Heathers: Wikis


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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Lehmann
Produced by Denise Di Novi
Written by Daniel Waters
Starring Winona Ryder
Christian Slater
Shannen Doherty
Lisanne Falk
Kim Walker
Penelope Milford
Glenn Shadix
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Frances Kenny
Editing by Norman Hollyn
Distributed by New World Pictures
Release date(s) March 31, 1989 (1989-03-31)
Running time 102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million
Gross revenue $1,108,462

Heathers is a 1989 black comedy film starring Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, and Shannen Doherty. The film portrays four girls in a trend-setting clique at a fictional Ohio high school. The girls — three of whom are named Heather — rule the school through intimidation, contempt, and sex appeal.

Heathers brought director Michael Lehmann and producer Denise Di Novi the 1990 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Daniel Waters also gained recognition for his screenplay, which won a 1990 Edgar Award.[1] The film was a U.S. box office failure,[2] but went on to become a cult classic, with high rentals and sales business. In 2006, it was ranked #5 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies.[3]



The film centers on high school student Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), who is part of the most popular clique at Westerberg High School (named for singer Paul Westerberg) in Sherwood, a fictional suburb of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to Veronica, the clique is composed of three wealthy girls with the same first name: Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), and Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk).

When a new student, a rebellious boy named Jason Dean (Slater), or J.D. for short, pulls a gun on school bullies Kurt (Lance Fenton) and Ram (Patrick Labyorteaux) and fires blanks at them, Veronica is intrigued. To avenge herself on Heather Chandler, who mistreated her the night before, Veronica and J.D. jokingly prepare a cup full of drain cleaner to bring Heather as a morning wake-up drink. Veronica decides on milk and orange juice as a suitable form of revenge, as the combination can induce vomiting. J.D. distracts Veronica with a kiss and Veronica takes the wrong cup to give Heather. J.D. notices the mistake, but does not inform Veronica; Heather Chandler drinks the drain cleaner (her last words are "CorNuts!") and dies in front of them.

J.D. urges Veronica to protect herself from suspicion of murder by forging a suicide note in Heather Chandler's handwriting. Based on this note, the school and community look on Heather Chandler's death as a dramatic, yet somehow hip, decision made by a popular but sadly troubled teenager. Heather Duke soon steps into Heather Chandler's former role as clique leader, and begins wearing a red Scrunchie that had belonged to Chandler.

Several weeks later, the oafish Kurt and Ram spread a false rumor about Veronica giving oral sex to Kurt and Ram at the same time, ruining her reputation at school. J.D. proposes that Veronica lure them into the woods behind the school with the promise to "make the rumors true"; then, they will shoot them with "special" bullets that will knock them unconscious but not kill them. J.D. will plant "gay" materials beside the other boys, including mineral water, a gay porn magazine, and a suicide note saying the two were lovers in a suicide pact. Ram is shot but Veronica misses Kurt, who runs away. Veronica realizes that the bullets are real; J.D. chases Kurt back towards Veronica, who panics and shoots him dead. At their funeral, Kurt's father (Mark Carlton) is seen wailing, "I love my dead gay son!", and the boys are made into martyrs against homophobia.

Other students begin mimicking the perceived behavior of the popular dead kids and attempting suicide themselves. Martha Dunnstock (Carrie Lynn), an unpopular, obese student, known as "Martha Dumptruck", pins a suicide note to her chest and walks into traffic. She survives, but is badly injured, and is mocked for trying to "act popular". Heather McNamara, depressed that Heather Duke told the entire school her embarrassing secrets, attempts to take her life by overdosing on pills in the girls' bathroom, but is saved by Veronica and the two rekindle their friendship. Heather Duke, however, is acting as cruel as Heather Chandler, and she and Veronica cease to be friends.

