Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three O'Clock High

I always referred to this movie as the anti-John Hughes. I begins with our meeting Jerry Mitchell who is a good kid who runs the student store and is on the school paper. Played by Casey Siemazko he brings a perfect performance as someone between being a geek but being someone who is going somewhere. The evil security guy and Dean of Discipline has never had his name cross their desks so you know he is good.

Then one day a new student gets transferred in and Jerry is given the enviable task of interviewing this bully-legend even though the bully has a fearsome reputation. Richard Tysson is perfect as bad boy Buddy Revell. Everyone is reminded that he doesn't like to be touched, the one mistake that Jerry makes early on - leading to a challenge to fight in the parking late at 3PM.

Now at first Jerry tries to escape school - no luck. Each one of his classes is another reminder (..."Then Achilles SMASHED Hector till his head was caved in") of the beating to come.

This movie feels like the teen version of 'High Noon' as our hero can only wait for the clock to tick closer to his hour of destiny. He tries to get others to help him but like in that classes cowboy film, he is all but abandoned by his friends.

Jerrry's last two schemes to escape the inescapable are equally entertaining but when it's three o'clock, it's three o'clock and the showdown must and does occur.

I just watched this on the my satellite movie of the day and it is as good as I remember. So check it out if you want something in the vein of John Hughes but with a bit more edge to it.


Bubbashelby said...

I love this movie but haven't seen it in ages. I'll have to track it down again. Thanks for the reminder.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Perhaps the most underrated '80s high school film. Buddy Revell is such a great Lee Van Cleef style bad guy. I wish I had seen Richard Tysson in more, but only really remember him here and in Kindergarten Cop.

The finger jab that gets Jerry in trouble is such a great moment. I need to rewatch this as well.

Kal said...

Jerry's book report is still a classic moment for Mr "didn't have lunch today."