All American High

Watch All American High

  • 1987
  • 59 min
  • 7.5  (43)

All American High is a 1986 documentary film directed and produced by Keva Rosenfeld. The film follows a year in the life of a typical American high school, chronicling the experiences of students, faculty, and parents. Set in the southern California town of Torrance, the film provides an inside look at the rituals and rites of passage that shape the lives of high schoolers.

The film opens with scenes of students arriving at Torrance High School for the first day of the school year. Viewers are introduced to a diverse cast of characters, including jocks, nerds, preppies, burnouts, and outcasts. The film does an excellent job of capturing the various cliques that exist within high schools, and viewers will undoubtedly recognize the different archetypes from their own school days.

The film is loosely structured around the different events that take place throughout the school year. Viewers see the excitement surrounding the homecoming football game, the preparations for the winter dance, and the anxious anticipation of prom. There are scenes of after-school jobs, band practice, and cheerleading tryouts. The film shows the daily grind of schoolwork, including lectures, labs, and homework. All of these events are presented in a realistic and relatable way, making it easy for viewers to get lost in the world of Torrance High.

One of the most interesting aspects of the film is the role that parents play in the lives of high school students. Throughout the film, we see parents attending PTA meetings, chaperoning dances, and offering guidance to their children. The film shows how parents can be both supportive and overbearing, and how their attitudes can shape the experiences of their children.

Another fascinating aspect of the film is the portrayal of the school's faculty. Viewers see teachers lecturing, grading papers, and working with students. We also see teachers engaging in light-hearted banter with their students, establishing a rapport that extends beyond the classroom. The film includes several scenes of teachers having discussions about the challenges of high school teaching, including burnout, budget cuts, and standardized testing.

The film is shot in a documentary style, with many scenes featuring candid interviews with students and faculty members. These interviews provide valuable insight into the lives of high schoolers, offering viewers a glimpse into the pressures they face both in and out of school. The film also incorporates plenty of humor, with several laugh-out-loud moments that will have viewers reminiscing about their own high school experiences.

All American High is not without its flaws, however. At times, the film feels a bit aimless, lacking a clear narrative arc. The film also fails to address some of the more serious issues facing high school students, such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and bullying. These issues are only briefly alluded to, which may leave some viewers feeling unsatisfied.

Despite these shortcomings, All American High is an engaging and entertaining look at high school life in the 1980s. The film captures the spirit of its era, from the big hair and neon clothing to the iconic music of the time. Viewers who grew up in the 80s will undoubtedly find the film nostalgic and relatable, while younger viewers will gain valuable insight into the lives of their parents and grandparents.

In conclusion, All American High is a classic documentary film that should be on every film-lover's must-watch list. With its honest portrayal of high school life, engaging characters, and witty humor, the film provides a valuable snapshot of American culture in the 1980s. Though some may find the film lacking in focus and depth, it remains a highly entertaining and enjoyable watch.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    59 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (43)