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Fast Times at Ridgemont High

By Marshall Fine

Before he became an overrated filmmaker, Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire) was a reporter for Rolling Stone who was so youthful looking that he could go undercover for a year at a California high school and write a book about it. He wrote the script for this film, based on that book, and it launched the careers of several young actors, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, and, above all, Sean Penn. The story line is episodic, dealing with the lives of iconic teen types: one of the school's cool kids, a nerd, a teen queen, and, most enjoyably, the class stoner (Penn), who finds himself at odds with a strict history teacher (a wonderfully spiky Ray Walston). This is not a great movie but very entertaining and, for a certain age group, a seminal movie experience.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Amy Heckerling

Stars: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Phoebe Cates, Ray Walston, Vincent Schiavelli, Forest Whitaker, James Russo, Pamela Springsteen, Martin Brest, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards, Nicholas Cage

Released: August 13, 1982

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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