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Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Poster

Trivia

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For his masturbation scene, Judge Reinhold brought a large dildo to work with, unbeknown to the rest of the cast. Phoebe Cates' look of horror and disgust is very real.
During shooting of the film, Sean Penn got so into character that he only answered as Spicoli. In fact, the door on his dressing room was labeled "Spicoli" instead of "Sean Penn".
Near the beginning of the movie, right after Mr. Hand sends Spicoli to the front office for being late to class, Mr. Hand passes out the class schedule of quizzes. After the paper is passed out, the students put the page up to their noses and deeply inhale. This was a popular school ritual of the '60s, '70s and early '80s as photocopying machines were very expensive, so spirit duplicators were used. The spirit duplicators used a colored wax as the "ink" and a noxious solvent as a transfer agent to impress the ink on the paper. These solvents sometimes took a long time to dry, hence the students' use of these solvents as a short-term "high".
First-time director Amy Heckerling said she was seeking to make a comedy that was less structured than conventional ones, and more like American Graffiti (1973) so that "if you woke up and found yourself living in the movie, you'd be happy. I wanted that kind of feel."
A scene where Mike Damone was full frontal nude was originally in the movie, but had to be cut due to getting an X rating. It was either that or the 'carrot scene' had to go, and 'Robert Romanus' was happy for that.
Nicolas Cage appears under the name Nicolas Coppola for the first and only time.
The mall scenes were shot during the night from when the mall closed at 9:30 to when it opened at 9. The two kids who Damone scalps the tickets to were under 18 and due to labor laws couldn't film past certain hours so they only had a 10 minute window to shoot their scenes.
Justine Bateman was offered the role of Linda but declined. Instead, she preferred to star in the TV series Family Ties (1982) which ran for 7 years.
In the tradition of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Reese's Pieces, this movie product-placed an obscure brand and it became famous: The checkerboard canvas decks Spicoli hammered himself with, Vans, became a national brand soon after.
Nicolas Cage lied about his age so that he could get a bigger part, but the producers found out that he was only 17.
Nicolas Cage's film debut.
Nicolas Cage was originally considered for the role of Brad Hamilton, but the studio thought his performance was too dark. Cage was also 17 at the time, and could not work as many hours as 18-year-olds.
Nicolas Cage actually taunted the rest of the cast by bragging about his uncle Francis Ford Coppola. He told all the other young actors that he would be famous faster than any of them, because he had the connections. After a few weeks of this, the cast started to strike back at Nicolas by doing imitations of Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now (1979), which finally got Cage to stop bragging about his famous family.
David Lynch was originally offered the chance to direct before Amy Heckerling was chosen. He turned it down saying it was a funny script, but not really his thing.
When Brad is washing the Cruising Vessel, you can see he has a Bruce Springsteen bumper sticker. Pamela Springsteen, Bruce's sister, is also in the movie.
Stacy works at Perry's Pizza. Jennifer Jason Leigh actually worked at Perry's Pizza for a month after she got the role of Stacy Hamilton but before filming began.
Universal didn't think the film would become a hit. In fact, the studio had thought about not releasing it on the East Coast so that the film would die quickly at the box office.
Mr. Vargas was based on Clairemont High School biology teacher George L. Jones. Jones kept many animals in class (rattlesnakes, entire beehives, bats), and would regularly take students on strange field trips, such as visiting the San Diego sewage treatment plant, or to watch surgery on pigs at the University of California, San Diego. Jones taught at Clairemont from 1962 to the 1982.
During a July 2008 interview with the Orange County Register about Pineapple Express (2008), the interviewer told Seth Rogen and James Franco that he prepared for the interview by watching the classic stoner comedy "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" the night before. When he asked Rogen and Franco if they prepared likewise before making "Pineapple Express," Franco said he prepared by making out with Spicoli (a reference to his having shot Milk (2008), in which he and Sean Penn play lovers).
Alternate, sanitized takes of several scenes were filmed for use on broadcast television.
