Rock 'n' Roll High School

1979 PG 1h 24m DVD

Rock 'n' Roll High School

1979 PG 1h 24m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
This musical comedy cult classic follows Vince Lombardi High School's fervent love of rock 'n' roll -- particularly The Ramones -- and the students' quest to party. After a few principals have gone nuts and quit, the latest one tries to end the fun.
P.J. Soles, Vincent Van Patten, Clint Howard, Dey Young, Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, Dick Miller, Don Steele, Loren Lester, Alix Elias, Ramones
Allan Arkush
Widescreen 1.78:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
PG - Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents urged to give parental guidance. May contain some material parents might not like for their young children.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL is a 1970s-era, drive-in-style, anti-authority comedy with music by the punk band the Ramones. There's hardly any good behavior here; the teen characters are rebellious and reckless, and the authority figures are mean and rigid and soul-sucking; it's impossible not to root for the teens. Of course, even today's teens will love to see other teens standing up to and humiliating their elders, and in many ways, it's good clean fun. But the movie contains heavy sexual innuendo (no nudity) and some overt use of cigarettes, drugs, and liquor by teens. The movie wouldn't be worth talking about, however, without the Ramones, who have gone on to occupy a seminal, pioneering place in rock history; some parents may be interested in braving the objectionable material to introduce teens to this great music.

Sexual Content

Characters think and talk about sex often, but there is no nudity. Tom Roberts flirts with girls in the hallway, and sometimes ogles their breasts. He says things like "I need to get laid" and says he wants a girl with "huge breasts." A character teaches him how to make out with a girl in a car, and uses an inflatable sex doll to demonstrate how to remove a bra (the sex doll wears "pasties" over its nipples). Tom also buys a van with a waterbed in the back. Later, Riff Randell has a fantasy sequence in which she imagines Joey Ramone in her room, and climbing into her bed (fully clothed). She appears in sexy underwear and also wearing a towel. Otherwise, we sometimes see teen girls wearing skirts, tank tops, and short shorts.


Some high school seniors haze a freshman throughout the film, stuffing him in a locker, in a urinal, and in other places, mostly for comic effect. At the climax, the teens blow up the school. Otherwise, the movie has no overt violence, other than a general sense of teenage rebellion.


Very mild and infrequent language, although there is one use of "s--t." Other words include "hell" and "God" and some insults like "screw you" and "dork."

Social Behavior

These teens are everything you don't want your teens to be like. Riff Randell mouths off to authority figures, lies, skips school to buy concert tickets, and ignores her homework. Football captain Tom Roberts is mainly interested in sex, and buys a van so that he can "get laid." He also drinks (whisky?) from a bottle. Eaglebauer is the school's "go to guy" who can get you test scores, liquor, hall passes and other contraband things for a price. Only Kate Rambeau seems interested in her studies and in dating a nice boy, but she is easily swayed by her rebellious friends. In defense of the teens, however, the movie's authority figure, Miss Togar, is much worse.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Teens are seen smoking cigarettes, drinking, smoking a bong, sharing a cigarette (possibly pot), and snorting cocaine (a character sneezes in his coke and sends it flying in a puff of smoke). One character is turned away from a concert for being too stoned. There is a reference to "ludes" at the concert.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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