Top 15 Iconic Teen Movies
- Author: Matthew Carson, III
- Filed under: list
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Coming of age is a young person’s transition from adolescence to adulthood. The age at which this transition takes place varies in society, as does the nature of the transition. Often the individual(s) has developed in some way, through the undertaking of responsibility, or by learning a lesson. Movies of this genre are a very popular; either they are greatly loved by the generation they represent, or illustrate the issues that affect a peer group as a whole.
thelistuniverse.com has posted their Top 15 Iconic Teen Movies:
- Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
- Cidade de Deus (2002)
- La Haine (1995)
- Stand by Me (1986)
- Back to the Future (1985)
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
- The Breakfast Club (1985)
- The Dead Poets Society (1989)
- American Graffiti (1973)
- Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
- To Sir with Love (1967)
- Boyz N The Hood (1991)
- Dazed and Confused (1993)
- Elephant (2003)
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Other films that we thought deserved mention include (summaries by IMDb):
- American Pie (1999) – At a high-school party, four friends (Jim, Kevin, Finch, and Oz) find that losing their collective virginity isn’t as easy as they had thought. But they still believe that they need to do so before college. To motivate themselves, they enter a pact to try to be the first to “score.” And of course, the senior prom is their last best chance. As the fateful date draws near, the boys wonder who among them will get lucky. More importantly, do they really want to do it at all?
- Beach Party (1963) – The first of the five official American-International “Beach Party” movies, all directed by William Asher and all very popular. Anthropology Professor Robert Orwell Sutwell (Bob Cummings) and his secretary Marianne (Dorothy Malone) are studying the sex habits of teenagers. The surfing teens led by Frankie and Dee Dee (Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello) don’t have much sex but they sing, battle the motorcycle rats and mice led by Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck) and dance to Dick Dale and the Del Tones. Look for Vincent Price in a surprise cameo.
- Breaking Away (1979) – Dave, nineteen, has just graduated high school, with his 3 friends, The comical Cyril, the warm hearted but short-tempered Moocher, and the athletic, spiteful but good-hearted Mike. Now, Dave enjoys racing bikes and hopes to race the Italians one day, and even takes up the Italian culture, much to his friends and parents annoyance. While meanwhile, the 4 friends try to break away from their townie, Indiana reputation while fighting with nearby college snobs.
- Can’t Hardly Wait (1998) – Its high school graduation, and like all seniors they want to party. So 500 high school seniors look forward to a party, while in the meantime a boy wants to get a girl he’s loved for years that just broke up with her boyfriend and one head-case that wants revenge on a lifelong bully. So the party comes, things develop. People have sex, drink, and go along with most of the guidelines of a high school graduation party.
- Carrie (1976) – The story of Carrie White, a girl brought up, almost in isolation, by her psychotically religious mother Margaret. After an embarrassing incident in the showers causes her fellow pupils to tease Carrie ruthlessly, her teacher Miss Desjardin disciplines them severely. Determined to have revenge, the other students hatch a plot against Carrie, which turns horribly wrong when Carrie’s strange mental powers are unleashed during the school prom.
- Cooley High (1975) – In the mid-1960’s, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest…parties, hanging out, meeting new friends. Then life changes for two of the guys when they meet a pair of career criminals and get falsely arrested in connection with stealing a Cadillac. We follow their lives through the end of high school and the dramatic end to their school year.
- Eight Days a Week (1997) – Peter loves his next door neighbour Erica and, on the advice of his grandfather, decides to camp out on her front lawn for the entire summer, or until she agrees to go out with him. His father is none too happy about the idea and refuses to let his son back in the house, even to get a change of clothes. Peter’s friend, Matt, thinks Peter should give up on women (like he has) and just have sex with fruit, and have a total devotion to masterbation.
- Heathers (1989) – Three high school girls named Heather run an iron clad social clique at high school. One of their anointees, Veronica, isn’t sure she wants to fit into the clique, particularly when she has to snub some of her old friends at the Heathers’ behest. When Veronica meets the new guy at school, she starts pulling away from the clique, while some of the more popular students start showing up dead with suicide notes.
