Watch Up the Academy
- 1 hr 27 min
Up the Academy is a 1980 comedy film directed by Robert Downey Sr. and produced by Lou Adler. It stars Ron Leibman, Wendell Brown, Ralph Macchio, Tom Poston, and Barbara Bach. The story revolves around the lives of four rebellious boys - Chooch (Ralph Macchio), Rollo (Tommy Citera), Ike (Wendell Brown), and Hash (Harry Teinowitz) - who are sent to "Upstairs," a military school run by the hard-headed Major Vaughn Liceman (Ron Leibman). At Upstairs, the boys endure a strict regimen of physical training and military drills. However, they quickly learn that the school is a hotbed of corruption and dubious practices. They encounter a number of unique characters at the academy, including a misanthropic instructor (Tom Poston), a self-righteous chaplain (Stacy Keach Sr.), a corrupt commandant (King Moody), and a sociopathic cadet (Antonio Fargas). The boys are determined to disrupt the rigid, authoritarian structure of Upstairs by engaging in a number of pranks and hijinks. They secretly film the faculty and administrators in embarrassing situations, alter the school's address system, and even sneak into town to party. However, their fun and games come to a halt when they uncover a scheme by Major Liceman to sell the school to the highest bidder. The boys must band together to expose the truth and save Upstairs from falling into the hands of a shady businessman. Up the Academy is an irreverent and zany comedy that was heavily criticized upon its initial release for its crude humor and insensitivity towards minorities and women. However, its cult status has seen a resurgence in recent years, with some viewers praising the film's anarchic and absurdist humor. The film was notable for being the first feature film appearance of Ralph Macchio, who would go on to star in the Karate Kid series. It was also the last film produced by Lou Adler, who had previously produced the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show. Despite its controversial history, Up the Academy remains a curious relic of the early 1980s, a time when raunchy, rebellious comedies reigned supreme. It is not without its flaws, but for those who enjoy wild and subversive humor, it is worth a watch.