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Summer School (1987)

aka Summer School

"At Ocean Front High, what do they call a guy who cuts classes, hates homework, and lives for summer vacations? Teacher."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 97 mins · English · PG-13 (USA)


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Small Ms. Robin Elizabeth Bishop
Small Pam House
Small Rhonda Altobello
Small Francis 'Chainsaw' Gremp
No_movie_poster Vice Principal Phil Gills
No_movie_poster Dave Frazier
Small Denise Green (as Kelly Minter)
Small Alan Eakian
Small Anna-Maria Mazarelli
Small Mr. Freddy Shoop


Small Carl Reiner Director
No_movie_poster George Shapiro Production
No_movie_poster Jeff Franklin Writer
No_movie_poster Bud Molin Editing


"At Ocean Front High, what do they call a guy who cuts classes, hates homework, and lives for summer vacations? Teacher."


On the last day of school before summer vacation, physical-education teacher Freddy Shoop (Mark Harmon) is ready to vacation in Hawaii with his young girlfriend, Kim. Vice principal Phil Gills (Robin Thomas) informs several students — including easily distracted Pam (Courtney Thorne-Smith); "nocturnal" Larry, a male stripper (Ken Olandt); jock Kevin (Patrick Labyorteaux); pregnant Rhonda (Shawnee Smith); geeky Alan (Richard Steven Horvitz); dyslexic Denise (Kelly Jo Minter); intimidating Jerome (Duane Davis), and two horror-film-obsessed underachievers, Dave (Gary Riley) and Francis, a.k.a. 'Chainsaw' (Dean Cameron) — that they must attend summer school for remedial English.

After English teacher (Carl Reiner) wins $50,000 in the lottery and immediately quits work, Gills searches for a replacement among the teachers still on school grounds, but each manages to evade him after learning what he wants them to do. He settles on Shoop, who had been hiding from him in some bushes. Gills implies to Shoop, who is up for tenure, that not taking the job could keep him from that.

On his first day, Shoop meets Robin Bishop (Kirstie Alley), who is teaching next door. Shoop falls for her, but she is already dating Gills. Shoop's first day is a disaster. Most of the students do not attend, and Jerome goes to the lavatory and doesn't return. A beautiful Italian transfer student, Anna-Maria (Fabiana Udenio), arrives and will be learning English, much to the delight of Dave and Chainsaw. After the remaining students attempt to leave class as well, Shoop admits he has no idea how to teach them. He and they spend their first few days having fun and going to the beach, a theme park and a petting zoo until Gills finds out.

Gills threatens to fire Shoop unless his students pass the end-of-term test. Shoop promises each teen a favor if they study. The kids agree, so Shoop gives Denise driving lessons, accompanies Rhonda to Lamaze classes, gives Kevin football lessons, allows Dave to throw a party in his house, gives Larry a bed in the classroom, lets Chainsaw arrange a screening of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in class and allows Pam to move in with him.

Seeing he is still floundering as a teacher, Robin tells Shoop to make learning fun. Shoop begins to grow closer to the kids. They study hard to write their English basic skills exam, worried that Gills is going to fire Shoop unless all his students pass.

Shoop is arrested when he covers for Chainsaw and Dave after they are found in possession of alcohol. Robin and Gills bail him out of jail. Gills then inadvertently exposes his true self to Robin when he states he cares nothing for Shoop or his students and she overhears him, causing her to storm off.

Larry loses his stripper job when he is found out by his aunt and his mother, who are attending the club where he works. The students make more demands on Shoop and he quits his job in anger. He is convinced to return when his students start feeling guilty about what they did, and scare off Shoop's replacement with a series of stunts reminiscent of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

Shoop and his students then begin preparing for the test in earnest. Jerome, who had "gone to the lavatory" weeks before, returns. The exam goes smoothly despite Rhonda going into labor soon after it started. Not all pass, so Gills is ready to follow through with his firing threat. However, the parents of the students come to Shoop's defense. Because of the students' great improvement, Principal Kelban (Francis X. McCarthy) grants Shoop tenure for his positive effect. Shoop and Robin end up happily together, and a la From Here to Eternity, kiss in the surf.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1987-07-22 : United States of America

DVD : 2004-06-01