Three O'Clock High
Action / Comedy
Three O'Clock High
Action / Comedy
A high school nerd, Jerry Mitchell (Siemaszko) is assigned to write a piece for the school paper about new boy Buddy Revell (Tyson), who is rumored to be a psychopathic nutcase. When Jerry accidentally touches Buddy, he says that they must fight in the parking lot at 3pm. Jerry will just about do anything to avoid the confrontation.
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May 01, 2015 at 01:42 AM
John Hughes Crossed with Friday the 13th / Halloween
Roger Ebert is one of the highest regarded film critics on the planet, but his review of this movie is so bizarre and out of touch that it's laughable.
For those in a hurry:
There's a simple, violent theme running through the movie that is both entertaining and dreadful. Jerry (Casey Siemaszko), a meek and unlikely hero, has an unfortunate encounter with a psychotic transfer student, Buddy (Richard Tyson), that leads to Buddy threatening Jerry to a fight after school. Most of the movie revolves around Jerry trying to find some way to escape his destiny but the more he struggles, the more the noose tightens. Well-meaning friends exacerbate the situation, the adults in the movie are self-centered and clueless and Buddy is a pitiless, force-of-nature juggernaut brushing aside any attempt to deny him his bloody satisfaction. This struggle sets the stage for several very funny scenes that also ratchet the tension quite nicely while leading the viewer to the final showdown.
END OF REVIEW
This is a greatly underrated teen comedy that will also resonate with many adults. The film's poor reception may have been due to lackluster marketing as I do not remember seeing the movie in theaters or advertised anywhere. There's a rumor that the director angered someone on the production team (Steven Spielberg was an executive producer that later asked his name to be removed) and this may have been a factor.
Back to Ebert: the theme of the movie may have cut too close to Ebert's own high school experiences for his comfort or maybe he's forgotten what that period of life is really like. The teenage years usually are the most violent and there is often very little help outside of your immediate peer group. Ebert's taking the obtuse school official to task for not believing Jerry's predicament is ridiculous because this is exactly what adults tend to do: form a preconceived notion about a teen and then view everything through that lens. Witness today how some schools will suspend both parties in a fight, even if one individual does not fight back or defend themselves. Jerry is victimized by both Buddy AND the adults. In a larger sense, Buddy is a metaphor for that dreaded life event--a demonic boss, a false arrest, an unexpected sickness or infirmity-- that all people will face at some point. When it happens you can choose to cower in fear, or, summon your courage and boldly turn to face the whirlwind.
Never really Got the attention it deserved.
One Of The Best Teen Comedies. Exceeds Expectations. I had never heard about this film, maybe a reason due to that i was living in Sri Lanka. (But don't get mistaken. we hear about lot of great movies all over the world and personally I have watched 80% of The top IMDb films & many more that got ignored by IMDb.) but the fact is that this film really didn't had the box office hits it deserved at least. I'm not saying it should break any box office records, but it deserved more than it got at the box office level. reminded me of my school days & was very entertaining through out. plot line was pretty good and the film had it's intense increasingly going through.It really had it's funny parts specially in the 'book report' scene. no one had an idea he(Jerry) was doing it to get detention, and even he was amazed by the results of that. (you'll see.it may not be as much funny as i say of course. depends. hope this ain't a spoiler.) it's almost like a film in the category of breakfast club, road trip sixteen candles. No real violent scenes, sex scenes with nudity. few swearing is done here and there but doesn't make it an adult film at all. recommended for anyone aged under 50. a must watch film for people searching for underrated films.
Read more IMDb reviews
An essential male adolescent rite of passage
Meek Jerry Mitchell (an excellent and engaging performance by Casey Siemaszko) gets challenged by scary and brutish bully Buddy Revell (a fearsome portrayal by the brawny Richard Tyson) to a big fight after school. Will Jerry come through when it counts most or try to find a way out of this nightmarish predicament?
Director Phil Joanou keeps the absorbing story hurtling along at a breakneck pace, builds plenty of tension, offers a spot-on depiction of high school as a fascist prison-like hell on earth, pulls out the flashy stylistic stops with rip-snorting brio and breathtaking precision, and tops everything off with a wickedly sharp sense of fierce self-mocking humor. The smart and insightful script by Richard Christian Matheson and Tom Szolossi astutely presents a key male adolescent rite of passage in which a weak and passive boy learns how to become a much more strong and assertive man by standing up for himself and fighting his own battles instead of either running away from them or having someone else fight said battles for him.
The fine acting from the ace cast keeps this movie humming: Annie Ryan as Jerry's kooky proto-Goth girlfriend Franny, Stacey Glick as Jerry's snarky sister Brei, Jonathan Wise as nerdy pal Vincent, Liza Morrow as sultry hot babe Karen, Jeffrey Tambor as amiable school store manager Mr. Rice, John P. Ryan as no-nonsense principal Mr. O'Rourke, Charles Macauley as stern disciplinarian Voytek Dolinski, Mitch Pileggi as overzealous security guard Duke Herman, Caitlin O'Heaney as prim English teacher Miss Farmer, and Philip Baker Hall as the hard-nosed Detective Mulvahill. Further energized by Tangerine Dream's vibrant pulsating score and bravura dynamic cinematography by Barry Sonnenfield, this baby rates highly as one of the best teen comedies from the 1980's.