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Pump Up the Volume (1990)

2:00 | Trailer
Mark runs a pirate radio station and causes an uproar when he speaks his mind and enthralls fellow teens.



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
David Deaver
Cheryl Pollak ...
Paige Woodward
Jan Emerson
Keith Stuart Thayer ...
Luis Chavez
Mr. Woodward
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
See  »

Did You Know?


The name of the book which was borrowed from the library by Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) was "How to talk dirty and influence people" by Lenny Bruce. See more »


All the letter's Harry get's have zip codes that start with a 3. All zip codes in Arizona start with an 8. See more »


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


Referenced in RuPaul's Drag Race: RuPaullywood or Bust (2013) See more »


Everybody Knows
Written & Arranged by Leonard Cohen
Performed by Concrete Blonde
Published by Stranger Music (BMI)/Geffen & Robinhill Music c/o WB Music (ASCAP)
Produced by Dennis Herring
Courtesy of IRS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

I don't hate the world anymore, but I still love this film...
17 July 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film around 1996, when I was 13 and just going into that 'I hate the world and everything about it' phase that most teenagers go through. I fell in love with it there and then and over the years I've owned 5 separate copies.

Not just because of the unbelievably brilliant soundtrack, not just because of the real and relate-able characters, not just because of the engaging and original plot, but because I still feel now, what I first felt when I saw the film. Sometimes everyone feels that they're alone and it takes another voice, one coming from a someone you might not even ever have met reminding you that everyone feels that crushing loneliness and only you can change that.

Even now that I'm nearing my mid-twenties and every time I watch this film I want to 'Rise up in the cafeteria' and 'stab my teachers with a plastic fork.' Being a teenager sucks, its probably the most free time of your life, but everything from parents, to homework, to hormones prevents most from truly enjoying the experience.

I want every teenager to watch this film, I want every person who looks back on their teen years with regret to watch this film, I want every person who's forgotten what its like to be a teenager to watch this film. I think there's room in just about everyone's heart for it.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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