The Story Behind Cameron Crowe’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High is Surprising

As many of you may or may not know, the movie Almost Famous was autobiographical.  Turns out that its director, Cameron Crowe, started his journalistic work at the age of 13, graduated high school by the age of 15, and was in fact working with Lester Bangs and Ben-Fong Torres of Rolling Stone.   While the band “Stillwater” from the movie is fictional, many of the accounts from that movie are based loosely on Crowe’s real experiences.   I bring this up because another one of Cameron Crowe’s famous films, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, is also based loosely on Crowe’s real life experience.    Since Crowe graduated high school at 15, he had to “relive” the high school experience to write Fast Times.  The story goes something like this.

At the age of 22, Crowe came up with the idea to pose undercover as a high school student and write about his experiences. Simon & Schuster gave him a contract, and he moved back in with his parents and enrolled as Dave Cameron at Clairemont High School in San Diego. Reliving the senior year he never had, he made friends and began to fit in. Though he initially planned to include himself in the book, he realized that it would jeopardize his ability to capture the true essence of the high school experience.

His book, Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story, came out in 1981. Crowe focused on six main characters: a tough guy, a nerd, a surfer dude, a sexual sophisticate, and a middle-class brother and sister. He chronicled their activities in typical teenage settings–at school, at the beach, and at the mall, where many of them held afterschool jobs–and focused on details of their lives that probed into the heart of adolescence. This included scenes about homecoming and graduation as well as social cliques and sexual encounters.

Before the book was even released, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was optioned for a film. Released in 1982, the movie version lacked a specific plot and featured no major name stars. The studio did not devote any marketing effort toward it. Nevertheless, it became a sleeper hit due to word of mouth.

So there you have it.  Pretty cool huh?  I can’t possibly imagine attending high school at 22.  Man that would have been amazing.

Save



Add Comment

Shouldn’t Ally McBeal Have Tried a Reboot By Now?
Five Ways the Dexter Revival Can Redeem The Worst TV Finale in History
Looks Like We Were Right About Away” Netflix Cancelled It After One Season
The Reason Why L.A.’s Finest Was Cancelled after Just 2 Seasons
31 Nights of Halloween: Lars von Trier’s ‘Antichrist’ (2009)
What’s The Best Way Jared Leto’s Joker Can Be Used In The Snyder Cut Of Justice League?
Dev Patel
A Chippendales Murder Movie is Coming with Dev Patel
First Trailer for Chadwick Boseman’s Last Movie Ma Rainey’s “Black Bottom” Arrives
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Conrad Ricamora
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Ariana Greenblatt
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Anand Desai-Barochia
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Nat Wolff
Elm Street
Did You Know Marvel Made a Freddy Kreuger Comic in 1989?
Five Reasons Why DeSaad Deserves a Solo Movie
What We Learned from The Batman: Three Jokers Trailer
The One DC Character Who Can’t Stand His Own Super Powers
The Top Ten Dueling Monsters In Yu-Gi-Oh!
The Top Five Yu-Gi-Oh! Villains
Vinland Saga
Why You Should Be Watching Vinland Saga
Super Anime
Check Out Mario & Luigi: Super Anime Brothers
Guy Spends 2 Years Making a Video Game to Propose to His Girlfriend
Video Proves That Mario’s Brother Luigi is a Monster
Thirty Minutes of Rain From Thirty Different Video Games
Someone Managed to Get Doom to Run on a Digital Pregnancy Test