Learn it, know it, live it
For those appreciating even more tidbits than we had time for:
-- The movie is based on a book by Cameron Crowe, who returned to his school, Clairemont High School in San Diego, for a year to research it. He reportedly did not return for his 10- or 20-year reunions because several of his classmates weren't happy about their depiction.
-- The book is now out of print, but used copies sell for $50 and up on websites.
-- The real-life person behind the character of Mark "Rat" Ratner is actually Andy Rathbone, who is credited with starting the "... For Dummies" series of books, which he writes with his wife.
-- In the book, it's Rat (and Rathbone in real life) who ordered to pizza to class -- not Jeff Spicoli.
-- Nic Cage, then known as Nicolas Coppola, was only 17 years old at the time of filming this movie (he only has a bit part) but lied about his age to the casting agents so that he could work the nighttime hours required.
-- Speaking of nighttime hours, the film was largely filmed at night. (The last scene filmed was actually the scene of Stacey losing her virginity at the Point.) The Sherman Oaks Galleria, which served as Ridgemont Mall, opened from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. to accommodate the filming. Even the fast-food places in the mall stayed open to serve snacks to the crew and cast.
-- Cameron Crowe makes a cameo in Mr. Hand's class. He's sitting in the back row and is one of many of Hand's students to receive an F on the test about the Platt Amendment.
-- One of many scenes cut in order to avoid a X rating was one showing Stacey actually getting her abortion.
-- About Mr. Vargas's wife at the dance scene: She's just an extra. The director told "Vargas" to pick out his wife, and he picked the hottest extra at the dance. Voila. Instant wife.
Hope you enjoy the podcast. Feel free to leave more trivia that we missed.