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High School U.S.A.

DVD Cover
Approx. run time 100 mins.
Genre Television movie
Written by Alan Eisenstock
Larry Mintz
Directed by Rodney Amateau
Produced by Alan Eisenstock
Larry Mintz
Starring Michael J. Fox
Crispin Glover
Nancy McKeon
Todd Bridges
Dana Plato
Angela Cartwright
Anthony Edwards
Bob Denver
Tony Dow
Crystal Bernard
Dwayne Hickman
Lauri Hendler
Editing by John Cortland
Music by Tony Berg
Miles Goodman
Country United States
Language English
Original channel NBC
Release date October 16, 1983

"High School U.S.A." is also the title of the biggest pop hit by Tommy Facenda.

High School U.S.A. is a 1983 television movie directed by Rodney Amateau. The film originally aired on NBC on October 16, 1983 and features an ensemble cast including Michael J. Fox, Anthony Edwards, and Crispin Glover.

Several of the key actors appeared in sitcoms that were popular at the time. These include Todd Bridges and Dana Plato from Diff'rent Strokes, Nancy McKeon from The Facts of Life, and Michael J. Fox from Family Ties, as well as a number of former 1950s sitcom stars including Tony Dow, Frank Bank, and Ken Osmond from Leave it to Beaver.[1][2]



The film focuses on the intrigue inside Excelsior Union High School. Michael J. Fox plays J.J. Manners, who becomes enamored with Beth Franklin (Nancy McKeon), the girlfriend of Beau Middleton (Edwards), the class president and quarterback. Middleton is also the richest student and drives around in a brand-new convertible. The core story involves Manners and Middleton competing for the affections of Beth. Ultimately this rivalry culminates in a drag race between the two. The result of the race tips the balance and changes the face of the dynamics within the school irrevocably. Other storylines include Todd Bridges as a genius who has created a robot that he believes to be capable of going into space. Crispin Glover plays Archie Feld, a socially-impaired boy who nervously attempts to circumnavigate his way around the myriad nuances of cross-gender interaction. Also, Beau Middleton's father has created an incentive for the teachers by offering a sizable reward for the best teacher. Subsequently, the teachers focus extra effort on impressing Beau with their worthiness of the reward.



The film was originally intended to be a pilot for an NBC sitcom. The network envisioned stand-up comedian and future Mystery Science Theater 3000 star, Joel Hodgson as one of the stars of the proposed series. Hodgson turned the offer down after telling the network he didn't think the material was good. The network doubled their offer, thinking it was a bargaining ploy. Because of this, Hodgson felt Hollywood was shallow and quit the industry until 1987.


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