Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

R | 92 mins | Comedy | 13 August 1982

Director:

Amy Heckerling

Writer:

Cameron Crowe

Producers:

Art Linson, Irving Azoff

Cinematographer:

Matthew F. Leonetti

Editor:

Eric Jenkins

Production Designer:

Dan Lomino

Production Companies:

Refugee Films, Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

       On 4 Oct 1981, Var reported that two years earlier, Universal Pictures executives Thom Mount and Sean Daniel had purchased the film rights to Cameron Crowe’s book, Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story (1981), referred to in the article by the title, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which was to be published that year, for “an undisclosed sum.” Universal planned to begin principal photography Nov 1981 on a “well-below average budget,” with first-time motion picture director Amy Heckerling.
       A 6 Nov 1981 DV news item and the 13 Nov 1981 HR production charts confirmed that principal photography began 2 Nov 1981 in the Los Angeles, CA, area. Although DV estimated a seven-week shooting schedule, production notes in AMPAS library files indicated that filming lasted a total of eight weeks, in various Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley, CA, locations. Night shooting took place after hours at the Sherman Oaks Galleria in Sherman Oaks, CA, from 9:00 pm until 9:00 am. Hundreds of extras were hired to portray shoppers, while the fast food restaurants remained open to provide snacks for the cast and crew. During the first week of the schedule, the mall was decorated with “Ridgemont High” signs, pom-poms, and banners. The crew returned for an additional week of filming, when the location had been decorated for Christmas. Production designer Dan Lomino worked with director of photography Matthew F. Leonetti to develop an interior lighting system that would resemble normal mall lighting, but would still fully illuminate the scene. The setup reportedly saved a full day of shooting.
       Ridgemont High scenes were filmed over ... More Less

