How I Got into College (1989)

PG-13 | 86 mins | Comedy | 19 May 1989

Writer:

Terrel Seltzer

Producer:

Michael Shamberg

Cinematographer:

Robert Elswit

Production Designer:

Ida Random

Production Company:

Twentieth Century Fox
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HISTORY

The 8 Feb 1988 HR and 11 Mar 1988 LAT reported actors Rick Moranis and Harold Ramis were set to make uncredited cameos, but neither appear in the film. Actors Dan Schneider, who played a pessimistic boy, and Curtis Armstrong, who was the recruiter from Arcadia Bible Academy were uncredited. The character of “Jessica Kailo” was reportedly based on screenwriter Terrel Seltzer’s twin sister, Laurel.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state that How I Got Into College was actress Finn Carter’s theatrical feature film debut.
       The 11 Mar 1988 LAT stated that principal photography began 1 Feb 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, under director Jan Eliasberg. Five days later, Eliasberg was replaced by “Savage” Steve Holland. Twentieth Century Fox claimed that Eliasberg was attempting to film a “sophisticated comedy,” while the studio had wanted more “slapstick.”
       According to the production notes, the film was shot in forty-three days in and around Los Angeles, including the Greystone Mansion, which provided the interior of Ramsey College. Pomona College in Pomona, CA was used for all exterior college shots. The budget was estimated at $9-$10 ... More Less

The 8 Feb 1988 HR and 11 Mar 1988 LAT reported actors Rick Moranis and Harold Ramis were set to make uncredited cameos, but neither appear in the film. Actors Dan Schneider, who played a pessimistic boy, and Curtis Armstrong, who was the recruiter from Arcadia Bible Academy were uncredited. The character of “Jessica Kailo” was reportedly based on screenwriter Terrel Seltzer’s twin sister, Laurel.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files state that How I Got Into College was actress Finn Carter’s theatrical feature film debut.
       The 11 Mar 1988 LAT stated that principal photography began 1 Feb 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, under director Jan Eliasberg. Five days later, Eliasberg was replaced by “Savage” Steve Holland. Twentieth Century Fox claimed that Eliasberg was attempting to film a “sophisticated comedy,” while the studio had wanted more “slapstick.”
       According to the production notes, the film was shot in forty-three days in and around Los Angeles, including the Greystone Mansion, which provided the interior of Ramsey College. Pomona College in Pomona, CA was used for all exterior college shots. The budget was estimated at $9-$10 million. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 1988
p. 1, 11.
Hollywood Reporter
22 May 1989
p. 4, 10.
Los Angeles Times
11 Mar 1988
Section VI, p. 1, 26.
Los Angeles Times
20 May 1989
p. 4.
New York Times
20 May 1989
p. 15.
Variety
24 May 1989
p. 34.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Michael Shamberg Production
A Savage Steve Holland Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mg
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
2d unit cam
1 asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam tech
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Illustrator
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Lead person
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const foreman
Paint foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Set costumer
Set costumer
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus ed
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cable person
Supv sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Opt eff and titles by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Asst makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod assoc
Scr supv
Prod coord
Prod secy
Asst to Mr. Holland
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
New York addl casting by
Chicago addl casting by
Casting asst
Casting asst
Extra casting
Extra casting
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Accounting asst
Helicopter pilot
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
SOURCES
SONGS
"Young," written by Joseph Vitarelli, Jason Scheff, Edgy Lee and Savage Steve Holland, produced by Joseph Vitarelli, performed by Jason Scheff, courtesy of Reprise Records
"Get Ready," written by William Robinson, performed by Rare Earth, courtesy of Motown Records Company, L. P.
"Words Of A Freestyle," written by Shawn Moltke and Marion Williams, performed by M. C. Shan, courtesy of Cold Chillin' Records/Warner Bros. Records Inc. by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"Young," written by Joseph Vitarelli, Jason Scheff, Edgy Lee and Savage Steve Holland, produced by Joseph Vitarelli, performed by Jason Scheff, courtesy of Reprise Records
"Get Ready," written by William Robinson, performed by Rare Earth, courtesy of Motown Records Company, L. P.
"Words Of A Freestyle," written by Shawn Moltke and Marion Williams, performed by M. C. Shan, courtesy of Cold Chillin' Records/Warner Bros. Records Inc. by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"What I Like About You," written by Jimmy Marinos, Wally Palmer and Mike Skill, performed by Michael Morales, courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a division of PolyGram Records, Inc.
"Tobacco Road," written by John D. Loudermilk, performed by David Lee Roth, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"In The Name Of Love," written by Steve Dorff and Philip Allen Brown
"Love Like We Do," written by Edie Brickell, performed by Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, courtesy of Geffen Records by arrangements with Warner Special Products, "Love Changes Everything," written by Simon Climie, Rob Fisher and Jennis Morgan, performed by Climie Fisher, courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc. under license from Capital Special Markets
"Hail To The Matadors," written by Richard S. Kaufman.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 May 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 19 May 1989
Production Date:
1 February--15 March 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
1 June 1989
Copyright Number:
PA415026
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Duration(in mins):
86
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29277
SYNOPSIS

