Pump Up the Volume (1990)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Music  |  22 August 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,069 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Loretta Creswood
Andy Romano ...
Brian Hunter
Marla Hunter
Malcolm Kaiser
Mazz Mazzilli
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Cheryl Pollak ...
Paige Woodward
Jan Emerson
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Mr. Woodward
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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?


Lala Sloatman (Janie) and Ahmet Zappa (Jamie) are real life cousins, but played girlfriend/boyfriend in the movie. See more »


When Paige interrupts the public meeting, she walks in with severely blackened eyes and bloody cuts on her face. She speaks to the teachers and parents, then runs out. She yells at the news reporter standing outside seconds later and her eyes are no longer black and her cuts are gone. 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 Kim Thayil & 'Hiro Yamamoto'
Performed by Soundgarden
Published by Loud Love Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

the sixties meets the 90s
21 October 2006 | by (Nelson New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I've seen Pump a few times but recently got the DVD and showed it to an 18 year old last night...the film has great resonances for me of the 60s generation and it still has power for the youth of today...amazingly, since they mainly seem motivated by IT, gadgets and money.

All the performances were first rate and this film also introduces Leonard Cohen to a new generation. I'm sure schools today are worse then Hubert Humphrey high portrayed in the film...this was before Columbine...but you can see the fertile ground for the violence to follow.

This is one of my all time favorite 'teen flicks' and I recommend it to all who want to see social and political relevance in movies.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What's your favourite Christian Slater movie? charlie_ramm
I love this film, but... pedrolapacas
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What happened to the school principal? genuis_of_the_year2002
Over the Edge V Pump Up the Volume rojopetersen
Issues about the kid who committed suicide in the movie amadhatter53
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