       On 4 Oct 1981, Var reported that two years earlier, Universal Pictures executives Thom Mount and Sean Daniel had purchased the film rights to Cameron Crowe’s book, Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story (1981), referred to in the article by the title, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which was to be published that year, for “an undisclosed sum.” Universal planned to begin principal photography Nov 1981 on a “well-below average budget,” with first-time motion picture director Amy Heckerling.
       A 6 Nov 1981 DV news item and the 13 Nov 1981 HR production charts confirmed that principal photography began 2 Nov 1981 in the Los Angeles, CA, area. Although DV estimated a seven-week shooting schedule, production notes in AMPAS library files indicated that filming lasted a total of eight weeks, in various Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley, CA, locations. Night shooting took place after hours at the Sherman Oaks Galleria in Sherman Oaks, CA, from 9:00 pm until 9:00 am. Hundreds of extras were hired to portray shoppers, while the fast food restaurants remained open to provide snacks for the cast and crew. During the first week of the schedule, the mall was decorated with “Ridgemont High” signs, pom-poms, and banners. The crew returned for an additional week of filming, when the location had been decorated for Christmas. Production designer Dan Lomino worked with director of photography Matthew F. Leonetti to develop an interior lighting system that would resemble normal mall lighting, but would still fully illuminate the scene. The setup reportedly saved a full day of shooting.
       Ridgemont High scenes were filmed over eight days at Van Nuys High School in Van Nuys, CA. Although classes remained in session, the school allowed students interested in filmmaking to observe production. Additional locations included a rented house with a pool in Canoga Park, CA, the girls’ gym at Canoga Park High School, Morningside Memorial Hospital in Inglewood, CA, All American Burger in Brentwood, CA, and various streets in the San Fernando Valley. The final week of filming took place on four sets constructed on Stage 3 at the Universal Studios lot in Universal City, CA, which served as the poolside changing room and the bedrooms of “Mike Damone,” “Linda Barrett,” and “Jeff Spicoli.” Production notes indicated that Heckerling and costume designer Marilyn Vance researched the movie’s wardrobe by observing the clothing of teenagers at local high schools and rock clubs. In an 11 Sep 1982 LAHExam article, actress Jennifer Jason Leigh stated that she prepared for the role of “Stacy Hamilton” by rereading her own high school diaries and letters, as well as taking a job at the Sherman Oaks Galleria Perry’s Pizza restaurant for three weeks.
       Prior to the film’s 19 Aug 1982 Los Angeles release, a news story in the 13 Jul 1982 DV reported that the 5 Jul 1982 Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) bulletin had granted Fast Times at Ridgemont High an X-rating, due to a love scene between Leigh’s character, Stacy Hamilton, and Robert Romanus’ Mike Damone, which featured full-frontal male nudity. As the picture was “the first major studio film in some time” to be given an X-rating, Universal agreed to edit the scene, allowing the MPAA to re-issue the film as R. In the LAHExam, Leigh explained that teenage test audiences had found the scene “too graphic,” and the actress expressed her disappointment that the re-cut version eliminated the sense of awkward hesitancy between the two characters, who weren’t "ready for sex.”
       On 9 Feb 1986, LAT announced that CBS had hired Amy Heckerling to serve as supervising producer and multi-episode director for a television adaptation of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, expected to air 5 Mar 1986. Actors Ray Walston and Vincent Schiavelli were confirmed to reprise their roles as “Mr. Hand” and “Mr. Vargas,” respectively, while the film’s screenwriter Cameron Crowe would serve as a “reality consultant.” Despite many similarities to the film, however, executive producer Allen Rucker stated that the television series would make no references to sex or drugs, due to television censorship. CBS aired Fast Times, which starred Patrick Dempsey and Courtney Thorne-Smith, before cancelling the program in Apr 1986.
