, as "assistant to the assistant manager" of the movie theater. His friend Mike Damone (Romanus), who also hangs out at the mall scalping rock concert tickets, believes himself to be both worldly and wise in the ways of women. Stacy's brother Brad (Reinhold) is a relatively popular, if a bit dorky, senior who works at All-American Burger to buy a blue 1960 Buick LeSabre and only has six more payments left ("Six more payments gentlemen, and this beautiful, blue, four-door, luxury sedan is all mine.") .[1] Surfer Jeff Spicoli (Penn) hotboxes a Volkswagen Microbus before the final bell rings for the start of a new school year.

The sexually curious Stacy initially hooks up with a much older home stereo salesman, Ron Johnson of Pacific Stereo. He provides her first sexual experiences, but dumps her a few months later, and then Stacy seeks other relationships.

Stacy and nerdy Mark Ratner end up sharing a biology class. Eventually Ratner asks Stacy out and receives pointers from his friend Damone, the scalper. The date goes well despite Ratner forgetting his wallet at home and the tape deck being stolen from his sister's vehicle during their dinner "at such a fancy place." They go back to her house where she comes on to him, and he chickens out, leaving her there with nothing but a robe on.

Brad loses his cherished job at All American Burger in a dispute with an unsatisfied customer ("Mister, if you don't shut up, I'm gonna kick 100 percent of your ass!") and is forced to take a new job at "Captain Hook Fish and Chips," a Long John Silvers-styled fish restaurant. Employees are forced to wear pirate uniforms, and, after being laughed at by a beautiful woman (Nancy Wilson of Heart, Cameron Crowe's wife) while on a delivery to "the boys at IBM," Brad quits this job in disgust while tossing all the "Catch of the Day" boxes into the street out of the "cruising vessel."

Meanwhile, Spicoli drinks beer and smokes marijuana as he joyrides in a 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 owned by Charles Jefferson (Whitaker), star of the football team. The car is a gift from a grateful alumnus, and Jefferson's little brother, along for the ride, is concerned about its well-being. Of course, Spicoli wrecks the car, but promises he can fix it. The next day at school, a large crowd gathers around the front entrance where Jefferson's totaled car is covered in graffiti making it look as if the rival high school, Lincoln, destroyed it as a prank. Jefferson vents his anger out on the Lincoln football team that night, winning the game and sending Lincoln's quarterback out of the game on a stretcher.

Spicoli annoys Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), his American History teacher, in a series of amusing sketches, including one in which Spicoli arranges for a pizza delivery in the middle of class by a less-than-thrilled "Pizza Guy" delivery man (Taylor Negron) only to have Mr. Hand take the double-cheese and sausage pizza and distribute its slices to his favored students. In the end, Mr. Hand takes some revenge by visiting Spicoli at his home on the night of the senior prom and administering an impromptu History lesson — long enough to delay Spicoli until well after the prom has started. Still, the teacher relents on the question of whether or not he will flunk Spicoli, telling the stoned surfer that he'll probably "squeak by".

Stacy meets and grows attracted to Ratner's friend, Damone. Stacy invites Damone into her house and asks if he wants to go for a swim. She brings him into the changing booth near the pool. Instead of them swimming as planned, the two have clumsy, unsatisfying sex in the changing booth. Later, Stacy discovers that she is pregnant with Damone's child. Damone is unable to come up with half the money to pay for an abortion. That night, Damone desperately and unsuccessfully attempts to collect from past "clients" who owe money. Ashamed, Damone does not show up to drive Stacey to the clinic. Stacy catches a ride with Brad to a nearby bowling alley under false pretenses. Brad sees Stacy leave the bowling alley and enter the clinic. After the procedure is finished, Brad waits for Stacy outside and talks to her about what happened, though Stacy will not tell him the identity of the father. Linda goes after Damone by scrawling "Prick" in spray paint on his car door and "Little Prick" in marker on his school locker.

