Title: Three O’Clock High (PG-13)
Directed by: Phil Joanou
Written by: Richard Christian Masterson and Thomas E. Szollosi
Starring: Casey Semazko as Jerry Mitchell
Richard Tyson as Buddy Revell
Jeffrey Tambor as Mr. Rice
Liza Morrow as Karen Clark
Scott Schutzman Tiler as Bruce Chalmer
Caitlin O’Heaney as Miss Farmer
Pre-screening memories: When you announce anything as “high”, it can mean only one of two things – either you’re talking about your old school buddy who still lives in his parents’ garage, or you’re referring to the time of a duel. It is in the spirit of the latter that we come to the minor classic Three O’Clock High, directed by Steven Spielberg protégé Phil Joanou and starring Casey Siemaszko.
The movie made barely a splash when it hit the local movie houses in 1987, but the movie quickly found a home amongst burgeoning cinephiles who had never seen avant-garde moviemaking techniques applied to the more commonplace teen comedy.
Boasting talents behind the lens such as director of photography Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Richard Christian Matheson, it is little surprise that a rabid movie lover such as myself would stumble across this film and find that rare diamond in the rough – a movie that transcends mere plot and character and becomes the cult classic.
(Ed. Note: This podcast marks a first for us here at Natsukashi, in that we were able to track down Scott Schutzman Tiler (Bruce Chalmers), Liza Morrow (Karen Clark) and Caitlin O’Heaney (Miss Farmer) to join us for a little ‘High’ school reunion of sorts. It’s a tad longer (1 hour), but well worth every second to hear what the gang is up to today and have them share their memories of working on the film.)
Download the podcast here: Three O’Clock High with Caitlin O’Heaney , Scott Tiler and Liza Morrow
Listen to it online:
Our featured guests:
Caitlin O’Heaney (Ms. Farmer) Star of stage, television and film, Caitlin has worked with the greats in all areas: Katherine Hepburn, Norman Lear, John Houseman, Tom Hanks. In the 80s, Caitlin was ominpresent with a hit sitcom (The Charmings), hit adventure show (Tales of the Gold Monkey) and a burgeoning film career. Her role as Miss Farmer was one of the most indelible of the film.
Scott Schutzman Tiler (Bruce Chalmer): Sergio Leone, John Sayles, Speilberg protege Phil Juanou: these made up half of the directors young Schutzman Tiler had worked for in his career. He is now completing his master’s and coaching a new generation of acting talent. His role in Three O’Clock High was inspired by the film’s producer, some guy named Spielberg
Liza Morrow (Karen Clark): Now happily out of the business, Liza made her screen debut as the object of desire in Three O’Clock High, then went on to join the cast of Dynasty as Virginia Metheny in its final season. She is now happily out of the business, but was kind enough to relive her time spent working on the film.
A big thanks to all of our guests for reliving their time spent on working in this fondly remembered 80s cult classic!