       In 2002, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was placed at #87 on AFI’s 100 Funniest Movies list.
       End credits include special thanks to Canoga Park High School, MI-T-Mart, Sir Fish & Chips, and Van Nuys High School, as well as the following businesses in the Sherman Oaks Galleria: Annie’s Hallmark; B. Dalton Books; Belgian Waffle; C. H. Banker; Cheri’s Boutique; Chinese Eating Place; Chipyard; Contempo Casuals; Crabtree & Evelyn; Elza Jewelers; Essex Clothing; Expanding Wall; Eyeglasses by Dr. Mass; Florsheim; Footlocker; The Gap; The Home Shop; Hot Dog on a Stick; House of Almonds; Howe’s Hallmark; Joyce Selby Shoes; Kaboby; Kay’s Jewelry; Lanz; Leatherbound; Licorice Pizza; The Limited; Malings; Mexican Dan; Miller’s Outpost; Mon Marte; The Music Box Shop; Naturalizer West; New York Deli; Orange Julius; Orofino Jewelers; Pacific Theatres; Papa’s Famous Hot Dogs; Pappagallo; Perry’s Pizza; The Phone Center; Potatoes, Potatoes; Pretzel Place; Radio Shack; Regal Shoes; Richman; Sandy Lane; Schaffer & Sons; Slavick’s Jewelers; Susie’s Casuals; Swensen’s; Swiss Jewelers; Tamara’s; Tell Time; Vince’s Pet Shop; W. C. Chicken; Weisfield’s; and Windsor Fashions.
      An epilogue preceding the end credits summarizes the whereabouts of the main characters after the events of the film: Brad Hamilton was “made manager of MI-T-Mart June 12,” Mike Damone was “busted for scalping Ozzy Osbourne tickets” and is “now working at 7-11,” Mr. Vargas “switched back to coffee,” Linda Barrett is “attending college in Riverside” and “now living with her Abnormal Psych Professor,” Mark “Rat” Ratner and Stacy Hamilton are “having a passionate love affair but still haven’t gone all the way,” Mr. Hand is “convinced everyone is on dope,” and Jeff Spicoli “saved Brooke Shields from drowning” but then “blows reward money hiring Van Halen to play his Birthday party.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1981.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jul 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 1982
p. 3, 22.
LAHExam
11 Sep 1982
Section C, p. 1, 7.
Los Angeles Times
13 Aug 1982
p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
9 Feb 1986.
---
New York Times
3 Sep 1982
p. 6.
Variety
4 Oct 1981.
---
Variety
11 Aug 1982
p. 20.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Nicolas Coppola
Reeves Nevo & The Cinch:
[and]
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Refugee Films Production
An Amy Heckerling Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Scr
Based on His Book
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Addl photog by/Cam op
Stills
Key grip
Gaffer
Gaffer
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Greensman
Painter
COSTUMES
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Cost supv
Cost supv
MUSIC
Addl scoring by
Mus ed
Mus coord
Mus prod audio consultant
SOUND
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Loop dial ed
Boom man
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Asst to Amy Heckerling
Scr supv
Asst to prod
Asst to exec prod
Asst to exec prod
Asst to exec prod
Unit pub
Casting, New York
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Craft service
Caterer
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story by Cameron Crowe (New York, 1981).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Raised On The Radio," written by Rob Fahey, performed by Ravyns
"Somebody's Baby," written by Jackson Browne and Danny Kortchmar, performed by Jackson Browne
"Love Rules," written by Don Henley and Danny Kortchmar, performed by Don Henley
+
SONGS
"Raised On The Radio," written by Rob Fahey, performed by Ravyns
"Somebody's Baby," written by Jackson Browne and Danny Kortchmar, performed by Jackson Browne
"Love Rules," written by Don Henley and Danny Kortchmar, performed by Don Henley
"Waffle Stomp," written and performed by Joe Walsh
"Never Surrender," written by Don Felder and Kenny Loggins, performed by Don Felder
"So Much In Love," written by W. Jackson, R. Straigis, and G. Williams, performed by Timothy B. Schmit
