Rock 'n' Roll High School

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Overview

Two iconic figures in American popular culture, Roger Corman and the Ramones, joined forces in this gloriously off-kilter comedy, which has been given an upgraded release on DVD as part of Buena Vista's new "Roger Corman Collection." (Corman was executive producer and financier for the film, though Allan Arkush directed it, and had to persuade the exploitation maven not to title it Disco High.) Rock 'n' Roll High School has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and ...
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Overview

Two iconic figures in American popular culture, Roger Corman and the Ramones, joined forces in this gloriously off-kilter comedy, which has been given an upgraded release on DVD as part of Buena Vista's new "Roger Corman Collection." (Corman was executive producer and financier for the film, though Allan Arkush directed it, and had to persuade the exploitation maven not to title it Disco High.) Rock 'n' Roll High School has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and has also been enhanced for anamorphic play on 16 x 9 monitors. The image looks a bit soft in this transfer, as it has ever since the film was first released theatrically, but the colors are sharp and the print is clean. The appearance of the Lumivision logo at the beginning of the film would indicate that this title wasn't given a new transfer for this release, but it's also not likely to ever look much better than this anyway. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital 2.0, using the film's original single-channel sound mix. This release retains some of the bonus material from Lumivision's DVD edition of Rock 'n' Roll High School, including live audio from the Ramones concerts shot for the film; radio spots produced to promote the movie; and a lively commentary track featuring director Arkush, screenwriter Richard Whitley, and producer Michael Finnell. This new edition adds the original theatrical trailer, a documentary on the making of Rock 'n' Roll High School including interviews with Arkush, Corman, Joe Dante (who helped write the story and directed a few sequences), Dey Young, and Marky Ramone; and another commentary track, a pleasant but hardly exciting affair featuring Young and Corman. The death of three members of the Ramones since the film's last DVD incarnation gives this edition (dedicated to vocalist Joey Ramone) a certain poignancy, but at heart this is still one of the best youth comedies of the 1970s, and this DVD release more than does right by the material.
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Special Features

