Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: Three O'Clock High

(This post originally appeared on February 7, 2010.)

I would have sworn that we watched every high school comedy movie made in the Eighties, but somehow we never got around to this one. It’s what I call a “bad day” movie, where things start out wrong for our decent, everyman hero Jerry Mitchell and keep getting worse as the day goes on. The low point, though, is when a new student who happens to be a psychopathic bully decides that he and Jerry are going to have a fight on the parking lot as soon as school is out at three o’clock.

Jerry and his best friend, who’s the editor of the school newspaper, try to figure out a way for Jerry to avoid getting beaten up, but every scheme they try just backfires on them. Eventually, of course, the showdown, the moment of truth, arrives, and the question is whether Jerry will step up and at least survive.

THREE O’CLOCK HIGH is a pretty good film, with a funny script co-written by Richard Christian Matheson. The cast is populated by actors who hadn’t done much then and didn’t go on to do much, although there are a few exceptions (Mitch Pileggi, Jeffery Tambor, and Yeardley Smith, to name three). Jerry is played by Casey Siemazko and Richard Tyson plays the bully, and while both of them have worked steadily over the years, neither is what you’d call a big name. But they’re fine in their roles, as are most of the other people in the movie.

I’m glad we finally got around to watching this one. It’s no FERRIS BUELLER, mind you, but it’s pretty entertaining and well worth investing an hour and a half of your time if you haven’t seen it.

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