Fast Times At Ridgemont High

9. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) [Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and drug use.]

summary from

A story of a group of California teenagers who enjoy malls, sex and rock n’ roll.

directed by: Amy Heckerling/written by: Cameron Crowe

starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Sean Penn, Ray Walston, Vincent Schiavelli, Forest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Edwards, Taylor Negron, Nancy Wilson

Non-Conservative Reviews

A Trailer

Abortion/Life Content:

Jennifer Jason Leigh: No, I’ve got to talk to you now.

Robert Romanus: Don’t go away. I hope this is important because I could be blowin’ a big deal.

Jennifer: Mike, I just… I just want you to know that I’m pregnant.

Robert: How do you know it’s mine? I mean, we only did it once.

Jennifer: I haven’t been with anybody else. I know it’s yours.

Robert: I mean it was your idea. You wanted to do it. You wanted it more than I did.

Jennifer: No. Take that back.

Robert: Alright, alright. I take it back. Look, we gotta do somethin’ about it. I mean, uh, we gotta get an abortion. My brother Art got his girlfriend one once. It’s simple. It’s no big deal.

Jennifer: Yeah. I got that planned. It’s going to cost $150 at the Free Clinic.

Robert: Doesn’t sound free to me. I suppose you want me to pay for it.

Jennifer: Half, okay? And a ride to the clinic.

Robert: Seventy-five dollars and a ride. Okay.

Jennifer: Okay. Thanks.

Nurse: Stacy, I can’t let you go unless you have a ride home.

Jennifer Jason Leigh: Oh. I told my boyfriend to meet me downstairs.

Nurse: Okay.

Jennifer: Thanks.

[exit abortion clinic]

Jennifer Jason Leigh: Brad.

Judge Reinhold: Since when do you go bowling anyway?

Jennifer: Okay, Brad. Please don’t tell Mom and Dad.

Judge: Come on! Who did it? You’re not gonna tell me, are you? Okay. It’ll just be your secret.

Jennifer: Okay.

Judge: You all right?

Jennifer: Yeah.

Judge: Come on. You hungry?

Jennifer: Yeah.

Phoebe Cates over the phone to Jennifer: I told you to tell Mike to pay for it. Why didn’t you tell him?

Jennifer: Linda, he didn’t show up.

Phoebe: That little p####!

Jennifer: I called his house. His mother told me he was in the garage helping his father.

Phoebe: Mike Damone’s a no-brain little p####, Stacy. I’m not gonna let him get away with this.

Jennifer: Linda, please don’t do anything. I don’t even like the guy.

Phoebe: Stacy, he’s not a guy. He’s a little p####!


“The cable-TV version includes scenes from Stacy’s abortion that are omitted in the [vhs/dvd] version.”

“Additional Footage, Abortion Scene. We actually see Stacy in the operating room having a discussion with the doctor. NOTE: This scene is not shown on TV a lot–the network makes the decision on it.”



Stacy is lying in bed wearing a paper dress. Her
hair is stuffed in paper shower cap. She looks
anxious. In a bed next to her an older girl is
being affectionate with her visiting boyfriend.

A Nurse comes in with an IV.

This is going to prick a little.

She sticks the needle into Stacy’s hand. Stacy
looks pained but doesn’t yell. The Nurse pats the
rolling bed.

Now scoot over here.

Stacy moves onto it. Looking up from her point of
view, we see the ride out of the room and into:


Stacy gets wheeled in. The Doctor looks down at

Hello, Stacy, I’m Doctor Bartell.

Stacy moves onto the operating table as the Nurse
and Doctor get ready.

Any questions before we begin?

This is going to hurt, isn’t it?

We’ll use a local but you’ll feel
some pressure. It doesn’t last that

Does it hurt more to have a baby?

The Doctor pauses and considers her question.

Yes… but I think you mind it

Stacy looks up at the lights and listens to the
sound of suction tubes.

from pro-abortion commenter Liz Foley at Susie Bright’s Journal:

I’m sure someone has already beat me to the punch on this, but if you’re looking for a movie that presents abortion realistically and without melodrama or judgment, one of the classic examples is “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Not only does the high-school-age Jennifer Jason Leigh get her abortion without angst or personal disaster, her excellent older brother, Judge Reinhold, is shown, with barely a word exchanged between them, to understand what she’s done and to trust her reasons for having done it.

from pro-abortion commenter Nurse Ingrid at Susie Bright’s Journal:

Thanks to Liz for mentioning “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” which also gets my vote for best cinematic representation of abortion. I especially loved how understanding the big brother was.

from celluloid eyes:

What struck me as amazing was the teenagers’ attitude towards sex. They talk about it, they go and do it, and it’s awfully nonchalant. In particular, the scene with the abortion is truly a surprise because it is not something we have seen often in movies, before or since. A character has an abortion, and she doesn’t regret it, or get overly depressed because of it, or suffer in any way. She has the abortion, and two scenes later, you would never know. She does slow down her sex life afterwards, but that doesn’t seem like a negative thing.

I mean, how often in movies or on TV have you seen women have abortions and then go on normally? Especially teenagers? Wow.

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2 Responses to Fast Times At Ridgemont High

  1. Pingback: Welcome | Abortion in Film

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