Commentary by director Allan Arkush, writer Richard Whitley, and producer Michael Finnell; Leonard Maltin interviews producer Roger Corman; Special film dedication by director Allan Arkush; Audio-only additional songs from Ramones concert sequence; Radio spots
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
It’s almost enough to simply hear Joey Ramone remark, "Things sure have changed since we got kicked out of high school." But there are a lot more reasons to enjoy this Roger Corman-produced punk-era gem. Rock 'n' Roll High School is a shamelessly goofy throwback to the first generation of teen-exploitation movies, wherein the kids just wanted to rock and the square adults were determined to shut them down -- until they learned to stop worrying and love the music. What RRHS brings to the party is a punk sensibility that leaves Vince Lombardi High in ruins and the hard-nosed principal, Miss Togar, in a strait-jacket! B-movie king Corman originally conceived this instant cult classic as Disco High, a rare zeitgeist miss from the producer. Fortunately, much cooler heads prevailed. Director Alan Arkush, with an assist from Joe Dante, anticipated Airplane! with this anything-goes, Mad magazine-style gag-fest. The cast is in a class by itself: P. J. Soles as Riff; Dey Young as her more innocent best friend, Kate; Vincent Van Patten as the clueless football hero on whom Kate has an unrequited crush; Mary Woronov, channeling Joan Crawford, as Togar; Paul Bartel as music teacher Mr. McGree, who becomes a Ramones convert; and the great Clint Howard as Eaglebauer, who runs his test-score and hall-pass black market from a stall in the bathroom. The soundtrack which could prove fatal to laboratory mice, as Togar memorably demonstrates with explosive results combines blistering blasts of the Ramones "Teenage Lobotomy," "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker," "Blitzkrieg Bop" with pop from Nick Lowe, Fleetwood Mac, Chuck Berry, and others.
All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
Joe Dante co-wrote this funny, exuberant youth picture about a teenager named Riff Randell (Halloween's P.J. Soles) who is a huge fan of the Ramones and leads a rebellion against her school's uptight, anti-rock-music principal Togar (Mary Woronov in the role of her career). There are many odd touches in this delightful cult film, not the least of which is a giant delinquent mouse who went to seed after listening to loud music. Beyond the funny script and engaging cast, there is of course an incredible soundtrack, featuring all the Ramones songs that most people of a certain age know better than their algebra. Whether you like the Ramones or not, this picture is still a lot of fun and one of the most enjoyable musicals of its time. The "Corman Classics" videotape contains an interview in which producer Roger Corman reveals that the film was originally conceived as Disco High until director Allan Arkush fortunately convinced him that using rock & roll was a better idea.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/13/2005
  • UPC: 786936693119
  • Original Release: 1979
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:24:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
P.J. Soles Riff Randell
Vincent Van Patten Tom Roberts
Clint Howard Eaglebauer
Dey Young Kate Rambeau
Mary Woronov Evelyn Togar
Paul Bartel Mr. McGree
Loren Lester Fritz Hansel
Daniel Davies Fritz Gretel
Alix Elias Coach Steroid
Don Steele Screamin' Steve Stevens
Lynn Farrell Angel Dust
Herb Braha Manager
Douglas Colvin Himself
Debbie Evans
Jack Gill
Michael Goodwin Chemistry Teacher
John Hateley
Richard Miller Police Chief Klein
Joey Ramone Himself
Johnny Ramone Himself
Marky Ramone Himself
The Ramones
Grady Sutton School Board President
Barbara Walters Cafeteria Lady
Technical Credits
Allan Arkush Director, Original Story
Larry Bock Editor
Jack Buehler Costumes/Costume Designer
Roger Corman Executive Producer, Producer
Dean Cundey Cinematographer
Joe Dante Original Story, Screenwriter
Russ Dvonch Screenwriter
Michael Finnell Producer
Siana Lee Hall Choreography
Marie Kordus Art Director
Joseph McBride Screenwriter
Gerald T. Olson Asst. Director
Linda Pearl Set Decoration/Design
The Ramones Score Composer
Gail Werbin Editor
Richard Whitley Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rock 'N' Roll High School: Rock on Edition
5. First Day At Vince Lombardi High [11:13]
6. Eaglebauer Enterprises [6:00]
7. Mouse Study [8:35]
8. Dreaming of Life After Togar [6:18]
9. Training Partner [5:02]
10. I Just Wanna Have Something [10:09]
11. Custom Van [3:43]
12. The Rockatorium [3:50]
13. California Sun [10:51]
14. Riff Meets the Ramones [7:25]
15. Do You Wanna Dance? [8:17]
16. Rock 'N' Roll High School [7:00]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Rock 'N' Roll High School: Rock on Edition
   Play
   Scene Selection
   Bonus Features
      Back to School: A Retrospective
      Audio Commentaries
         Watch the Feature With: New Audio Commentary By Roger Corman and Actress Dey Young: On
         Watch the Feature With: New Audio Commentary By Roger Corman and Actress Dey Young: Off
         Original Audio Commentary By Director Allan Arkush, Producer Michael Finnell, and Screenwriter Richard Whitley: On
         Original Audio Commentary By Director Allan Arkush, Producer Michael Finnell, and Screenwriter Richard Whitley: Off
      Audio Outtakes At the Roxy
      Original Radio Ads
      Original Theatrical Trailer
   Set Up
      Captions: English for the Hearing Impaired
      Captions: None
      Register Your DVD
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I watched this film every day in high school

    Although this film first came out when I was in the fifthe grade, it really became a part of my life in high school when I and my freinds would play it every single day. We always got up and bounced around the room during the scene when the Ramones drive down the street singing 'Just wanna have something to do'. I still quote this film and no one ever knows what I'm talking about. It's worth noting that Phil Spector produced the soundrack and there are a couple of songs that appear on no other Ramones albums but in this film and the soundtrack album. Specifically 'I want you around' and the smix of the fake live version of 'Rock n Roll High School' which is better than on End of the Century. It's got the the usual Roger Corman crew of Mary Wornov and Paul Bartel, as well as notable appearences by Clint Howard and Vincent Van Patten. But best of all it has the Ramones who clearly are too incoherant to utter any intelligable lines, but absolutely rock every scene they are in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the Best Rock'n'Roll Movies Ever Made

    This movie was made by Roger Corman, the king of the drive-in movies. By itself, that should be a high enough recommendation, but I have long believed that this is the single greatest rock¿n¿roll movie ever made. It¿s funny, smart, cockeyed, sly, and best of all, it has the Ramones. The plot of the film is so convoluted that there is no easy way to summarize it, so I won¿t try here, but if I were to ever meet a being from another planet and was asked what rock¿n¿roll was all about, this is one of only two or three movies that I¿d be able to show them to help with the explanation. The film gets extra points for casting the delectable P.J. Soles as Riff, the hyperhormonal Ramones groupie/suburban princess. This might not be the greatest movie ever made, but it is surely one of the funniest, and Corman¿s craft as filmmaker for the kiddies is never more apparent than it is here. When this little number was shown at heartland drive-in theatres, people crawled out of their car's back seats and actually watched the screen.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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