High school junior Marlon Brown cannot keep his mind on taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), as he keeps ogling his classmate, Jessica Kailo. When the bell rings, Marlon hands his paper into his guidance counselor, Mrs. Wyler, who stares in horror at his test sheet. The following year, Marlon explains to his friend, Oliver, that he plans to go to whatever college Jessica is attending. Oliver advises that Marlon’s collegiate future should not be based on his crush on a girl that has not spoken to him since sixth grade. Instead, Oliver tries to persuade Marlon to hitchhike across the country, hunting for game show models with unredeemed vacation prizes. Across the cafeteria, Jessica regales her friends with a story of a girl who went for her college interview prepared to talk about world peace or the newest scientific discoveries, only to have the interviewer ask what household appliance she wanted to be and why. Before the girl finished answering, the interviewer declared her time up and asked if she had anything more to reveal about herself. The girl panicked, ripped open her blouse, then cut her throat with a letter opener. As the girls recoil in horror, Jessica laughs and tells them to stop stressing about getting into college. Later, Marlon runs into Jessica, who is campaigning for senior class president. His offer to help is interrupted by Mrs. Wyler, asking to see Jessica. Marlon overhears Jessica tell Wyler that she plans to go to Ramsey College. At Ramsey College, admission recruiters Kip Hammett and Nina Sachie present a campaign to promote the notion ... +