Veronica tells J.D. that she will not participate in any more killings. He plans to kill Heather Duke next, and subtly threatens to do the same to Veronica if she does not cooperate. Veronica instead tricks J.D. by using a harness to make it look like she has hanged herself. Heartbroken, he reveals his plan to blow up the entire school during a pep rally. A petition he has been circulating, via Heather Duke, to get the (fictional) band Big Fun to perform on campus was actually a disguised suicide note. Most of the students had already signed, so the mass murder would appear to be a mass suicide instead.

Veronica confronts J.D. in the boiler room where he is rigging timed explosives. She attempts to kill him when he refuses to stop the bomb. As J.D. collapses, he accidentally stops the timer. Veronica walks out through the pep rally with everyone cheering, unaware of their narrowly-missed demise. The severely injured J.D. follows her outside, looks at her as if to say, "We could have been together..." and detonates a bomb that is strapped to his chest.

In the film's final scene, Veronica, covered in ash and bleeding slightly, confronts Heather Duke in the halls, takes Heather Chandler's red Scrunchie, and engages Martha Dunnstock in a civil conversation, a final rejection of the Heathers' clique.



Daniel Waters wanted his screenplay to go to director Stanley Kubrick,[4] not only out of profound admiration for Kubrick but also from a perception that "Kubrick was the only person that could get away with a three-hour film". (The cafeteria scene opening Heathers was written as an homage to the barracks scene opening Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket.) After a number of failed attempts to get the script to Kubrick made Waters realize the apparent futility of the enterprise, he decided to give the script to Michael Lehmann, who then took it on with Denise Di Novi. Many actors and actresses turned down the project because of its dark subject matter. Early choices for J.D. and Veronica were Brad Pitt and Jennifer Connelly. Although Pitt auditioned for J.D., the filmmakers rejected him because they thought he came across as "too nice" and therefore would not be credible. Connelly declined. Winona Ryder — who was 16 at the time of filming and badly wanted the part — begged Waters to cast her. She was eventually given the role; Christian Slater was signed on after. Heather Graham, then 17, was cast as Heather McNamara, but her mother wouldn't allow her to do the film.[4] Filming took place in 1988, and lasted 32 days.

Two stars of the film died at an early age: Jeremy Applegate, who played Peter Dawson, committed suicide with a shotgun on March 23, 2000, and Kim Walker, who played Heather Chandler, died of a brain tumor on March 6, 2001.


The film uses two versions of the song "Que Sera, Sera," the first by singer Syd Straw and another over the end credits by Sly & the Family Stone. On the film's DVD commentary, Di Novi mentions that the filmmakers wanted to use the original Doris Day version of the song, but Day would not lend her name to any project using profanity. Di Novi also notes that, when her father was a session musician for Day, he and the other musicians had to put money in a "swear jar" when they cursed.

The song "Teenage Suicide (Don't Do It)" by the fictional band Big Fun was written and produced for the film by musician Don Dixon, and performed by the ad hoc group "Big Fun", which consisted of Dixon, Mitch Easter, Angie Carlson and Marti Jones. The song is included on Dixon's 1992 greatest hits album (If) I'm A Ham, Well You're A Sausage.

The film's electronic score was composed and performed by David Newman and a soundtrack CD was subsequently released.

Home media

Heathers was first released onto VHS in 1989, where it received strong sales and rentals, and is where it first became well known after being unsuccessful at the box office. It was released again on laserdisc on September 16, 1996 with restored stereo sound. This widescreen edition was digitally transferred from Trans Atlantic Pictures interpositive print under the supervision of cinematographer Francis Kenny. The sound was mastered from the magnetic sound elements. The film was first released onto DVD on March 30, 1999, in a barebones edition.

