Three O'Clock High
(Phil Joanou; 1987)

3 O'Clock High Poster

Buddy Revell

Casey Siemaszko, Anne Ryan, Richard Tyson, Jeffrey Tambor, Phillip Baker Hall and John P. Ryan.

When school's over, it's all over.

When school's over, it's all over. Welcome to one day in the life of Jerry Mitchell. Thanks to having the worst luck alive Jerry ends up having to take part in a fight with the biggest, strongest, meanest guy to walk the halls without a pass - Buddy Revell - at the end of school. He has seven hours to try and get out of the fight. Forget maths or English. At three o'clock he's history.

This film follows Jerry's day as he tries different scams to get out of it, plus he get's caught with a dangerous weapon, cutting school and suspected of robbing the school stationary store. Not to mention having three women trying to seduce him. All he has is his own wit, charm, intelligence, smart younger sister, a few friends and the worst luck alive.

Whilst not as well known as some other teen movies, or as complex, this is still quite a good film. Not up there with "The Breakfast Club" or "Ferris Bueller" (how could it be? John Hughes wasn't involved!), but well worth a watch.

Jerry tries all sorts of ways of getting out of the fight. First he tries reasoning with Buddy, but to no avail. Later he decides to pay someone to attack Buddy, but that fails. However to get the money for his would be hero he has to rob the school stationary store. This involves the police. His friends are no real help either. As it all culminates at the end you can see the determination on Jerry's face as he tries to come to grips with his (understandable) cowardice and weighs up the options and finally decides to go to the fight and stand up for himself.
Worrying Male Bonding As said before this isn't the most complex film although it does have some nice twists in there. Casey Siemaszko is a very good actor in this. You really sympathise with Jerry as he tries to wriggle out of the inevitable. Also his book report just has to be seen, with elements of James Dean sneaking in there.
Flaws with this film would be the fight at the end where Buddy Revell knocks out some teachers and is still allowed into school the next day. Also the character of Buddy is quite one-dimensional but this film isn't out to get into a lengthy disection of what makes someone a bully but is just trying to entertain and show a 'geek comes good' story. Despite starting out an obvious nerdy character he wins the day and ends up with the girl (or three actually). One of those girls, Jerry's quirky best friend is played by Anne Ryan who briefly pops up in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
As said before, not a classic but still very enjoyable.

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