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Rock 'n' Roll High School

Rock 'n' Roll High School

5.0 2
Director: Allan Arkush

Cast: P.J. Soles, Vincent Van Patten, Clint Howard


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Rock 'n' Roll High School is a prime example of a 1970s movie phenomenon: a cult film that was deliberately designed to be a cult film. High-schooler Riff Randell's (P.J. Soles) efforts to meet the Ramones are continually thwarted by rock & roll-hating principal Evelyn Togar (Mary Woronov). Ms. Togar is the zealous sort who conducts experiments on laboratory


Rock 'n' Roll High School is a prime example of a 1970s movie phenomenon: a cult film that was deliberately designed to be a cult film. High-schooler Riff Randell's (P.J. Soles) efforts to meet the Ramones are continually thwarted by rock & roll-hating principal Evelyn Togar (Mary Woronov). Ms. Togar is the zealous sort who conducts experiments on laboratory rats to prove the adverse effect of rock music on innocent teenagers. Riff knows that she'll have to be twice as clever and devious as Togar to get her daily supply of Ramones -- and thereby hangs our tale. A secondary plot involves the efforts of pimply student Eaglebauer (Clint Howard) to arrange a date with the very particular Riff. A deliciously anarchistic climax caps this never-a-dull-moment spoof of 1950s rock & roll musicals.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Concorde

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
Jack Gill Actor
John Hateley Actor
Dee Dee Ramone Himself
Marky Ramone Himself
Debbie Evans Actor
Dick Miller Police Chief Klein
Grady Sutton School Board President
Barbara Walters Cafeteria Lady
Michael Goodwin Chemistry Teacher
Joey Ramone Himself
Johnny Ramone Himself
Ramones Actor

Technical Credits
Allan Arkush Director,Original Story
Larry Bock Editor
Jack Buehler Costumes/Costume Designer
Roger Corman Executive 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
Ramones Score Composer
Gail Werbin Editor
Richard Whitley Screenwriter


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Rock 'n' Roll High School 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.