High school junior Marlon Brown cannot keep his mind on taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), as he keeps ogling his classmate, Jessica Kailo. When the bell rings, Marlon hands his paper into his guidance counselor, Mrs. Wyler, who stares in horror at his test sheet. The following year, Marlon explains to his friend, Oliver, that he plans to go to whatever college Jessica is attending. Oliver advises that Marlon’s collegiate future should not be based on his crush on a girl that has not spoken to him since sixth grade. Instead, Oliver tries to persuade Marlon to hitchhike across the country, hunting for game show models with unredeemed vacation prizes. Across the cafeteria, Jessica regales her friends with a story of a girl who went for her college interview prepared to talk about world peace or the newest scientific discoveries, only to have the interviewer ask what household appliance she wanted to be and why. Before the girl finished answering, the interviewer declared her time up and asked if she had anything more to reveal about herself. The girl panicked, ripped open her blouse, then cut her throat with a letter opener. As the girls recoil in horror, Jessica laughs and tells them to stop stressing about getting into college. Later, Marlon runs into Jessica, who is campaigning for senior class president. His offer to help is interrupted by Mrs. Wyler, asking to see Jessica. Marlon overhears Jessica tell Wyler that she plans to go to Ramsey College. At Ramsey College, admission recruiters Kip Hammett and Nina Sachie present a campaign to promote the notion that the college is looking beyond test scores for well-rounded applicants. Leo Whitman, another recruiter, presents his own slogan “Go to Ramsey and drive a BMW.” As they squabble, Chancellor Joanna Holbrook announces that Admissions Dean Patterson is retiring and she will promote one of the admission staff to take his place. After the meeting, Leo, Kip, and Nina make fun of “Flutter,” the forth recruiter, who once enrolled a pig based on phony transcripts, by leaving a toy hog on his desk. That night, Jessica argues with her parents over going to Ramsey. Although they are both Michigan University alums, they agree to go to a college fair to check out Ramsey’s booth. Marlon and Oliver also attend the fair, where Marlon meets Nina, but is too shy to ask about Ramsey. As the fair closes, Marlon runs up to Kip and tells him why he needs to go to Ramsey. Kip first tells him it is a mistake to plan his whole life around a girl, but after staring at Nina flirting with a recruiter from Harvard, Kip changes his mind and invites Marlon to the Ramsey open house. At home, Marlon’s father, Bill Browne, and his twenty-four year old stepmother, Sharon, berate Marlon for not heeding Mrs. Wyler’s warnings to look for “safety schools.” However, his father agrees to enroll Marlon into an SAT preparation boot camp. The boot camp is a money trap, where the advisor’s only real guidance is not to leave any question unanswered, as all blanks are scored as an error. Marlon asks the instructors if they can help him get into Ramsey, and they suggest he try getting in on a sports scholarship. They change their minds when Marlon states the only sport he can play is ping-pong. Across town, Ramsey recruiter Nina meets with star athlete, Ronny Paulson, but rejects him when his coach asks for money and a car in exchange for Ronny’s enrollment. She notices Vera Cook, another senior, studying surrounded by unruly students. She meets Vera and her mother while Vera works at a McDonald’s fast food restaurant. Vera’s mother declares Nina is wasting their time, Vera accepts Nina’s invitation to tour Ramsey. After flunking the SAT a second time, Marlon runs into Jessica and lets her know he is going to the Ramsey’s open house. Jessica’s friends laugh, and tell her Marlon has no chance of being accepted. At the open house, Nina watches Leo chat with all the “important parents” and chastises Kip for not trying to get promoted. At the recruits only party, Marlon and Oliver sit with Vera. Oliver explains his plans to see the world accompanied by game show models as Jessica walks in. After a few drinks, they walk the campus while Jessica predicts she will ace her interview. The next morning, Jessica overhears Leo arguing with Dean Patterson’s secretary, that the son of a rich alum should not be interviewed by Flutter, a recruiter, who Leo claims only sees the mediocre students who are “state college material” and “a dime a dozen.” Jessica looks at her appointment card and notices she is being interviewed by Flutter. Just before ushering in Jessica, Flutter sees that his office has been bobby trapped with toy pigs. During the interview, he is dismayed when a balloon pig floats out of a closet. Jessica, who is unaware of the source of Flutter’s anxiety, thinks she is failing the interview. After droning on about wanting to study art restoration, Jessica is stopped by Flutter stating she is out of time and asks if she has anything else to reveal about herself. Jessica screams, rips open her blouse and runs out of the office. Flutter, fixated on the balloon, has no idea what happened. Marlon skips his own interview to chase after Jessica. When Jessica confesses she blew her interview, Marlon assures her the only way she could have ruined her chances to attend Ramsey is if she exposed herself. Jessica runs off crying. Marlon finds Kip and asks him to help Jessica. Kip agrees on condition that Marlon worry about his own admission. Kip finds Jessica and tells her that Flutter observed she was an extremely well rounded young lady. Thinking Kip is alluding to her breasts, Jessica screams and runs away. Since Marlon’s test scores are low, the SAT counselors suggest he might stand out with extra-curricular activities. Following their advice, Marlon opens a daycare center, where he accidently throws a kid through a garage door during an “airplane ride.” He takes professional wrestling classes, only to be body slammed by a female wrestler. He finally takes up juggling before making a video tape essay for the admission office. Marlon discovers that Jessica did not even apply to Ramsey. She breaks down, believing she is “common.” Marlon explains people who are common do not worry about being common. He then talks her into driving to Ramsey to beat the evening application deadline. As they drive, Jessica writes her essay titled “Secret Confessions of a High School Prom Queen.” Finding the admissions office closed, Marlon breaks in and delivers the application. When Marlon drops Jessica off, she kisses him, and hopes they can spend the next four years together. Days later, Ramsey accepts Jessica, but vetoes Vera Cook, because her SAT scores were too low. Although Nina and Kip argue passionately on her behalf, Vera is put on a waitlist. Kip attempts to show Marlon’s videotape, but Leo insists it is a waste of time as his numbers are so low. Kip is incensed and informs Leo if he becomes dean of admissions, the college will lose all pretensions of trying to find students with personalities and creativity. Walking out of the room, Kip announces that he will quit if Leo is made dean. Nina follows Kip home to watch Marlon’s video where he juggles, wrestles and tries to “discipline kids.” One of the little girls tells him to “grow up.” Marlon confides that he is growing up as fast as he can, but needs time to mature and figure out what direction his life should take. Nina calls Leo a “pig,” which gives Kip an idea. The next day, Leo is handed a file for a candidate with a test score “off the chart.” He declares this is the type of student Ramsey needs. Kip agrees, then escorts the “candidate into the room. It is a baby elephant. Kip argues that if Ramsey’s new standards were in effect when he applied, he would not have been admitted. Chancellor Joanna Holbrook agrees to admit Vera and Marlon. Days later, Oliver finds Marlon unconscious on his front lawn holding his acceptances letter. Oliver revives him to announce he is leaving town. The friends say goodbye and Oliver sticks his thumb out. A pink Cadillac, towing a trailer of household appliances and driven by game show models pick him up. Jessica arrives and after reading Marlon’s acceptance letter, embraces him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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