This film has three actors who later won Oscars for Best Actor: Sean Penn (Spicoli), Forest Whitaker (Charles Jefferson), and Nicolas Cage (Brad's Bud). In addition the screenwriter, Cameron Crowe, also went on to win an Oscar.
Ranked at #2 on Entertainment Weekly's 50 Best High School Movies (2006)
The role of Mr. Hand was originally offered to Fred Gwynne who turned it down due to his objections over the tone of the sexual content in the film.
The mascot of Ridgemont High is the wolf, which is the same mascot of Van Nuys High School, where most of the school scenes were shot.
Mike Damone's nude scene with Stacy that was filmed and never used was stated by director Amy Heckerling to show the natural vulnerability between two young teenagers. The intent was to show each of them undressing, and then show them standing before each other fully naked, full frontal, vulnerable, and nervous. The scene was pulled due to an impending X-rating and has never been released.
Sean Penn asked out Pamela Springsteen, who played Dina, on the set of the movie; she accepted.
Jennifer Jason Leigh father Vic Morrow died in a helicopter accident on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) about three weeks before the US release of "Fast Times."
Sean Penn was asked to read for the part of Brad Hamilton as well as that of Jeff Spicoli.
Sean Penn improvised during his takes and tried to find ways to aggravate actor Ray Walston, who played Mr. Hand, even off camera. He also did things to get genuinely startled reactions from the extras who played his classmates through unexpected improvisations.
Andy Rathbone was the student that Cameron Crowe based Mark "Rat" Ratner on. He became famous in his own right for writing many of the "for Dummies" help books series
When Ratner is getting dating advice from Damone in Damone's bedroom, Ratner is wearing a T-shirt for the movie, Popeye (1980) which starred Ray Walston, who played Mr. Hand.
The book Arnold is holding while talking to Brad about working at All-American Burger is "Childhoods End" by Arthur C. Clarke.
Although Ron Johnson (stereo salesman) is portrayed as much older than Stacy, actor D.W. Brown is actually only 7 months older than Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Cameron Crowe wrote the screenplay based on his book. Cameron Crowe attended University of San Diego High School, he posed as a student at Clairemont High School. The principal then was not thrilled with the idea, but when he asked Crowe about musicians that he had met, he mentioned Kris Kristofferson. The principal was a big fan of Kristofferson and agreed to let Crowe on campus.
Tom Hanks was considered for the role of Brad.
There are numerous references to rock bands throughout the film (shirts worn by characters, posters on walls, Damone is a ticket scalper, etc.) This is because Cameron Crowe started his career as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine.
Diane Lane auditioned for the role of Stacy.
According to Amy Heckerling, Sean Penn and pals were actually smoking marijuana in the van as they exited for the prom.
Ralph Macchio was asked for a role, but he demanded a salary the director couldn't afford.
The script caused a controversy because some actual first names of Clairemont High School students were used in Cameron Crowe's script.
Both Brooke Shields and Ellen Barkin reportedly turned down an offer to play Stacy.
Ray Walston was at the time, best known for his role as Uncle Martin on My Favorite Martian (1963). Unfortunately Walston, like many actors of that era, was typecast in the role and couldn't book serious roles until the decade ended. Walston said that after the release of this film, he'd be walking down the street and young people would see him and shout "Mr. Hand!". Walston was grateful for that, as it finally meant that he had torn away from being only associated with playing Uncle Martin.
Sean Penn extinguished a cigarette in the palm of his hand in order to better understand his character Jeff Spicoli.
According to Amy Heckerling, Phoebe Cates was initially reluctant to carry out her character's poolside topless scene at the house in West Hills because she thought the neighbours might be spying on the set from the surrounding rooftops.
Sean Penn had to fly back to LA, in between another job in Chicago. Because Cameron Crowe wrote the lines the day of the shoot, they used cue cards offscreen to help Penn. The cue cards of the infamous lines 'Those guys are fags!' hang to this day on the walls of Cameron's home.
Filming lasted five weeks.
Brad Hamilton's light-blue car is a 1960 Buick LeSabre.