Damone and Ratner get into a fight over Stacy after Ratner hears about Stacey's pregnancy, and they cut ties with each other. They speak to each other at the prom, however, and become friends again. Stacy gives a demure photo of herself to Ratner and makes it clear that she'd like to begin seeing him again. Then we see Brad at his new job at a 7-Eleven-type store, Mi-T-Mart. Spicoli walks in wearing a Colt-45 T-shirt and tries to make a purchase while fumbling with pocket change. He then asks to use the bathroom. A thief pulls up, walks in the door, sprays the security camera, pulls out a pistol and tells Brad to give him the money. Spicoli walks out of the bathroom, and inadvertently distracts the thief just long enough for Brad to throw hot coffee in the robber's face and capture him, becoming a local hero. Then breaking into the credits, we see what happens to the students in the future:

  • Brad Hamilton - Made manager of Mi-T-Mart June 12.
  • Mike Damone - Busted for scalping Ozzy Osbourne tickets. Now working at 7-Eleven.
  • Mr. Vargas - Switched back to coffee.
  • Linda Barrett - Attending college in Riverside. Now living with her Abnormal Psych professor.
  • Rat & Stacy - Having a passionate love affair. But still haven't gone all the way.
  • Mr. Hand - Convinced everyone is on dope.
  • Jeff Spicoli - Saved Brooke Shields from drowning. Blows reward money hiring Van Halen to play at his birthday party.

Additional scenes

There are several extra scenes only shown on the cable versions. They include

  1. A scene during class registration in the gym, where Brad's friends warn Stacy about Mr. Hand before school starts.
  2. An extended scene with Stacy and Linda in the mall with a girl (Hallie Todd) approaching Linda asking her about different ways of safe sex because she doesn't have protection.
  3. Brad throwing away an old batch of fries ("I shall serve no fries before their time") and is questioned by his boss, Dennis Taylor.
  4. Stacy in the abortion clinic. She is shown lying on the table, and asking if this will be as painful as having the baby.
  5. Damone and Ratner talk about what to do on a date and Damone telling Rat to play Led Zeppelin IV. This scene is followed by a scene in which Linda and Stacy are talking on the phone in their underwear. In this conversation Linda warns Stacy about the Led Zeppelin IV seduction technique.
  6. Brad talking with a guidance counselor about his life.
  7. Brad ripping down a Coca-Cola poster in his bedroom after getting fired from All American Burger.
  8. Mr. Hand signing students' yearbooks at the school dance.
  9. Extended dialog in the "no shirt, no shoes, no dice" scene, in which Spicoli says "I have uno nickel-ette ... and a [guitar] pick" and makes up a story of how Mick Jagger had given him that pick.
  10. An extra scene of Linda comforting Stacy after she tells Linda that she might be pregnant after her tryst with Damone.
  11. In the boy's restroom, Spicoli is telling his buddies an exaggerated version of his run-in with Mr. Hand ("I went up, snatched his nose..."). In reality, Spicoli just called him a "dick" and walked out.
  12. Spicoli's speech to Jefferson's younger brother at the arcade, "life is like Pac-Man. You have to decimate or be decimated."
  13. Brad cleaning the men's restroom mirror and rehearsing a speech he plans to say to his girlfriend that they begin seeing other people. The mirror has graffiti of "Big Hairy Pussy" (The mirror has graffiti of "EAT IT" in TV versions)
  14. A scene where Stacy and Linda are discussing how handsome Craig from Holbrook is, the worker in the Pizza Shop.
  15. Craig and Johnny Lightning at the school dance talking with Spicoli about butteries and uncontrollably laughing, with Dusty looking confused in the background.
  16. Brad's sister talks about how hot Brian from Selden is, and claims she made out with him.
  17. Stacy sees Ron Johnson's Datsun 280 ZX and says to Linda "Linda, this is his car. I know he's at work." Linda says "Stacy!" (That was after he dumped Stacy.)

