❉ Fast Times At Ridgemont High is as honest, fresh and funny as it was a generation ago.
A group of Southern California high school students are enjoying their most important subjects: sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. There’s Stacy (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Linda (Phoebe Cates) with their sexual misadventures, go-getter Brad (Judge Reinhold) with his quick career in the world of fast food and the unforgettable Spicoli (Sean Penn) as the ultimate surfer dude.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High, written by Cameron Crowe and directed by Amy Heckerling (Clueless), is simply a modern cult classic. It launched the careers of previously unknown actors, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Eric Stoltz, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Anthony Edwards, and future Oscar-winners Nicolas Cage (as Nicolas Coppola), Forest Whitaker and Sean Penn. It’s no wonder that with all this talent behind it Fast Times At Ridgemont High is as honest, fresh and funny as it was a generation ago…
This was Cameron Crowe’s (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) debut screen writing effort. At the age of 22 Crowe came up with an idea to pose undercover as a high school student for one year and write a book about his experiences. He enrolled as Dave Cameron at Clairmont High School in San Diego. The principal was not initially keen on the idea, but when Crowe name dropped a few people he had interviewed (having already written for Rolling Stone Magazine for 7 years) including Kris Kristofferson, the principal agreed as he was a big fan of Kristofferson. (What does it matter about the responsibility you have to your students if you can get the inside gossip on your favourite star!). The book, Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story, came out in 1981. Before the book was even released, the film was optioned. It was released in 1982.
Andy Rathbone was the student that Cameron Crowe based the geeky character Mark “The Rat” Ratner (Brian Backer) on and he wasn’t happy with his depiction. Rathbone later became a computer journalist and in 1992, he authored “PCs For Dummies,” the first in the series of plain-spoken computer manuals of which there are now 15 million copies in print.
Universal originally planned to only release the film in the Western part of the United States for a few weeks before sending it off to cable (regional releases were still common at this time) due to the belief that there was no audience for it. After an excellent response, the film went countrywide three weeks later with a big opening in the Eastern United States and had a long run in cinemas.
Reliving our Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Director and Screenwriters Commentary, Hangouts of Ridgemont High, Production Notes, Cast and Filmmakers, Trailer, Music Highlights.
❉ ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ is released on Blu-Ray by Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media, 26 June 2017, RRP £14.99
❉ News source: Fabulous Films.
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