The mall scenes were filmed at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. It was damaged by earthquake in 1994, but still stood until 1998, when it was renovated and extensively re-designed by the architectural firm of Gensler for developer Douglas Emmett. Other than the parking structure, nothing recognizable from the 1980s era mall remains, the building having been converted from an enclosed, multi-story space to an open, mostly single-story mall.
Just before the ending credits we see a close up of an arcade video game screen that reads "The End". The game was called Missile Command (1980) and was produced by Atari.
Jodie Foster was considered to play Stacy, but was not interested in the role due to her commitment at Yale.
The book Arnold is reading while attending the pep rally is "The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger.
Brad's job, requiring him to wear a pirate costume (which he hates), may have inspired a series of commercials for a credit report service where the spokesman is identically dressed, running as of 2008.
At the beginning, outside the movie theatre when Ratner is taking ticket stubs, Damone asks Ratner if Dolly Parton is giving him a percentage of the profit. He asks this because the theatre Ratner works at is playing The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) which stars Dolly Parton.
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Linda likes older men. Phoebe Cates would later marry Kevin Kline, who is 15 years older than her.
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When Stacy and Ron Johnson end up going to "the point", the words "The Cinch" are spray-painted on the wall. The group that plays the last dance of the year is called Reeves Nevo and The Cinch.
The scene where Linda instructs Stacy how to give a blowjob originally took place in a hot tub with both girls naked. This was changed to avoid getting an X rating.
Spicolli's dream sequence was actually written and filmed after the film was wrapped. After beginning the editing process, Amy Heckerling, Art Linson and Irving Azoff realized how great Spicoli had been acted by Sean Penn, and that they needed to beef up Penn's role in the film.
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According to Brian Backer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and her family allowed him to stay at their house for no charge till filming wrapped being that he flew down to star in the film from his hometown of Brooklyn and was pretty broke.
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When Mike Damone is trying to sell tickets to a Cheap Trick concert, he sings a montage of three different songs "I Want You To Want Me", "Dream Police" and "Surrender".
In the dugout scene, the words 'Disco Sucks' are seen in the background. This is a reference to Disco Demolition Night where Chicago Radio Legend Steve Dahl, a favorite of a few members of the cast, blew up disco records at Comiskey Park while leading a cheer of "Disco Sucks"
When showing Ratner his method of dating, Damone practices his routine on a cardboard cutout of Debbie Harry of the rock group Blondie.
Phoebe Cates and Judge Reinhold would later co-star in Gremlins (1984).
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Andy Rathbone was the student Cameron Crowe based Mark "Rat" Ratner on. Rathbone was known as "the rat" in high school, and was initially extremely upset at the portrayal of his character. He said that Crowe only accentuated his bad attributes and gave cool things he had done to other characters, such as ordering a pizza during class - that was done by Jeff Spicolli in the film but done by Rathbone in real life. Crowe said he worked diligently to "disguise" all the characters and give them mixed personalities so as NOT to point to anyone specifically. Rathbone has since grown to appreciate the role.
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Matthew Broderick turned down the role of Brad Hamilton when his father became terminally ill.
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When Mike Damon gives Rat his "five point plan" he says, "And five, now this is the most important, Rat. When it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV." However the sound track plays "Kashmir" which is not on Led Zeppelin IV, but Physical Graffiti. This is because the producers couldn't get the rights to Led Zeppelin IV.
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Damone's car is a 1973 AMC Gremlin.
In the novel, Spicoli dreams he's singing "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC on The Tonight Show (1962), but Johnny Carson refused to do it for the movie, and other talk show hosts (including David Letterman) also turned it down (Letterman apparently was willing to do it, but his agent wouldn't let him appear in a movie where the characters did drugs). In its place was the scene where Spicoli is interviewed by sports announcer Stu Nahan.
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Considered one of the first high school comedies.
It was filmed at Van Nuys High School in Van Nuys, California
Lana Clarkson's film debut.
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Phoebe Cates was the youngest in the cast at 18, not counting Nicolas Cage (Coppola).
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Eric Stoltz auditioned for the role of Jeff.
