Video Release: June 6, 2006
Rating: R (MPAA)
Studio: Criterion Collection
- Runtime: 102 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
- Originally in English
- Released in English
Hailed as by many as the American Graffiti of the 1990's, Dazed and Confused takes a cross-clique look at high school social development. On the last day of school in May, 1976, students at a suburban Texas high school wait, lackadaisically, for classes to end. The restless almost-seniors -- an eclectic group of stone-heads, fraternal jocks, and snobby sorority girls -- can't wait to haze the incoming freshman, an annual event as harrowing for freshman boys as it is humiliating for girls. Amidst this teenage wasteland of drugs, partying, and rock and roll, is football star Randy (Pink) Floyd who saves scrawny pre-frosh Mitch from being paddled to oblivion by upperclass-mates who've turned the hazing game into a psychotically homoerotic ritual. But Pink has his own battles: he's struggling over the head coach's demand that football players sign a pledge to abstain from sex and all psychoactive substances.
When a wild end-of-the-year party is cancelled, the teens are forced to cruise the streets in pursuit of entertainment. Most of the students end up congregating at a beer-blast in the back woods. Even Mike, Tony, and Cynthia -- the school's wannabe intellectuals who issue iconoclastic commentary on their waste-of-a-generation peers decide since they can't beat them, they might as well join them.
Linklater's 1991 directorial debut film "Slacker," is similar to "Dazed and Confused" in its examination of adolescent nonconformity. The film pays homage to earlier filmic examinations of teen angst. Direct allusions are made to "Carrie," and "American Graffiti," the latter of which seems to have served as a thematic and artistic template for "Dazed and Confused."
According the Wall Street Journal, the Hollywood studio had to pull advertisements for the film because drug references violated Motion Picture Association of America's guidelines. Gramercy Pictures president Russell Schwartz claims the MPAA has cracked down on films that are drug related.
The early marketing campaign for "Dazed and Confused" included suggestive slogans: "See It with a Bud," and "The Film Everybody's Toking About." But the MPAA's objections were directed at the line: "Finally! A Movie for Everyone Who DID Inhale," a satirical comment on Bill Clinton's infamous line about youthful marijuana smoking.
"Dazed and Confused" cost approximately $6 million dollars to produce and was given the same name as a 1969 Led Zeppelin song.
Color by DeLuxe.
Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Classification.