"Goodbye, Goodbye," written by Danny Elfman, performed by Oingo Boingo, courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
"Uptown Boys," written by Louise Goffin and Janna Allen, performed by Louise Goffin
"Fast Times (The Best Years Of Our LIves)," written and performed by Billy Squier, courtesy of Capitol Records
"Sleeping Angel," written and performed by Stevie Nicks, courtesy of Modern Records
"Speeding," written by Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin, performed by The Go Go's, courtesy of International Records Syndicate, Inc.
"The Look In Your Eyes," written by Gerard McMahon and Michael Ostin, performed by Gerard McMahon, courtesy of Full Moon/Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
"Love Is The Reason," written and performed by Graham Nash, courtesy of Capitol Records
"Don't Be Lonely," written by Marv Ross, performed by Quarterflash, courtesy of Geffen Records
"I Don't Know (Spicoli's Theme)," written by Jimmy Buffett and Michael Utley, performed by Jimmy Buffett, courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
"Fast Times At Ridgemont High," written and performed by Sammy Hagar, courtesy of Geffen Records
"I'll Leave It Up To You," written by Rusty Young, performed by Poco, courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
"Moving In Stereo," written by Gregory A. Hawkes and Ric Ocasek, performed by The Cars, published by Lido Music, Inc./Oversnare Music, Inc., courtesy of Elektra Records
"We Got The Beat," written by Charlotte Caffey, performed by The Go Go's, courtesy of International Records Syndicate, Inc.
"Winter Wonderland," performed by Darlene Love, courtesy of Phil Spector International
"American Girl," written and performed by Tom Petty, courtesy of Shelter Recording Company, Inc. and MCA Records, Inc.
"Life In The Fast Lane," written by Glenn Lewis Frey, Donald Hugh Henley, and Joseph Fidler Walsh, performed by Reeves Nevo & The Cinch
"Wooly Bully," written by Samudio Domingo, performed by Reeves Nevo & The Cinch
"Kashmir," by Led Zeppelin, courtesy of Swan Song, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 August 1982
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 13 August 1982
New York opening: 3 September 1982
Production Date:
2 November--late December 1981
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 December 1982
Copyright Number:
PA160066
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Ultracam 35 Camera, Lenses and Equipment Provided by Leonetti Cine Rentals
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
26703
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While waiting tables at Perry’s Pizza restaurant in the Ridgemont Mall of Ridgemont, California, Linda Barrett and her co-workers gush over an attractive older customer. In the mall movie theater, Mike Damone sells concert tickets to two younger boys for a profit. Back at the restaurant, Linda’s fifteen-year-old co-worker, Stacy Hamilton, gives her phone number to the handsome customer, Ron Johnson, after telling him she is nineteen. Meanwhile, at the All American Burger restaurant, Stacy’s older brother, Brad Hamilton, reprimands classmate Jeff Spicoli and his friends for not wearing shirts. After the mall closes, Linda encourages Stacy to call Ron despite their age difference, stating that she would do it herself if she did not have a fiancé in Chicago, Illinois. On the first day of school at Ridgemont High, Stacy, Brad, Mike, and other students navigate their way through crowded halls. After the bell rings, Spicoli, high on marijuana, enters his history classroom late as the teacher, Mr. Hand, discusses the merits of punctuality. Mr. Hand destroys Spicoli’s schedule card and instructs the boy to visit the front office. Later, at lunch, Stacy and Linda observe fashion trends and discuss their sexual experience; a table of boys watch as Linda teaches Stacy how to perform oral sex. In Mr. Vargas’ biology class, Mark “Rat” Ratner is immediately attracted to Stacy, and later tells Mike that he loves her. Mike instructs Rat to attract girls by adopting an attitude of aloofness. After Stacy’s mother tucks her into bed that night, the girl sneaks out her window and meets Ron. He takes her to the dugout of a baseball diamond called “The Point,” where they have sex. The next day, ... +


