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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from Three O'Clock High (1987)

Three O'Clock High

1987 | United States | 97 min
aka:
  • The Bell Rings at Three
  • After School
  • One of These Days
  • Watched on Sat Jun 19, 2021 via Blu-ray (2017 | Shout Factory)
    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    How did I miss this off-beat 80s teen comedy that skews closer to Savage Steve Holland than John Hughes? I loved the formal rigor director Phil Joanou employs in this comedic tale of high-school dweeb Jerry Mitchell who finds himself targeted by the hulking new bully. From long takes of overlapping dialog to an always-interesting shot choice, the film proved a terrific discovery.

    My nitpick: Jerry didn’t connect. Casey Siemaszko delivers an entertaining performance, but the script paints him as a bumbling doofus who’s his own worst enemy. Hard to root for him. Instead, imagine a draft where the second-act finale sees him accept his fate and adopt a devil-may-care attitude befitting a dying man. It kicks off with him seducing Miss Farmer and gets darker and weirder. Too much? Perhaps, but I can’t help wishing this packed a bit more edge.

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