Mistakes

One of many romance tips Damone provides in the film is to play side one of Led Zeppelin IV, when it "Comes down to making out." On the way to their restaurant date, we soon hear "Kashmir" from the band's 1975 double album Physical Graffiti. (Due to a licensing issue, the producers were unable to gain clearances to use songs from Led Zeppelin IV.)

Cast

Soundtrack

Untitled

The soundtrack album, Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Music from the Motion Picture, peaked at #54 on the Billboard album chart. Several songs were released as singles, including Jackson Browne's "Somebody's Baby", which reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[2] Other singles were the title track by Sammy Hagar, "So Much in Love" by Timothy B. Schmit and "Waffle Stomp" by Joe Walsh. In addition to Schmit and Walsh, the album features solo tracks by two other members of the Eagles, Don Henley and Don Felder. The soundtrack also included a track called "I Don't Know (Spicoli's Theme)" by Jimmy Buffett.

Amy Heckerling, in the DVD audio commentary, states that the '70s "classic rock" artists like the Eagles were the idea of one of the film's producers. Though she does not mention him by name, that was clearly Irving Azoff, who in addition to producing the film was also a rock artist manager; having managed the Eagles during the '70s and, by 1982, continuing to manage the now broken-up band members' solo careers, Azoff had a vested interest in loading the hit soundtrack with songs that would generate money for his clients (there is even a cover version of the Eagles' 1977 hit "Life in the Fast Lane" played, somewhat incongruously, by the film's cover band in the high-school dance scene). For her part, Heckerling was more interested in the L.A. New Wave sounds of Oingo Boingo, The Cars, and the Go-Go's, which she felt were more popular among kids of that era.

Among the songs in the film that do not appear on the album include The Cars' "Moving in Stereo", Tom Petty's "American Girl", "We Got the Beat" by The Go-Go's (the first song heard over the opening credits), and a piano version of "Strangers in the Night" which plays in the background at the German restaurant.

Another song not on the album is "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin, a band that is highly selective in licensing its songs for use in films. Crowe was later able to use several Zeppelin tracks in Almost Famous, including "The Rain Song" and "That's the Way."

Also missing from the soundtrack are the Cinch songs from the graduation dance at the end of the film, "Life in the Fast Lane" and "Wooly Bully".

Track listing

  1. "Somebody's Baby" (Jackson Browne) - 4:05
  2. "Waffle Stomp" (Joe Walsh) - 3:40
  3. "Love Rules" (Don Henley) - 4:05
  4. "Uptown Boys" (Louise Goffin) - 2:45
  5. "So Much in Love" (Timothy B. Schmit) - 2:25
  6. "Raised on the Radio" (The Ravyns) - 3:43
  7. "The Look in Your Eyes" (Gerard McMahon) - 4:00
  8. "Speeding" (The Go-Go's) - 2:11
  9. "Don't Be Lonely" (Quarterflash) - 3:18
  10. "Never Surrender" (Don Felder) - 4:15
  11. "Fast Times (The Best Years of Our Lives)" (Billy Squier) - 3:41
  12. "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" (Sammy Hagar) - 3:36
  13. "I Don't Know (Spicoli's Theme)" (Jimmy Buffett) - 3:00
  14. "Love Is the Reason" (Graham Nash) - 3:31
  15. "I'll Leave It up to You" (Poco) - 2:55
  16. "Highway Runner" (Donna Summer) - 3:18
  17. "Sleeping Angel" (Stevie Nicks) - 3:55
  18. "She's My Baby (And She's Outta Control)" (Jost Palmer) - 2:53
  19. "Goodbye, Goodbye" (Oingo Boingo) - 4:34
  20. "Everybody's Girl" (Rick Springfield)

Origins and production

The film is adapted from a book Crowe wrote after a year spent at Clairemont High School in San Diego, California. He went undercover to do research for his 1981 book Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story, about his observations of the high school and the students he befriended there.[3] Heckerling shepherded the young cast, which included Nicolas Cage in his first feature-film role. He was credited as Nicolas Coppola for the only time. It was also the film debut for Eric Stoltz and provided early roles for Anthony Edwards and Forest Whitaker. Crowe's girlfriend at the time, and later, wife, Nancy Wilson of Heart, has a cameo as "Beautiful Girl in Corvette".