In 2001, a multi-region special edition DVD was released from Anchor Bay in Dolby Digital 5.1. The DVD was released in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe to high sales. In 2004, a limited edition DVD set was released, and only 15,000 were produced. The set contained an audio commentary with director Michael Lehmann, producer Denise Di Novi and writer Daniel Waters, a 30-minute documentary titled Swatch Dogs And Diet Cokeheads, featuring interviews with Ryder, Slater, Doherty, Falk, Lehmann, Waters, Di Novi, Director of Photography Francis Kenny and Editor Norman Hollyn. It also includes a theatrical trailer, screenplay excerpt, original ending, biographies, 10-page full-color fold-out with photos and liner notes, a 8cm "Heathers Rules!" ruler, and a 48-page full-color "yearbook style" booklet with rare photos.

On July 1, 2008, a new 20th anniversary special edition DVD set was released from Anchor Bay to coincide with the DVD of Daniel Waters' new film Sex and Death 101. The DVD features a new documentary, Return to Westerberg High. On November 18, 2008, Anchor Bay released a Blu-ray Disc with all the special features from the 20th Anniversary DVD and a soundtrack in Dolby TrueHD 5.1.

Alternate ending

On the 2-disc 20th Anniversary High School Reunion DVD edition of Heathers, the "special features" section contains the script for a different ending which was considered too dark for teen audiences and nixed by New World Pictures, the distributor.

In this version, J.D. dies in the boiler room, and Veronica is shown walking through the school, though only from the back. This is interrupted by shots of the bomb counting down, showing that Veronica had not shut it off. When she reaches the front of the school, Veronica turns around, allowing the viewer to see that the bomb was strapped to her chest. It hits zero, the screen turns black, and Veronica says "Boom".

The next scene is the school prom. A banner says "WHAT A WASTE, OH THE HUMANITY." The students begin to dance, soon with people from different cliques are couples. Dead characters (such as Kurt and JD) make appearances. The Heathers do a ring-around-the-rosey. The camera moves up to reveal Martha Dunnstock, then a smiling Veronica.


On June 2, 2009, Entertainment Weekly reported that Winona Ryder had confirmed that there will be a sequel to Heathers with Christian Slater coming back "as a kind of Obi-Wan character".[5] Michael Lehmann, however, has denied that a sequel is in development, saying "Winona’s been talking about this for years — she brings it up every once in a while and Dan Waters and I will joke about it, but as far as I know there’s no script and no plans to do the sequel."[6]

Television series

In August 2009, it was announced that Heathers was to be adapted for television. Mark Rizzo has been hired to write the series, and Jenny Bicks will co-produce with Lakeshore Entertainment.[7] It is described as a modernized version of the original story, and all characters from the film are all expected to be scripted into the adaptation.[8]


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Heathers is a 1989 black comedy film about a girl who for a time half-heartedly tries to be part of the "in crowd" of her school, the "Heathers", who rule over others through intimidation, contempt, and sex appeal, and the lessons she learns in her interaction with an anti-social rebel with far more extreme forms of contempt for people and society.

Directed by Michael Lehmann and written by Daniel Waters.


Veronica Sawyer

  • Dear diary, my teen-angst bullshit now has a body count. Everybody's sad...but it's kind of a weird kind of sad. Suicide gave Heather depth, Kurt a soul, and Ram a brain. I don't know what it's given me, but I have no control over myself when I'm with J.D. Are we going to prom or to hell?
  • Dear Diary, this is more than just a spoke in my menstrual cycle...
  • Heather my love, there's a new Sheriff in town.

Jason "JD" Dean

  • Color me impressed. You, uh, you really fucked me up pretty bad, Veronica. You, um, you've got power. Power I didn't think you had. The slate is clean. Pretend I did blow up the school. All the schools. Now that you're dead, what are you gonna do with your life?

Heather Chandler

  • [during a dream-sequence] Help me, Veronica! The afterlife is so boring! If I have to sing Kum-bye-ya one more time...

Heather Duke

  • Veronica, why are you pulling my dick?
  • [Listening to Heather McNamara on the radio] Oh, shit. We'll crucify her!


Heather Chandler: You stupid fuck.
Veronica: You goddamn bitch.
Heather Chandler: I brought you to a Remington party and what's my thanks? It's on a hallway carpet. I got paid in puke.
Veronica: Lick it up, baby. Lick it up.

