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Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979)

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A group of rock-music-loving students, with the help of the Ramones, take over their school to combat its newly installed oppressive administration.

Directors:

Allan Arkush, Joe Dante (uncredited)

Writers:

Richard Whitley (screenplay), Russ Dvonch (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
P.J. Soles ... Riff Randell
Vincent Van Patten ... Tom Roberts
Clint Howard ... Eaglebauer
Dey Young ... Kate Rambeau
Mary Woronov ... Miss Evelyn Togar
Paul Bartel ... Mr. McGree
Dick Miller ... Police Chief
Don Steele ... Screamin' Steve Stevens
Alix Elias ... Coach Steroid
Loren Lester ... Fritz Hansel
Daniel Davies Daniel Davies ... Fritz Gretel
Lynn Farrell Lynn Farrell ... Angel Dust
Herbie Braha Herbie Braha ... Manager
Grady Sutton ... School Board President
Chris Somma ... Shawn
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Storyline

Vince Lombardi High School keeps losing principals to nervous breakdowns because of the students' love of rock 'n' roll and their disregard of education. The putative leader of the students is Riff Randell, who loves the music of the Ramones. A new principal, the rock-music-hating Miss Evelyn Togar, is brought in and promises to put an end to the music craze. When Miss Togar and a group of parents attempt to burn a pile of rock records, the students take over the high school, joined by the Ramones, who are made honorary students. When the police are summoned and demand that the students evacuate the building, they do so, which leads to an explosive finale. Written by Rick Gregory <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where the 3 R's Stood for ROCK, ROLL and REBELLION! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Disco High See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New World Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie had a number of working titles including "Girl's Gym", "Disco High" and "Heavy Metal Kids". See more »

Goofs

When Dee Dee yells "Hey pizza! Dig in!" the pizza boxes aren't open yet but in the previous shot with Joey in the foreground, the boxes are already open and the rest of the band are already taking out some slices. See more »

Quotes

Miss Togar: Those Ramones are peculiar.
Police Chief Klein: They're ugly. Ugly, ugly people.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is one line from the film not included in the re-mastered DVD and video release. It is near the beginning where Tom is walking down the school hallway, and he bores some of the girls by talking about the weather ("I hear it's raining cats and dogs in Idaho"). When he sees Riff Randell, she scoots past him giving him a tease, and after he says her name, he takes a breather and exclaims, "I gotta get laid." This line is included in early video releases, and restored in the 2010 Shout! Factory DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film. See more »


Soundtracks

Teenage Lobotomy
Written by Tommy Ramone, Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Ramone
Performed by Ramones
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Blitzkrieg Of Music And Laffs
17 July 2008 | by ferbs54See all my reviews

Well, I have finally caught up with "Rock 'N' Roll High School," almost 30 years after it first became a midnight movie sensation in 1979. (Latecomer that I am, I will probably first see this summer's new documentary "Patti Smith: Dream of Life" sometime around 2040!) And no, the film doesn't feel dated one bit, and yes, it was worth the wait. This is a very high-energy comedy that features loads of great music and some surprising moments. It tells the story of Riff Randell, adorably played by P.J. Soles, and the battle that she and her fellow students at Vince Lombardi High wage against their new repressive principal, Miss Togar. (Danny Peary, in his book "Cult Movies," quite accurately describes Mary Woronov's performance as an "evil Eve Arden.") A typical teens vs. Establishment story line is beefed up here with some absurdist humor (those exploding mice, that giant mouse, the Hansel and Gretel hall monitors) and some truly rousing tunes. Riff is, of course, the #1 fan of that original punk band The Ramones, and that band dishes out a baker's dozen of its greatest songs during the course of the film, including five at a concert that is a total blast. Indeed, the sight of Riff furiously dancing to "Teenage Lobotomy" at this blowout may be the picture's funniest moment. And the initial appearance of Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Marky in their Ramonesmobile, and later slinking down a street singing "I Just Wanna Have Something To Do," is quite exhilarating. The film ends with an explosive confrontation that is, I would imagine, every high school kid's wet dream. Fun stuff indeed. On a side note, The Ramones were one of the loudest bands that I have ever seen in concert, so I was very amused to note that the DVD for this film comes with optional English subtitles for the hearing impaired. How many aging punks out there found these subtitles necessary, I wonder....


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