While waiting tables at Perry’s Pizza restaurant in the Ridgemont Mall of Ridgemont, California, Linda Barrett and her co-workers gush over an attractive older customer. In the mall movie theater, Mike Damone sells concert tickets to two younger boys for a profit. Back at the restaurant, Linda’s fifteen-year-old co-worker, Stacy Hamilton, gives her phone number to the handsome customer, Ron Johnson, after telling him she is nineteen. Meanwhile, at the All American Burger restaurant, Stacy’s older brother, Brad Hamilton, reprimands classmate Jeff Spicoli and his friends for not wearing shirts. After the mall closes, Linda encourages Stacy to call Ron despite their age difference, stating that she would do it herself if she did not have a fiancé in Chicago, Illinois. On the first day of school at Ridgemont High, Stacy, Brad, Mike, and other students navigate their way through crowded halls. After the bell rings, Spicoli, high on marijuana, enters his history classroom late as the teacher, Mr. Hand, discusses the merits of punctuality. Mr. Hand destroys Spicoli’s schedule card and instructs the boy to visit the front office. Later, at lunch, Stacy and Linda observe fashion trends and discuss their sexual experience; a table of boys watch as Linda teaches Stacy how to perform oral sex. In Mr. Vargas’ biology class, Mark “Rat” Ratner is immediately attracted to Stacy, and later tells Mike that he loves her. Mike instructs Rat to attract girls by adopting an attitude of aloofness. After Stacy’s mother tucks her into bed that night, the girl sneaks out her window and meets Ron. He takes her to the dugout of a baseball diamond called “The Point,” where they have sex. The next day, Stacy comes home from school and finds a bouquet of flowers from Ron, then orders Brad to hide them in his car so their parents do not notice. While working at All American Burger, Brad trains a new employee while contemplating ending his two-year relationship with his girl friend, Lisa. In class, Mr. Hand yells at Spicoli for his continued tardiness. Time passes, and at Christmastime, Stacy tells Lisa that she has not heard from Ron since November. In the mall arcade, Ridgemont football player Charles Jefferson asks Mike for tickets to see the rock band Earth, Wind & Fire. After encouragement from Mike, Rat asks Stacy for her phone number. In the All American Burger bathroom, Brad rehearses his break-up speech to Lisa when he is interrupted by an angry customer demanding his money back. When Brad threatens the customer, the manager fires him. Meanwhile, Spicoli is awakened from a dream of winning a surfing competition. During a school pep rally, Brad tells Lisa he is glad that they are still together, and is surprised to learn that Lisa wants to break up with him. At the mall, Mike gives Rat a lesson on seducing women, and he asks Stacy for a date. Later, Rat drives Stacy to a fancy restaurant, but soon realizes he forgot to bring his wallet. He calls Mike, and Mike drops off the wallet at the end of their meal. Stacy invites Rat inside her house, where they kiss on her bed, but Rat nervously invents an excuse to leave. Driving to a party with classmate Charles Jefferson’s younger brother, Spicoli recklessly crashes Charles’ car into a construction site. The next morning, Spicoli secretly parks Charles’ smashed car in front of the school, adding spray paint to read, “DIE RIDGEMONT, LINCOLN KILLS,” and disguising the damage as a prank conducted by Ridgemont’s rival high school, Lincoln. During the next football game against Lincoln, Charles injures several opposing team players in revenge, thus winning the game for Ridgemont. While Brad works his new job as a server at a kitschy, pirate-themed seafood restaurant, Stacy and Lisa lounge by Stacy’s pool reading magazines. Rat and Mike stop by unannounced, but Linda becomes annoyed by their immaturity as they splash in the water. When Brad returns home, he retreats to the bathroom and masturbates, imagining Linda emerging from the pool and removing her swimsuit top. Linda walks in on him and quickly leaves in embarrassment. At school, Stacy doodles pictures of herself and Mike in her history notebook, while Spicoli has a pizza delivered to his desk. Mr. Hand takes the pizza away and offers slices to the other students. Later, while walking home, Stacy tells Mike that she likes him and invites him over. In the pool changing room, they begin to have sex, but Mike ejaculates prematurely and leaves in shame. Elsewhere, Brad’s boss instructs him to make a delivery across town wearing his pirate uniform. While driving, a passing woman laughs at him, but he misinterprets her laughter as flirting. After weeks of being ignored by Mike, Stacy confronts him and admits she is pregnant with his child. When she decides to get an abortion, he grudgingly agrees to pay for half of the procedure and to drive her to the clinic. Unable to procure the money, however, he does not show up, and Stacy asks her brother for a ride. Although she claims she is going to the bowling alley, Brad sees her going to the abortion clinic and follows. After the procedure, he asks her who got her pregnant, but she refuses to say. Angered by Mike’s irresponsibility, Lisa vandalizes his car and school locker, prompting various girls in school to ridicule him. When Rat hears rumors that Mike got Stacy pregnant, he fights with his friend in the locker room. During a biology field trip to view hospital cadavers, Stacy vomits in the bathroom, but Rat comforts her. On the night of the end-of-year graduation dance, Mr. Hand visits Spicoli at his house and insists the boy stay home to discuss historical events to make up for all the class time Spicoli has wasted. After a few hours of studying, Mr. Hand leaves Spicoli, allowing him to attend the party. Meanwhile, Mike apologizes for hurting Rat. Linda, hurt that her fiancé refuses to attend her graduation, reads Stacy her break-up letter. Later, at the pizza parlor, Stacy tells Linda that she would prefer to have a romantic relationship instead of a purely sexual one. She notices Rat across the mall and motions him over, giving him a photograph of herself. Meanwhile, Spicoli enters a convenience store where Brad is now working behind the counter. While Spicoli uses the bathroom, an armed robber attempts to break into the safe, but Brad throws coffee in his face and grabs his gun. +

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

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