Three O'Clock High

1987

Action / Comedy

36
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 72%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 9175

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Jeffrey Tambor as Mr. Rice
Paul Feig as Hall Monitor
Richard Tyson as Buddy Revell
Yeardley Smith as Cheerleader
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
701.16 MB
1280*720
English
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 3 / 12
1.24 GB
1920*1080
English
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 1 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by shino 9 / 10

Vastly underrated / unnoticed film

3 O'Clock High is a wonderful film. It bears little resemblance to the 80's teen archetypes, such as _Fast Times at Ridgemond High_ or the Hughes films, excellent as those films may be. 3 O'Clock is purely plot-based; a sensitive view of teenage angst can be found elsewhere.

The basic plot: Jerry Mitchell, everyman adolescent, manages to get himself into an after-school fight with the school psychopath Buddy Revell by 8:00 am, and spends the next 7 hours contriving every scheme to escape the certain flogging which awaits him at 3pm. The film opens with a clicking alarm clock (peculiar for an electric clock) and ends with an image of the school clock; in between, clock dials, and class bells serve as symbolic death watch beetles.

Jerry's gradual disintegration amongst his friends, the school administration, and the school store manager as well as his physical and moral decline as the day wears on is very amusing.

What's memorable about the film is its radical cinematography which we presume is the contribution of long-time Coen collaborator cinematographer Barry Sonenfeld. Extreme wide-angle shots, and a clever technique of high-speed crane shots make for a very distinctive look (which I have never seen duplicated). While clever technique this could create a ponderous over-theatrical look (like some of Spielberg's 80's work as viewed today) or a vapid MTV look, Joanou uses the showy technique to great effect and the film looks as fresh today as it did nearly 20 years ago.

The enigmatic Buddy Revell is a wonderful creation, masterfully introduced by a continuous moving shot following, in succession, three sets of exchanges between students recounting Buddy's legendary reputation for psychotic violence. The roving camera threads through each group of students as deftly as if in a Fellini film, (at the risk of being bombastic).

As well as a sharp plot and dialog, and an innovative technique and excellent production values, the assembled cast is uniformly superb. Casey Siemaszko is perfect for the role, and Richard Tyson gives an absolutely straight interpretation of Buddy Revell. Seconday roles are played by character actors Jeffrey Tambor, John P. Ryan, Mitch Pileggi among others.

In conclusion, you know it's a special film because so many of the images and the dialog stick in one's mind. The cheerleaders tearing apart the effigy and skull as the horrified Jerry watches, the library shelves toppling like dominoes to reveal Jerry and Vince cowering in the corner, all of the scenes with "The Duker", the Dean of Discipline's dungeon of an office, the educational 8mm insect film, the sinister retelling of the Iliad, Jerry frantically attempting to break open a cash register using a world globe and fire extinguisher.

The film probably didn't make it big because no big names were connected to it. Joanou would go on to do a curiously unrelated string of projects, some music videos, television documentaries, and even sitcom work. He did do another mainstream film _State of Grace_ (1990) with Sean Penn, another excellent and underrated film.

Reviewed by el_nickster 10 / 10

Very good, sadly ignored, teen movie of the 1980s.

This is a teen comedy from the 1980s, every bit as good as anything made by John Hughes in those days (Breakfast Club, 16 Candles, etc.).

The plot: our hero, Jerry, is assigned by the school newspaper to interview the new kid at school. The new kid, Buddy, is a big thug with an attitude. To make his reputation, Buddy bullies and intimidates Jerry, and tells Jerry that, come three o'clock, he is going to beat him up. Jerry spends the rest of the day trying to get out of participating in the fight.

The story is full of the usual parodies of teen-aged stereotypes, but they are somehow more believable and human than the characters in most films of this genre. The protagonist, for example, suffers from under-confidence resulting from being hypoglycemic. The story is all about him overcoming his under-confidence (a process we all go through in high school), which is a really common plot in teen movies. What comes through in this film is that *all* of the students are going through the same process. The cool, spooky girl next door turns out not to be so cool, underneath. The hero's buddy tries to help in the struggle, but gets sick of him and abandons him. The villainous tough ends up feeling ashamed of himself. These comic characters stick with you because they are so much like real teenagers: naive, under-confident, and overreaching.

Reviewed by paulbrec 8 / 10

What's wrong with this film???

I have just discovered this film recently. It was never very popular, and I don't know why. I am surprised that a few people can't stand this film. After viewing the DVD a few times, I can honestly say that overall this is not a bad film. The directing is superb. I liked the way the director uses time...the passage of time...and shows its relationship and importance to the story. I also liked the camera blocking, and angles. My favorite shot is of the bully walking out of the school just before the fight: The camera zooms in and tilts up at a low level. A technique taught in film school to show a subject as "larger-than-life", or menacing over something. The acting was also excellent. Richard Tyson is great as the bully. His deep voice is well suited for this role, and is especially noted if you have a subwoofer. Yeah, I wouldn't want to fight him, either... Although the story is "typical", I like the plot-line. Throughout the whole story, the plot slowly builds to an amazing climax, then drops suddenly, and levels off. Its a perfect plot-line. Although, some parts of the story are "far-fetched". Such as, Jerry pretending to fall in love with his English teacher. One thing to remember, though, this is fiction. Sometimes in fiction, things happen that are unlikely in real life. That's why its called "fiction". Other than the bland "typical" story, I could not find anything wrong with this film. I have yet to even find so much as a continuity error. In conclusion, if you are looking for "content" you will be disappointed with this film. However, if you are looking for a well-directed film with good use of camera blocking and angles, and actor positioning, you will find this to be a very enjoyable film. ACTING: 9.1 / 10 DIRECTING: 9.4 / 10 STORY: 8.8 / 10

AVERAGE: 9.1 / 10 A lost Gem, and a must see for "film people".

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