25 fun facts you didn’t know about your favorite teen movies

FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF © 2020 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.
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Fast Times At Ridgemont High cast (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images) /

Fast Times at Ridgemont High – The studio had no faith in it being a hit

Fast Times at Ridgemont High is widely considered one of the first high school comedies, and its lasting impression in the world of cinema is a testament to how good it was. With budding young stars like Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Forest Whitaker, how could they go wrong?

Fast Times follows a group of SoCal teens looking for love, partying, and driving their high school teachers crazy. The film was inspired by the real-life adventures of filmmaker Cameron Crowe, who also used his experiences to inspire the film Almost Famous.

The film was directed by Clueless writer-director Amy Heckerling, and it was her directorial debut. She sought to make the movie as realistic as possible, and with a cast of mostly then-unknown young actors, it wasn’t exactly a surefire hit for the studios.

Universal was worried about the film being a flop and originally planned on giving it a limited release in just the Western part of the United States before sending it to cable. They thought there was no audience for it. After it tested positively, they gave the film a wide release and it had a long, successful run in theatres.

The surprise hit of the movie helped make stars out of some of its young cast members. In fact, several of them went on to win Oscars later in their careers, including Sean Penn (Spicoli), Forest Whitaker (Charles Jefferson), Nicolas Cage (Brad’s Bud), and even screenwriter Cameron Crowe. Jennifer Jason Leigh (Stacy Hamilton) has also been nominated for an Oscar.