Filming locations for Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Fast Times was filmed in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles (although it is never explicitly mentioned as such in the film), and many people identify the movie with that area and the teen culture that existed there, or was perceived to exist there, in the early 1980s. "Ridgemont" is a fictional name (there is a small suburban community by named Ridgemont in Northern California by Hollister CA)/ Crowe likely named it after Clairemont High School in San Diego (Spicoli mentions surfing at Sunset Cliffs, a genuine surf spot near San Diego). Most of the exteriors of Ridgemont High School were shot at Van Nuys High School, and other scenes were shot at Canoga Park High School and Torrance High. The "Ridgemont Mall" shown in the film was actually the Sherman Oaks Galleria, with its exterior shot at Santa Monica Place. The actual mall has since been converted to an open-air mall. Santa Monica Place was also recently closed and the entrance that was used in the film will be renovated. "The Point" was filmed at the Encino Little League Field in Encino.

In the DVD Commentary, director Amy Heckerling tells of how Phoebe Cates was initially reluctant to carry out her character's poolside topless scene at the house (at 24124 Welby Way in West Hills, 91307) because she thought the neighbors might be spying on the set from the surrounding rooftops.

Reception

Box office

Universal Pictures gave it a limited theatrical release on August 13, 1982, opening in 498 theaters. It earned $2.5 million in its opening weekend. The release was later widened to 713 theaters, earning $3.25 million and ranking 29th among US releases in 1982. The movie has since earned more than $27 million,[4] six times its $4.5 million budget, gaining popularity through television showings and home video releases.

Criticism

The film has an 80 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] However, it was panned by critics at the time. Roger Ebert called it a "scuz-pit of a movie", though he praised the performances by Leigh, Penn, Cates and Reinhold.[6] Janet Maslin wrote that it was "a jumbled but appealing teen-age comedy with something of a fresh perspective on the subject."[7]

Nominations, listings

Crowe's screenplay was nominated for a WGA Award for best comedy adapted from another medium. In 2005, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The film ranks #87 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs list, is #15 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies"[8] and is #2 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the "50 Best High School Movies".[9]

American Film Institute recognition

TV spinoff

The movie inspired a short-lived 1986 television series called Fast Times. Ray Walston and Vincent Schiavelli reprised their roles, respectively as Mr. Hand and Mr. Vargas, the biology teacher. Other cast members were Courtney Thorne-Smith as Stacey, Wally Ward as Mark, Claudia Wells as Linda, Patrick Dempsey as Mike, Dean Cameron as Spicoli and James Nardini as Brad.

Moon Unit Zappa provided "teenage consultation" for this TV series. She was hired in order to research slang terms and mannerisms of teenagers, as she had just graduated from high school at the time and had a much better grasp of then-current high school behavior than the writers.

