26 user 7 critic

Making the Grade (1984)

R | | Comedy, Romance | 18 May 1984 (USA)
A spoiled rich young man hires a young hustler, who lives in a broken car and owes money to a dicey loan shark, to take his place in his elite prep school and graduate for him.


Dorian Walker


Gene Quintano (screenplay), Gene Quintano (story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Judd Nelson ... Eddie Keaton
Jonna Lee Jonna Lee ... Tracey Hoover
Gordon Jump ... Mr. Harriman
Walter Olkewicz ... Coach Wordman
Ronald Lacey ... Nicky
Dana Olsen Dana Olsen ... Palmer Woodrow
Carey Scott ... Rand
Scott McGinnis ... Bif
Andrew Dice Clay ... Dice (as Andrew Clay)
John Dye ... Skip
Dan Schneider ... Blimp (as Daniel Schneider)
John Stevens John Stevens ... Mr. Hoover
Lucile Doan Ewing Lucile Doan Ewing ... Mrs. Hoover (as Lucille Ewing)
Patrice Watson Patrice Watson ... Muffy
Moses Peace Moses Peace ... Regis


Lazy preppie Palmer Woodrow hires street-smart Eddie Keaton to go to school for him while he lives it up in Europe. Eddie falls in love with preppie gal Tracey, upsetting Biff, the Hoover Academy bully. When his bookie from the old neighborhood, Dice, comes to collect on Eddie's gambling debts and Palmer returns early from Europe, the the scheme slowly starts to unravel. Soon, Eddie can't even tell whose side he's really on. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Palmer Woodrow III earned his diploma the old-fashioned way. He hired Eddie Keaton to graduate for him. See more »


Comedy | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


One of the first early film roles of actor Judd Nelson and comedian Andrew Dice Clay the latter of whom was billed as just Andrew Clay. See more »


When Eddie is throwing rocks at his girlfriend's window, all of his dialogue is dubbed in as his lips don't move once, all while facing the camera. See more »


Caddy: Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like, yes it is! It's slicing toward the elm trees!
Palmer Woodrow: Who are you, Curt fucking Gowdy?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Palmer and Eddie will return in Tourista Coming Soon See more »


References Dog Day Afternoon (1975) See more »


Living on the Edge
Music and Lyrics by Larry Frankland Lee and Shandi Sinnamon (as Shandi)
Performed by Shandi Sinnamon (as Shandi)
Produced by Larry Frankland Lee for Swan Productions
See more »

User Reviews

Are we grading on a curve?
24 January 2000 | by Mister-6See all my reviews

SEE Judd Nelson break-dance! SEE Andrew "Dice" Clay before he got more famous and less funny! SEE what ALL '80s teen comedies were like, more or less!

"Making the Grade". Let's see... basically, a loser student (Olsen) pays off another loser (Nelson) to pretend to be him so he can pass his classes and graduate (for some inheritance or something, I don't know - this is not one of those movies that celebrate the joys of higher learning).

And, of course, all the hips trends of 1984 are there for you to drink in till you're positively drunk from all the flash, trash and splash of the Gimmie Decade. Not just the aforementioned break-dancing display, but also some of the tackiest clothes you've seen since your last garage sale, an almost ALL synthesizer sound track and a Brat Packer!

If you love the '80s, you gotta catch "Making the Grade". Not for the story, mind you...just for "the experience".

Five stars. "Making the Grade" - barely passing, needs work on its social skills, recommend less time around the Diceman.

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Release Date:

18 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last American Preppy See more »

Filming Locations:

Memphis, Tennessee, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,760,856, 20 May 1984

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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