March 31st, 1989



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Still of Winona Ryder and Christian Slater in HeathersStill of Christian Slater in HeathersStill of Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk and Kim Walker in HeathersStill of Winona Ryder and Michael Lehmann in HeathersStill of Winona Ryder in HeathersStill of Winona Ryder and Christian Slater in Heathers

A girl who half-heartedly tries to be part of the "in crowd" of her school meets a rebel who teaches her a more devious way to play social politics.

Release Year: 1988

Rating: 7.3/10 (30,073 voted)

Critic's Score: 73/100

Director: Michael Lehmann

Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty

Veronica mingles with Heather I, II and III to be as popular as them, even though she hates them. She hates them enough to wish they were dead, though she would never want to be their cause of death. When she starts dating Jason Dean, however, she finds herself involved in the murders of most of her enemies, covered up as suicides.

Winona Ryder - Veronica
Christian Slater - J.D.
Shannen Doherty - Heather (Duke)
Lisanne Falk - Heather (McNamara)
Kim Walker - Heather (Chandler)
Penelope Milford - Pauline Fleming
Glenn Shadix - Father Ripper
Lance Fenton - Kurt Kelly
Patrick Labyorteaux - Ram
Jeremy Applegate - Peter Dawson
Jon Matthews - Rodney
Carrie Lynn - Martha Dunnstock aka Dumptruck
Phill Lewis - Dennis
Renée Estevez - Betty Finn (as Reneé Estevez)
John Zarchen - Country Club Keith

Taglines: Best friends, social trends and occasional murder.

Release Date: 31 March 1989

Filming Locations: Church of the Angels - 1100 Avenue 64, Pasadena, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $177,247 (USA) (2 April 1989) (35 Screens)

Gross: $1,108,462 (USA) (30 April 1989)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Drew Barrymore auditioned for a role in the film.

Continuity: When the students are praying at Heather's open casket, her head gets higher and lower between the shots, and her hair changes positions.

Veronica Sawyer: You know what I want?
[shoots J.D]
Veronica Sawyer: Cool guys like you out of my life.

User Review

Best teen comedy ever.

Rating: 10/10

Daniel Waters wrote one of the best satires ever in "Heathers", a dark comedy that ranks right up there with "Dr. Strangelove" and "Network". Certainly it's the best teen comedy ever made. Why? Because in spite of its highly stylized depiction of teenagers, it caught the truest essence of what high school is actually like in America. Not only that, it trashed the entire genre and-- in a feat of sheer genius-- even the *reaction* to the genre by outside observers (namely parents). Terry Southern could have done no better.

"Westerburg high school self-destructed not *because* of society but because Westerburg High School *was* society" was restated, to near-universal praise, by Michael Moore in "Bowling For Columbine", but Waters said it before him, said it better, and frankly he's got a lot more credibility ("Hudson Hawk" notwithstanding). The cast is brilliant, even if, strangely, some of them don't seem to get what the whole movie was about. You half expect that most of the cast and crew, like the kids who sign a petition to bring Big Fun to the school for a gig, made a movie they didn't know they were making. But the key figures nailed it-- Ryder and Slater were never better.

"Heathers" is one of the best films of the Eighties-- put the lid on the Eighties, as it were. It has suffered criminal neglect, probably because it may have required an "indie auteur" to really knock the cinematic elements out of the park. The direction is competent but unspectacular. Still, the star is the writing, and Waters deserved an Oscar for this script. Unsentimental, vicious, and above all hilariously funny, he drove a stake through the heart of those oh-so-precious John Hughes films and, at the same time, set the stage for Kevin Williamson and all the rest. He did it with a perfect ear for dialogue combined with a Swiftian vision of social structures, and did it all as an argument *against* ironic detachment, for which this film and its messages needs to be revisited now more than ever. Simply incredible.


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