Pump Up the Volume (1990)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  22 August 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,237 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


The Voice of a Generation. 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
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Did You Know?


Actress Samantha Mathis received an 'introducing' credit. See more »


The record in Mark's hand changes positions between edits as he gets a stamp from his father's study. See more »


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


References Hairspray (1988) See more »


Titanium Expose
Written by Sonic Youth
Performed by Sonic Youth
Published by Savage Conquest Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of DGC by agreement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

movie magic
30 November 2002 | by (Kimberling City, MO.) – See all my reviews

When "Pump Up The Volume" came out in 1990, I wanted to BE Christian Slater. Now that it's already been twelve years since it was released, I still can't believe how well it's held up. Aside from a couple of things that make it dated (I'm referring mainly to the opening credit sequence and the way some of the characters dress...mulletts WERE acceptable back then), the message remains the same and I think that's what has made this movie stand the test of time. Along with "Heathers", this is some of Christian Slater's best work ever. His performance alone is enough to reccommend this one, but that combined with the message, make it a cult classic. They don't make movies like this anymore.

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