What a great setting for a movie. The entire film takes place on the last day of a local high school in 1976. Over the course of the day, the about to be “cool” freshmen (both boys and girls) are hazed by their elders—the boys get their bums smacked with wooden paddles and the girls are subjected to sucking on pacifiers and sitting in the bed of a pickup truck as it goes through a car wash. The movie doesn’t stop there. The Dazed & Confused covers the broadest spectrum of teenagers imaginable, we see the “nerds,” the “potheads,” the “jocks,” and the “cheerleaders” getting ready to celebrate the beginning of summer vacation.
My favorite character is David Wooderson played by none other than a young Matthew McConaughey. I think Wooderson is so outrageous that I have dedicated two clips to scenes he appears in. Wooderson also has one of the greatest lines in the movie “why you just gotta love high school girls, I get older, they stay the same age.” McConaughey, in my valued opinion, has never been funnier or better than he was in Dazed and Confused.
The soundtrack is one of the best ever. The 1970’s music scene was full of dizzying highs and terrifying lows. Thankfully the soundtrack highlights the highs while leaving out the lows. The movie treats us to songs by Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Dr. John, War, and other seminal 1970’s rock icons (though one of the most popular bands is noticeably missing: the song “Dazed and Confused” by Led Zeppelin, but that’s ok). Hands down brilliant, there’s not a single bit of musical debris here adding to the free, relaxed ambiance of the movie.
What else happened in 1976? Well remember: Howard Hughes died, 45 cents a gallon gas, Frampton Comes Alive, Bad Company, Jimmy Carter, the Marshall Tucker Band – Heard It In A Love Song and Pink Floyd’s “Time.”
If you have not seen this one you are a fool.
A bouquet of roses.