Pump Up the Volume (1990)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  22 August 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,221 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 119 user | 53 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

Mark runs a pirate radio station and causes an uproar when he speaks his mind and enthralls fellow teens.



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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Loretta Creswood
Andy Romano ...
Brian Hunter
Marla Hunter
Malcolm Kaiser
Mazz Mazzilli
Robert Schenkkan ...
David Deaver
Cheryl Pollak ...
Paige Woodward
Jan Emerson
Keith Stuart Thayer ...
Luis Chavez
Mr. Woodward
Holly Sampson ...
Cheryl Biggs


Mark is an intelligent but shy teenager who has just moved to Arizona from the East Coast. His parents give him a short-wave radio so he can talk to his pals, but instead he sets up shop as pirate deejay Hard Harry, who becomes a hero to his peers while inspiring the wrath of the local high school principal. When one of Harry's listeners commits suicide and Harry- inspired chaos breaks out at the school, the authorities are called in to put a stop to Harry's broadcasts. Written by Denise P. Meyer <dpm1@cornell.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Steal the Air. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 August 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adj rá kakaót!  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$11,541,758 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The radio call-names of Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) were "Hard Harry" and "Happy Harry Hardon". See more »


In the first few minutes of the movie the two punks in the pontiac on parked on the football field and then are parked by a big pipe line. See more »


[first lines]
Mark: Do you ever get the feeling that everything in America is completely fucked up?
See more »


References Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) See more »


Written by Adam Horovitz / Adam Yauch / Mike D / Rick Rubin
Performed by The Beastie Boys
Published by Def Jam Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Def Jam/CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
See more »

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User Reviews

Slaters teen master class . . .
7 May 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I loved this film

When I was 17 I first saw the second half of this movie on TV, the next day I scoured my local video shops to buy the film so that I could watch the first half.

I know that sounds a little sad but I really felt that at the time this film was spot on. Parents do seem to hate you, it is incredibly hard to talk to a girl that you want to ask out and school is the last place you ever want to be. This film had the emotions just about right.

I now see its faults but I still feel that it is an excellent movie to its targeted age group, everyone who ever wanted to "rise up in the cafeteria and stab them (teachers) with your plastic fork".

I could fill this review with quotes, the speech on why teen suicide is a bad idea is up there with the "Am I funny?" scene in goodfella's.

Christian Slater is excellent, apparently it's his favourite movie and you can see that he enjoyed making it. He does dark-teen like no one else, this is Nicholson at 16! In my humble opinion this film is at the top of the teen-flick chart alongside Heathers.

Samantha Mathis makes an intriguing leading lady, she really gets her character spot on. Miss Mathis also provides one of the best sexual tension scenes ever in this genre. (it's all in the music)

A young Seth Green also makes an appearance that I am sure he would rather forget, his acting is fine it's how he looks thats the problem !!

This film is dark, funny and brutaly honest. If you are under 20 and still hate the world this will kill a couple of those boring 'too old to play to young to drink' hours.

Highly recommended.

52 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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