Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)



Critic Consensus: While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.

Fast Times At Ridgemont High Videos

Fast Times At Ridgemont High Photos

Movie Info

Based on 22-year-old Cameron Crowe's undercover exposé on life in a Southern California public high school, this groundbreaking effort presents alternately poignant and funny looks at episodes from the lives of some of the students as they prepare themselves for life in the outside world. Many popular stars made their debuts in the film, including Anthony Edwards, Nicolas Cage and Eric Stolz. It is also the film that made Sean Penn a star for his portrayal of the dopey passive/aggressive surfer Jeff Spicoli.
R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures

Watch it now


Sean Penn
as Jeff Spicoli
Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Stacy Hamilton
Judge Reinhold
as Brad Hamilton
Robert Romanus
as Mike Damone
Brian Backer
as Mark `Rat' Ratner
Phoebe Cates
as Linda Barrett
Ray Walston
as Mr. Hand
Scott Thomson
as Arnold
Vincent Schiavelli
as Mr. Vargas
D.W. Brown
as Ron Johnson
Forest Whitaker
as Charles Jefferson
Tom Nolan
as Dennis Taylor
Blair Ashleigh
as Pat Bernardo
Eric Stoltz
as Stoner Bud
Stanley Davis Jr.
as Jefferson's Brother
James Russo
as Robber
Nicolas Cage
as Brad's Bud
Reginald H. Farmer
as Vice Principal
Anthony Edwards
as Stoner Bud
Stuart Cornfield
as Pirate King
Pamela Springsteen
as Dina Phillips
Stuart Cornfeld
as Pirate King
Sonny Carl Davis
as Businessman
Michael Wyle
as Brad's Bud
David F. Price
as Desmond
Patrick Brennan
as Curtis Spicoli
Julie Guilmette
as Pizza Waitress
Shelly O'Neill
as Pizza Waitress
Stu Nahan
as Himself
Duane Tucker
as Dr. Brandt
Martin Brest
as Dr. Miller
Taylor Negron
as Pizza Guy
Kenny Lawrence
as Customer
John Hollander
as Customer
Ricky Redlich
as Customer
Nancy Wilson
as Girl in Car
Virginia Peters
as Waitress
Lois Brandt
as Mrs. O'Rourke
Ellen Fenwick
as Stacy's Mom
Lana Clarkson
as Mrs. Vargas
Roy Holmer Wallack
as Santa Claus
Ava Lazar
as Playmate
Lori Sutton
as Playmate
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Critic Reviews for Fast Times At Ridgemont High

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (8)

What it doesn't have is a clear point of view, something that would make it of more interest than leafing through a high school yearbook.

Full Review… | August 12, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Director Amy Heckerling has failed to provide the raunch or poignancy that would interest young moviegoers, all of whom have seen American Graffiti and its 467 imitators. Ridgemont High? A nice place to visit, but who would want to transfer there?

Full Review… | March 13, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Fast Times will always be remembered for one thing: showing respect for and insight into the members of its core audience, something that was as rare in the 1980s as it is today.

Full Review… | June 9, 2008
Top Critic

The nice thing is that Crowe and director Amy Heckerling have provided something pleasant to observe in all of these characters though they really are sadly lacking in anything gripping.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
Top Critic

Was never all it was cracked up to be.

Full Review… | July 18, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Lacks the frenzied energy which allowed Porky's to beat all competitors in its field.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Fast Times At Ridgemont High


It's certainly flawed, however, Sean Penn gives a bravura performance and the film has ample nostalgic charm and humor to entertain. It is, however, nowhere as near touching or deep as John Hughes' The Breakfast Club and Pretty Pink which manage to capture the essence of high school not just through classic clichés, but through atmospheric cinematography and messages that transcend the basic "growing up is tough." The film ultimately, despite being relatable, doesn't accomplish a whole lot.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

LOL funny but not terribly memorable. I find young Jennifer Jason Leigh's moonface utterly forgettable (unlike her adult jagged little pill face), but she does well when she tells Damone, "No. Take that back," after he accuses her of wanting sex more than he did. My favorite character would have to be Brad, played by the Honorable Judge Reinhold. He's a doofy but supportive older brother who gets some great dad-ish lines, "Learn it. Know it. Live it."

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer


Spicoli is great and some of the scenes are funny, yet I found it difficult to get into this film. Maybe it's because it lacks a story. Instead it studies the life of high school kids, and for that it's entertaining. It's similar to "Dazed and Confused", just a different era.

Eric Shankle
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

Fast Times At Ridgemont High Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss Fast Times At Ridgemont High on our Movie forum!

News & Features