Three O'Clock High (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Three O'Clock High (1987)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The first feature film from director Phil Joanou (State of Grace), Three O' Clock High chronicles a high school nerd's much hyped after-school bout with the infamous class bully. When the impish Jerry Mitchell (Casey Siemaszko) is assigned to interview the new transfer student with a supposedly violent past, Buddy Revell (Richard Tyson), he makes the fatal mistake of touching his subject. Revell, who hates being touched, responds by challenging the unwilling Mitchell to a fight at three o'clock in the parking lot. Spanning the course of the school day, the film follows the disaster-bound Mitchell as he soils his good-boy image through various misguided attempts at averting the fight. Also making noteworthy appearances in the film are Jeffrey Tambor and Philip Baker Hall.

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Casey Siemaszko
as Jerry Mitchell
Richard Tyson
as Buddy Revell
Stacey Glick
as Brei Mitchell
Annie Ryan
as Franny Perrins
Jonathan Wise
as Vincent Costello
Liza Morrow
as Karen Clarke
John P. Ryan
as Mr. O'Rourke
Philip Baker Hall
as Detective Mulvahill
Scott Tiler
as Bruce Chalmer
Guy Massey
as Scott Cranston
Theron Read
as Mark Bojeekus
Mike Jolly
as Craig Mattey
Mitch Pileggi
as Duke Herman
E. Katherine Kerr
as Mrs. Phillips
Caitlin O'Heaney
as Miss Farmer
Vivian Brown
as Miss Vail
John Rothman
as Mr. Medved
Alice Nunn
as Nurse Palmer
Brian Andrews
as Nerdy Kid
Paul Feig
as Hall Monitor
Yeardley Smith
as Cheerleader
Tom Taylor
as Jock #3
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Critic Reviews for Three O'Clock High

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1)

Even a dumb teen movie such as this has to end with one of those fist fights where every blow sounds like the special effects guys are whacking bicycle seats with Ping-Pong paddles. Is that all life is? The vicious define the terms?

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Until the awful last act, this high school-set picture benefits from some mild black-comedy shadings.

September 22, 2021 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Three O'Clock High is one of the more fun, semi-forgotten teen films of the 1980s.

October 18, 2017 | Full Review…

Dated '80s teen comedy has bullying, cursing, violence.

August 15, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Three O'Clock High deserves a slot next to other '80s classics like "Ferris Bueller," "Sixteen Candles" and "Better Off Dead.

September 4, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A very unique and entertaining high school comedy with an important message...

May 17, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Three O'Clock High

When you think of classic 80's teen films, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink and all other John Hughes films quickly come to mind. But like the horror genre, there has been other great films overshadowed by the more popular films. I think that this is the case with Three O'clock High. This is a superb Teen comedy that has had the misfortunate of being a forgotten gem of the genre. This is a well acted film, one that has impressive performances from its lead actors, and the film also some well written characters as well. Three O'clock High is a real treat, and everything about the film is very well done in such a way that it capture the feel of high school, along with its dilemmas. The film features an astounding soundtrack by Tangerine Dream, whose music greatly enhances some key scenes, which is only perfected by Cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld. Sonnefeld's camerawork is terrific here, and the way that he has lensed the film adds something quite unique to the atmosphere of the film. Three O'clock High is a terrific picture, one that deserves to be rediscovered. I think it's a great shame that the film got overshadowed by other genre film, but hopefully you can rediscover this hidden gem. This is a very funny film, one that uses its cast quite well, and if you enjoy this genre, you're definitely going to love this film. With some wonderful performances by Casey Siemaszko and Richard Tyson, you have a highly entertaining comedy that is never boring, and even if it's not perfect, you can forget its flaws, and enjoy this film for what it is, a forgotten teen comedy that is well worth a second look. If you've enjoyed all of the films by John Hughes, but want a film of the same decade, that has effective comedy, teen angst and other issues, Three O'clock High is well worth seeing, and is is one of the best forgotten 80's comedies that I have seen.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer


This hilarious teen comedy is a lot of fun, I love it, it should be added to the list of essential 80s teen movies! I highly recommend it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Three O'clock High is a funny 80's high school underdog story. So fun!

Alexis Nomm
Alexis Nomm

Super Reviewer

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