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Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Comparison:

  • US TV Version
  • Theatrical Version
Release: Aug 16, 2021 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

Comparison between the US TV version and the theatrical version (R-Rated), both included on the British/American Blu-ray from Criterion Collection.


89 differences, incl.
* 33 places where the TV version offers additional material
* 17 places with alternate course
* 2 re-cuts
* 34 pure audio censorship

Difference: 333.4 sec (= 5:33 min)
* Additional material in the TV version: 951.9 sec (= 15:52 min)
* Additional material in the theatrical version: 618,5 sec (= 10:19 min)

A few additional master errors with a duration of less than 0.5 sec each were not listed in the report.

FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH censored twice in the USA

Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz and Nicolas Cage in their early years. Debut director Amy Heckerling created a small cult film of the '80s here in 1982. Even though times have changed, of course, the sense of the troubles of the youthful protagonists still comes out well. On top of that, the coming-of-age teen comedy manages the balancing act of still seeming charmingly innocent, but working off some taboo topics through, for example, the blowjob demonstration with carrots, the masturbation scene (including Phoebe Cates' legendary topless appearance at the pool) and, last but not least, the abortion tactfully integrated into the plot.

With another scene, however, Heckerling encountered resistance from the MPAA, which gave it the infamous X rating on its first run. The reviewers disliked the fact that Romanus' exposed private parts were briefly visible for less than 2 seconds. The critical shot was therefore zoomed in so that only his upper body could be seen. As we've already noted in a separate comparison, this censorship has been reversed for the first time on Criterion Collection's Blu-ray re-release, which has been available in the US and UK since May 2021.

But this Blu-ray offers another curiosity in terms of versions. The bonus material also includes the American TV version, which is once again a particularly weird case. Much like Mallrats, the film here has really been censored extremely extensively around crude dialogue, nudity and drug use. But there are also, and in this case really a lot, exclusive scenes to discover only here.

The differences in the American TV version

The first thing to point out is: Audio censorship in the form of re-recorded sentences doesn't make a difference in running time, but it still accounts for a large part of the differences. Mallrats we've already mentioned, the US TV version of RoboCop, immortalized on Blu-ray by Arrow Video, is otherwise a good example. It's really cute what odd rewrites they often came up with here for the average prude in the US. The visuals remained mostly the same and it was simply dubbed over. But also a few cuts serve of course purely to avoid coarse language.

Otherwise, the two most famous scenes of the film, the carrot blowjob scene and the dream sequence with Phoebe Cates, were cut. At least the latter was replaced by a tamer alternative version. The other sex scenes with Jennifer Jason Leigh were of course not spared from extensive interventions. We also have to do without Sean Penn's various stoner escapades.

At the same time, however, there are just under 15 minutes of exclusive material to discover. In particular, many new conversations between Phoebe and Jennifer's characters are noticeable, so that their friendly dynamics naturally get much more depth. There are some nice moments here. Sean Penn and Eric Stoltz also have several additional scenes and Nicolas Cage is also seen a bit more often. Actually, almost every main and secondary character gets a little more space. Fans should definitely take a look at the TV version for that reason alone.

Runtimes are ordered as follows: TV version on Criterion Blu-ray / theatrical version on Criterion Blu-ray

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By way of introduction, a small picture comparison. The theatrical version got a new framing compared to previous releases and is often zoomed in a bit more than previous releases. Regardless, though, the TV version is also open matte and therefore offers more picture information at the bottom and top.

TV versionTheatrical version




Additional Criterion logo at beginning of theatrical version.
Not included in cut duration/quantity.

13 sec



Alternative / Additional footage in TV version
01:28-01:33 / 01:41-01:46

Already during the opening credits, there is the first censorship-related difference. To the casting credit, the theatrical version drives along butts, while the TV version has a more innocuous shot.

No time difference

TV versionTheatrical version




Additional footage in the TV version
05:22-06:47 / 05:35

More from Jeff (Sean Penn) and his stoner buddies.
Stoner Bud (Eric Stoltz): "Hey dude, since when did you start playing the guitar?"
The other lights Jeff's cigarette and he replies, "Mick Jagger gave me this pick."
The two are skeptical and Jeff tells them a story about his backstage visit to a concert. They are excited about the supposedly quite interesting conversation he had with Mick while there. In the end, Jeff gives the pick to Stoner Bud.

