Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a 1982 American coming-of-age teen-comedy film written by Cameron Crowe (adapted from his book) and directed by Amy Heckerling. The film follows a school year in the lives of freshman Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh), freshman Mark Ratner (Brian Backer) and their respective friends Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates) and Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) who believe themselves wise in the ways of romance and counsel their younger counterparts. The ensemble cast of characters also includes Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), a perpetually stoned surfer who faces off against uptight history teacher Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), who is convinced that all of his students smoke marijuana. Stacy's brother, Brad (Judge Reinhold), is a popular senior who works at a local burger joint.
It includes early appearances by several actors who would later become stars, including Sean Penn, Eric Stoltz, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Edwards, Forest Whitaker, and Judge Reinhold. Notably, three of the actors who appeared in the film - Cage, Penn, and Whitaker - would win an Academy Award for Best Actor later on in their careers.
Crowe himself would soon become a celebrated Hollywood director and screenwriter, eventually winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his movie Almost Famous.
Several scenes have entered pop culture, the most famous of which is a fantasy sequence in which Cates exits a pool and removes her bright red bikini top in slow motion to the beat of The Cars' "Moving in Stereo".