Veronica: I just killed my best friend.
J.D.: And your worst enemy.
Veronica: Same difference.
J.D.: What are we gonna tell the cops? "Fuck it if she can't take a joke, Sarge?"
Veronica: Oh, the cops. I can't believe this is my life. Oh my God. I'm gonna have to send my SAT scores to San Quentin instead of Stanford.
J.D.: Ah, right. I'm just a little freaked here. Well at least you got whatcha wanted y'know?
Veronica: Got what I wanted? It is one thing to want somebody out of your life, it is another thing to serve them a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer.

J.D.: Hey, son, I didn't hear you come in.
Big Bud Dean: Hey, Dad, how was work today? It was miserable. Some damn tribe of withered old bitches doesn't want us to terminate that fleabag hotel. All because Glenn Miller and his band once took a shit there. Just like Kansas. Remember fucking Kansas?
J.D.: Yeah, that was the one with the wheat, right?
Big Bud Dean: "Save The Memorial Oak Tree" Society. Showed those fucks.
J.D.: Thirty of those 4th of July fireworks attached to the trunk. Arraigned, but acquitted.
Big Bud Dean: Gosh, Pop, I almost forgot to introduce my girlfriend.
J.D.: Veronica, this is my dad. Dad, Veronica. Son, why don't you ask your little friend to stay for dinner.
Veronica: I can't. My mom's making my favorite meal tonight, Spaghetti. Lots of oregano.
J.D.: How nice. Last time I saw my mom, she was waving from a library window, in Texas. Right, Dad?
Big Bud Dean: Right, son.
Veronica: Right.

Veronica: Heather, why can't you just be a friend? Why do you have to be such a mega-bitch?
Heather Duke: Because I can be.

J.D.: Do you think that just because you started this thing you can end it?
Veronica: I'll kill you, I'll fucking kill you, I swear to God! How do I turn off the goddamn bomb, asshole?
J.D.: [gives Veronica the finger] Fuck you! [Veronica shoots his middle finger] Shit!
Veronica: It's all over, J.D., help me stop it!
J.D.: You wanna clean slate as much as I do! Alright, so maybe I am killing everyone in the school because nobody loves me! Let's face it, alright. The only place where different social types can genuinely get along with each other is in heaven.
Veronica: Which button do I press to turn it off?
J.D.: Try the red one, alright? Seriously, people are gonna look at the ashes of Westerburg, and say "There is a school that self-destructed not because society didn't care but because the school was society"! Pretty deep, eh?
Veronica: Which red button?
J.D.: Press the one in the middle, to turn it off if that's what you really want.
Veronica: You know what I want, babe?
J.D.: What?! [tries to attack but Veronica shoots him to stop the bomb]
Veronica: Cool guys like you out of my life.

Heather Duke: Veronica, what happened? You look like hell.
Veronica: Yeah, I just got back.


External links

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Simple English

Directed by Michael Lehmann
Produced by Denise Di Novi
Written by Daniel Waters
Starring Winona Ryder
Christian Slater
Shannen Doherty
Lisanne Falk
Kim Walker
Penelope Milford
Glenn Shadix
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Frances Kenny
Editing by Norman Hollyn
Distributed by New World Pictures
Release date(s) March 31, 1989
Running time 102 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million
Gross revenue $1,108,462
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Heathers is a 1989 black comedy film starring Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, and Shannen Doherty. The film is about a group of four girls in a high school in Ohio. The girls, three of whom are named Heather, rule the school as they are the prettiest and most popular girls in town.

Heathers won awards for its director Michael Lehmann and producer Denise Di Novi the 1990 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Daniel Waters also won an award for his screenplay, which won a 1990 Edgar Award.[1] The film was a U.S. box office failure,[2] but has since become a cult classic, as is shown by its high sales and rentals on DVD and VHS. In 2006, it was ranked #5 on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 50 Best High School Movies.[3]


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