Pop culture references

  • The animated comedy TV series Family Guy has lampooned the film in several episodes. The Season 3 episode "The Kiss Seen Around the World" was loosely based on the film, including a teacher named Mr. Vargas and a parody of the Cates sequence with Tom Tucker playing the role of Linda and Meg Griffin playing Brad's role. Also, in "Let's Go to the Hop", Peter Griffin sneaks out of his bedroom in the same manner (and to the same music) as Stacy did when going on her date with Ron. A later episode was named "Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High", a parody of the movie's title. Another episode, "Brian The Bachelor" features a cut to Spicoli after Mort Goldman throws coffee into Peter's face, saying "Awesome, Totally awesome! Alright, Goldman!" a slightly altered version of the film's last line.
  • In the sitcom Scrubs, series protagonist JD has a fantasy about an attractive nurse walking down the hall in a way similar to that of the bikini scene.
  • At the conclusion of the fourth episode of Clerks: The Animated Series, there is a scene where Judge Reinhold throws coffee in a robber's face, and is threatened with a lawsuit - a parody of the film's ending. Also referenced in Clerks II is "Train Wreck!" - making-of video "The 80's Ending."
  • In the TV show Viva La Bam (Episode 5, Season 5), when Ryan Dunn realizes that his limousine is wrecked, Jared 'Evil' Hasselhoff consoles him by saying Jeff Spicoli's line "My old man is a television repairman, he's got this ultimate set of tools."
  • In the TV show Chuck in season 2 episode 4, there is an appearance by a character that Chuck knew from high school named Mark Ratner. Additionally, the next episode (2.5) centers around a video game titled "Missile Command," which is seen in the beginning of the film and in the very last shot before credits on a screen displaying 'The End,' signifying the end of both the game and the movie. Also, the episode ends with one of the Buy More employees saying "Hey bud, let's party," a line that Spicoli says during Fast Times.

Trivia

  • Near the beginning of the movie, right after Mr. Hand sends Spicoli to the front office for being late to class, he passes out the class schedule of quizzes. After the paper is passed out, the students put the page up to their noses and deeply inhale. This was a popular school ritual of the '60s, '70s and early '80s as photocopying machines were very expensive, so spirit duplicators, more commonly referred to as "ditto machines," were used. The spirit duplicators used a colored wax as the "ink" and an alcohol-based solvent as a transfer agent to impress the ink on the paper. These solvents sometimes took a long time to dry, hence the students' use of these solvents as a short-term "high."
  • In each scene which takes place in Mr. Hand's history class, he is attempting to teach the students about the Platt Amendment.
  • Although Jennifer Jason Leigh played the younger high school student taken under the wing of Phoebe Cates' high school veteran character, in real life, Leigh is actually a year older than Cates.
  • The movie was originally rated X by the Motion Picture Association of America but in order to lower that rating, some of the sex and nudity scenes were cut (boathouse scene, for instance); it was then re-rated as a R by the MPAA.
  • There is a line in the Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip song 'Rappers Battle' "Sean Penn could win ten Oscars and still be Spicoli."
  • Brad Hamilton's line "I will serve no fries until their time" is a reference to the popular Paul Masson Wine commercial from the era, starring Orson Welles. His trademark "We will sell no wine...before it's time" was a part of pop culture for a while.
  • The film has become an indisputable cult classic. On the DVD commentary, Sean Penn is quoted as saying "None of us ever expected it would turn into this thing that took on a life of its own."
  • The disgusted reaction by Phoebe Cates when she sees Judge Reinhold's character masturbating in the bathroom was real, not scripted. Reinhold ad-libbed the scene without telling anybody to flesh out his fantasy of Cates' character coming topless out of the swimming pool. To add more disgust, Reinhold brought a vibrator to use it on his crotch to react.
  • Oddly enough, David Lynch was offered the directing job for this film, but he declined.

References

  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High DVD commentary

Notes

  1. ^ Fast Times at Ridgemont High at the Internet Movie Cars Database, IMDCB.org
  2. ^ Charts and Awards, Allmusic.
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083929/trivia
  4. ^ Fast Times at Ridgemont High at Box Office Mojo (retrieved on December 6, 2006).
  5. ^ Fast Times at Ridgemont High at Rotten Tomatoes (retrieved on December 6, 1982).
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger. 1982. Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Chicago Sun-Times (retrieved on December 6, 2006).
  7. ^ Maslin, Janet. September 3, 1982. "Ridgemont High", New York Times (retrieved via registered-user account on December 6, 2006).
  8. ^ "Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies List is Laughable", Manroomonline.com, June 2, 2006.
  9. ^ [1], ''Entertainment Weekly''.

External links