+ 84.6 sec (= 1:26 min)




Additional footage in the TV version
07:16-07:40 / 06:04

Another scene with Brad working in the kitchen. His supervisor criticizes him for supposedly throwing more good fries in the trash.

+ 24.3 sec




Audio censorship
08:07 / 06:31

A commentary by Linda (Phoebe Cates) has been re-recorded.

Theatrical version: "I did it when I was 13. It's no huge thing. It's just sex."
TV version: "I did it when I was 13. It's nothing. It's just fun."

Picture for context




Additional footage in the TV version
08:16-09:03 / 06:40

Linda, who is apparently considered experienced among other classmates, is approached by another girl in the TV version. After a short whispering, Linda advises her to declare a regular sex life at the doctor and to ask for the "mini pill". The girl is reassured that her parents won't find out. As she leaves, Linda advises her not to be persuaded to use a diaphragm.

+ 47,1 sec




09:14 / 06:51-06:54

The shot is longer and the guy gets another sheet with "I am a homo" pasted on his back by Nicolas Cage.

2.8 sec




09:42 / 07:22-07:27

Stoner Bud puts his skateboard in the locker while giving a kiss to the little picture of women's butts in his locker.

4.8 sec



A few seconds later, it sounds like the "Shit!" after the door slammed in his face stayed in the TV version, too.


Audio censorship
10:14 / 07:59

A comment on Brad's car was shortened; "(The Cruising) Vessel." - "Bradley!"

Picture for context




Audio censorship
10:55 / 08:40

Charles (Forest Whitaker) threatens alternatively and Mike responds more harmlessly.

Theatrical version: "Don't fuck with it." - "Shit."
TV version: "Don't fool with it." - "Shhh."

Pictures for context




Audio censorship
11:26 / 09:11

Arnold has a different take on the manager.

Theatrical version: "The manager's an asshole."
TV version: "The manager's a jackass."

Picture for context




Alternative / Additional material in the TV version
11:38-12:25 / 09:23-09:26

Arnold says thank you in an alternate shot.

TV versionTheatrical version


Only in the TV version does Stacy come in afterwards and ask about Lisa. Brad pokes a little fun at this and asks who she would have lessons with first now that she's a high school freshman. When she mentions Mr. Hand, the guys (again including Nicolas Cage) murmur and make zombie motions with their hands. Stacy leaves and Cage comments on how she's getting prettier ("turning into a fox").


TV version 43.5 sec longer



12:25 / 09:26-09:36

The follow up shot of the van starts a little early and the trio of stoners fall out with a puff of smoke. As they do so, they wonder if the break bell has rung yet.

10.1 sec




Audio censorship
13:37 / 10:48

Jeff is described slightly differently. On TV, he's just "weird" instead of "stoned".

Theatrical version: "This guy's been stoned since third grade."
TV version: "This guy's been strange since the third grade."

Picture for context




Audio censorship
14:30 / 11:41

Jeff calls Mr. Hand a different name.

Theatrical version: "You dick!"
TV version: "You nerd!"

Picture for context




Additional footage in the TV version
14:55-16:24 / 12:06

Before the conversation between Linda and Stacy in the break room, the TV version has two additional scenes.

Arnold shoos a boy out of the break hall because this is Brad's table. He immediately sits down with his buddies and after a bit of talking, Brad brings Arnold to the table.
Then we see Jeff with his entourage on the toilet. They smoke and want to hear a little story from Jeff again. He complies with their request and Jeff borrows some more money from Stoner Bud on his way out.

+ 89 sec (= 1:29 min)




Audio censorship
16:29 / 12:11

The conversation about the previous incident in the classroom is consequently altenative.

Theatrical version: "He just called him a dick." - "Dick? Oh, God."
TV version: "He just called him a nerd." - "A nerd? Oh."

Pictures for context




Additional footage in the TV version
16:34-16:46 / 12:16

In the TV version, another gal comes by the table here first. Linda briefly introduces Stacy and then immediately blasphemes a bit after they both leave again.

+ 11.9 sec




17:11 / 12:41-14:04

After Stacy briefly compares herself to the other girls, the scene is right over in the TV version. Actually, she wonders if the others would be better in bed. Thereupon she admits that she has no experience with blowjobs. Linda is surprised and says that it would be very easy. Thereupon she stuffs the carrot accordingly into her mouth and instructs Stacy how she can practice this with it. The boys at the next table take notice. Stacy asks how much would actually come out if the man had an orgasm. Linda pokes a little fun at her. The further BJ exercises are cheered with applause by the neighboring table.