- Jawbreaker (1999) – In what was meant as a harmless birthday prank, three of Reagan High School’s most popular girls, Julie, Foxy, and Courtney pretend to kidnap their friend, the latter shoving a jawbreaker into the victim’s mouth to keep her from screaming. Their plan goes awry when the girl accidently swallows the jawbreaker, choking to death. The cool and calculating Courtney tries to cover the crime but is found out by school geek Fern Mayo. In return for her silence, Courtney transforms the gawky Fern into the stylishly beautiful Vylette, leaving the conscience-stricken Julie out in the cold, threatening to set her up for the girl’s murder if she breaks her silence.
- PCU (1994) – A high school senior comes to visit Port Chester (aka Politically Correct U) for the weekend, and the admissions department mistakenly sets him up to stay with Droz (Jeremy Piven), a seven year student and party-animal who lives in The Pit, the most offensive house on campus. After trying to pawn the pre-freshman off on his housemate (Jon Favreau), Droz sets off on his normal daily activities including disrupting a political protest by throwing meat at a group of vegan protesters. The President of the University then receives a number of complaints, and with the help of her lackey (superbly portrayed by David Spade), she may finally have the power to kick Droz’s house off campus. But the Pit throws an all-campus rager where George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic performs, and everything might turn out alright if the various political groups can forget their protests for one night and just have fun together.
- Say Anything (1989) – High school senior Lloyd Dobler wants nothing more than to go out with beautiful and intelligent Diane Court. Lloyd attempts to win her heart over the objections of her over-protective father before Diane leaves for a scholarship in England.
- Scum (1979) – This is the hard and shocking story of life in a British Borstal for young offenders. Luckily the regime has changed since this film was made. The brutal regime made no attempt to reform or improve the inmates and actively encouraged a power struggle between the ‘tough’ new inmate and the ‘old hands’.
- Shifshuf Naim/Hot Bubblegum (1981) – Three high school seniors preparing for final exams in the early 1960s have the normal teenage concerns about girls, sex and relationships. They try to find out if going steady with one girlfriend is better or if changing girlfriends all the time makes for too many complications. By the end of summer, all things get better.
- Sixteen Candles (1984) – Samantha’s life is going downhill fast. The fifteen-year-old has a crush on the most popular boy in school, and the geekiest boy in school has a crush on her. Her sister’s getting married, and with all the excitement the rest of her family forgets her birthday! Add all this to a pair of horrendously embarrassing grandparents, a foreign exchange student named Long Duc Dong, and we have the makings of a hilarious journey into young womanhood.
- SLC Punk (1998) – Two punks live in Salt Lake City. The film covers their all-day routine. The realism of the character-narrated movie may be discussed. One of the punks gets ill, stays in hospital for three weeks, comes out again. Three parties are covered and one concert including a fight between punks, rednecks and others.
- Weird Science (1985) – Two unpopular teenagers, Gary and Wyatt, fail at all attempts to be accepted by their peers. Thier desperation to be liked leads them to “create” a woman via their computer. Their living and breathing creation is a gorgeous woman, Lisa, who’s purpose is to boost their confidence level by putting them into situations which require Gary and Wyatt to act like men. On their road to become accepted they encounter many hilarious obstacles which gives the movie an overall sense of silliness.
And of course, the parody of them all:
Not Another Teen Movie (2001) – At John Hughes High School, the students are the same as just about every other teenager in a teen movie. The popular jock, Jake, takes a bet from Austin, the cocky blonde guythat he can transform Janey, the pretty, ugly girl, into the prom queen before the prom. But two people are trying to stop Jake from succeeding: his evil sister, Catherine, the cruelest girl in school, and Priscilla, the bitchy cheerleader. And all of their friends are the same as any other teen movie: Areola, the naked foreign exchange student, Les, the beautiful weirdo, Malik, the token black guy, the desperate virgins, Amanda Becker, the perfect girl, Ricky, Janey’s obsessed best friend, and Sadie, the VERY old undercover reporter.