AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Director: Amy Heckerling (Dir)
Release Date:   13 Aug 1982
Duration (in mins):  92
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Cast: Sean Penn  (Jeff Spicoli)
  Jennifer Jason Leigh  (Stacy Hamilton)
  Judge Reinhold  (Brad Hamilton)
 

Summary: 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. 

Distribution Company: Universal Pictures
Production Company: Refugee Films
Universal Pictures
Director: Amy Heckerling (Dir)
  C. O. Erickson (Unit prod mgr)
  Albert Shaprio (1st asst dir)
  Marty Ewing (2d asst dir)
  James Dillon (2d asst dir)
Producer: Art Linson (Prod)
  Irving Azoff (Prod)
  C. O. Erickson (Exec prod)
Writer: Cameron Crowe Based on His Book (Scr)

Subject Major: Adolescents
  Fast food restaurants
  High school students
  Sex
  Shopping malls
 
Subject Minor: Abortions
  Automobile accidents
  Employment
  High schools
  Football players
  Friendship
  Marijuana
  Masturbation
  Pizza
  Practical jokes
  Pregnancy
  Romance--Age difference
  Schoolteachers
  Summer
  Surfers and surfing
  Swimming pools

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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