83 sec (= 1:23 min)




Audio censorship
18:11 / 15:04

Creative re-phrasing of the critical commentary.

Theatrical version: "You are a wuss. Part wimp and part pussy."
TV version: "You are a wimp. Part simp and part weakling."

Mark's answer then turns out a little shorter on TV, "(What do you mean), wuss?"

Picture for context




Audio censorship
18:49 / 15:42

More creative wording.

Theatrical version: "You bought $40 worth of fucking film"
TV version: "You bought $40 worth of lousy film"

Picture for context




Audio censorship
19:39 / 16:32

Mike lists other things about women.

Theatrical version: "You don't care whether she comes, stays, lays or prays."
TV version: "You don't care whether she cries, shouts, laughs or pouts"

Picture for context




22:03 / 18:56-19:04

When asked about "first base," Ron kisses Stacy. She looks rather perplexed.

8 sec




Alternative / Additional material in the TV version
22:15-22:46 / 19:16-20:16

After some more making out, only in the theatrical version do you see Ron take off his clothes and have sex with Stacy. She makes a pain-distorted face and looks at the graffiti on the walls.
Afterwards, Stacy says to Linda at school that it hurt a lot. Linda advises her to just do it more often, and the impression would fade.


To better convey this in terms of content in the TV version, here is an alternate conversation between Stacy and Linda.
Both are in bed talking on the phone. Stacy can't quite place her feelings about the night with Ron yet. Linda then says that she felt relief the first time, then she wanted to do it with every cute guy. She congratulates some more and Stacy lays back down thoughtfully.


Theatrical version 29 sec longer



23:05 / 20:35-20:38

Brad sprays the car a little longer. He jumps up and down while doing it, or rather probably experiences the whole thing like a small orgasm.

2.9 sec




Audio censorship
24:12 / 21:45

Brad makes a different comment about Lisa.

Theatrical version: "I mean, she's great in bed."
TV version: "I mean, she's great, and fun."

Picture for context




Audio censorship
25:10 / 22:43

Lisa expresses herself more reservedly.

Theatrical version: "I don't wanna have to use sex as a tool, Brad."
TV version: "I don't wanna have to use that as a tool, Brad."

Picture for context




Additional footage in the TV version
25:29-26:09 / 23:02

Before the classwork is returned, the TV version has an additional conversation of Linda and Stacy in the parking garage. Stacy is worried because Ron found out from a call to her parents that she is still in high school and underage. Linda tries to reassure her. Stacy makes a plan to tell him on another call that she is 18 after all.

+ 39.8 sec




Audio censorship
29:03 / 25:56

Santa grumbles more harmlessly, and Stacy's follow-up commentary diverges as well.

Theatrical version: "How fucking long do I have to wait?" - "Christmas sucks."
TV version: "How long do I have to wait?" - "Christmas stinks."

Pictures for context




Additional footage in the TV version
29:36-30:22 / 26:29

An additional scene with Jeff and co. They stand at the Pac-Man machine and Jeff philosophizes a bit about how much the game represents human life. They agree to now play a round of Asteroids.
As they walk away, it's over to Mark and Mike, who are also talking a bit earlier. It's about Aerosmith and how this has a bad influence on the youth. Lastly, another teenager is briefly seen being escorted away.

+ 45.3 sec




Audio censorship
31:20 / 27:27

Mark's "shit", which can be heard largely over the shot of the boy off-screen, was deleted from the audio track.

Picture for context




Audio censorship
32:02 / 28:09

Mark's "now stop fucking around" became "now stop ?futtzing? around".

Picture for context




Alternative / Additional footage in the TV version
33:39-34:11 / 29:46-30:22

As Brad practices his speech to Lisa in the bathroom in front of the mirror, an alternate take is seen. The slippery words he wipes off the mirror could not be shown like this on TV, of course.

Theatrical version 3.1 sec longer

TV versionTheatrical version




Audio censorship
35:03 / 31:14

Brad's outburst to the customer has also been defused, of course.

Theatrical version: "I'm gonna kick 100% of your ass!"
TV version: "I'm gonna kick 100% of your face!"

Picture for context




Audio censorship
35:57 / 32:08

A more flowery announcement to Arnold.

Theatrical version: "I hope you had a hell of a piss, Arnold!"
TV version: "I hope you had a hell of a break, Arnold!"

Picture for context

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