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An improvised scene at a record store where Damone tells Spicoli where to find some music was filmed but never used.
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Martin Brest is seen as a doctor during the student field trip - he would direct Judge Reinhold in Beverly Hills Cop (1984) a few years later.
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Judge Reinhold was the boyfriend of Amy Heckerling's best friend, who was also doing casting. He got the part anyway without the producers knowing.
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Damone's line "If this girl can't smell your qualifications, then who needs her" is based on advice writer Cameron Crowe was given on picking up girls by Glenn Frey.
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Melanie Griffith and Tatum O'Neal were considered for the role of Linda.
The book Arnold's holding while betting on the football game is "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke.
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Stacy's notebook says Mike Damone Good Points- great trust, good looking (great body), knows music, can be nice, really cool, funny Bad points- High school boy, can be mean, sarcastic, can't tell when j (her hand covers rest of the word), big ego, virgin?, don't know if he (again her hand covers the rest) Stacy Damone Mrs. Stacy Damone Mike and Stacy Mrs. Damone
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Lois Brandt, who portrayed guidance counselor Mrs. O'Rourke, was shown in the end credits but she wasn't seen in the final cut. She was shown in the television version of the film talking to Judge Reinhold's character about his life.
In the Mi-T-Mart scene, Brad is wearing a Bruce Springsteen T-shirt. Bruce's sister Pamela Springsteen plays Dina in the movie.
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Amy Heckerling, in the DVD audio commentary, states that the 1970s "classic rock" artists, like The Eagles, were introduced by one of the film's producers. Coincidentally, Irving Azoff, one of the film's producers, was the personal manager for The Eagles.
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The alternative rock group Damone took its name from the character Mike Damone.
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Christopher Reeve was considered for the role of Jeff Spicoli.
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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 wide three weeks later with a big opening in the Eastern United States and had a long run in theaters.
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If you look closely at the magazine rack during the robbery of the convenience store scene, you'll notice the 12/21/81 issue of TIME magazine with Lybian Colonel Muammar Gadaffi on the cover.
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The school they go to is Van Nuys High School in Van Nuys, CA.
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The fast food seafood restaurant where Brad works seems to be based on Long John Silver's.
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Stuart Cornfield went to film school with Amy Heckerling.
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Hallie Todd, back when she was known as Hallie Eckstein, had a bit part in the movie as a fellow mall employee who asks Linda for advice how to have oral sex without getting pregnant. This scene was cut from the final version, but shows up on the original network broadcast and some cable TV airings.
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A short lived TV series "FAST TIMES" (based from the film) reintrodced familiar characters played by up and coming actors: Patrick Dempsey, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Claudia Wells (Back to the Future), and a few returning actors whom played Mr Hand and Mr. Vargas.
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4 Songs in the film can be considered themes for four different characters. "I Don't Know",(Jeff Spicolli) "Moving In Stereo", (Linda Barret) "Somebody's Baby",(Stacey Hamilton) and "Waffle Stomp". (Brad Hamilton)
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Two of the actors from Spicoli's dream scene both appeared in Rocky films. Ava Lazar appeared in Rocky II (1979) and Stu Nahan appeared in every film.
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Doug Benson appears briefly as an extra in the final mall scene.
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Jennifer Jason Leigh actually worked at Perry's Pizza before she landed the part in the film.
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Damone's locker was # 671.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Todd Rundgren recorded the song, "Attitude", for the film at Cameron Crowe's request. It was not included in the film, but was later released on Rundgren's Demos and Lost Albums in 2001.
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When Mark Rattner discovers he forgot his wallet on his date with Stacey and phones Damone in a panic, Damone is watching a rerun of Leave It Beaver
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Stacy and Brad's house number is 24124.
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Cameo 

Lana Clarkson: as Mr. Vargas's wife in the high school dance scene. Clarkson was murdered by music producer Phil Spector on February 2, 2003.
Nancy Wilson: wife of writer Cameron Crowe and Heart band member appears as the woman in the car beside Brad's, laughing at his pirate costume.

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