Taglines: “We are the future!… and nothing can stop us.”
Andrew Norris is a new teacher in an inner city high school that is like nothing he has ever seen before. This school is so dangerous that the students have to go through a metal detector at the front door and almost everything is run by a punk posse lead by a delinquent named Peter Stegman. Soon, Norris and Stegman clash and Stegman will stop at nothing to protect his turf and drug dealing business.
Class of 1984 is a 1982 Canadian-American action crime thriller film directed by Mark Lester and co-written by Tom Holland and John Saxton based on a story by Holland. The film stars Perry King, Merrie Lynn Ross, Timothy Van Patten, Stefan Arngrim, Michael J. Fox (credited as Michael Fox in an early role shortly before his breakthrough on the TV series Family Ties), and Roddy McDowall.
The film utilized the punk look and image that was becoming part of popular culture in the early 1980s. The theme song, “I Am the Future”, was performed by Alice Cooper. The film also features a performance by Canadian punk band Teenage Head. The film begins with a warning that it is based on true events. This warning, however, is to state the film is a social commentary, and not a story based on historic events.
About the Story
Andrew Norris (Perry King) is the new music teacher at a troubled inner city school. As he arrives on his first day, he meets fellow teacher Terry Corrigan (Roddy McDowall) who is carrying a gun. When Norris asks about the firearm, Corrigan assures the new teacher that he will soon know why such protection is necessary. When they enter the school, Norris is shocked to see everyone scanned by metal detectors and frisked. He spots a student with a knife, but the security guards let the kid go because they are so overworked.
The halls of the school are covered with graffiti. Norris learns that he is expected to patrol the halls as a security guard during his off periods. In his first class, a group of disruptive kids who are not registered in band are roughhousing and causing trouble. The leader of the gang is Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten). They quiet down enough to let Norris try to run the class where some kids genuinely want to learn, like Arthur (Michael J. Fox) who plays trumpet and Deneen who plays clarinet.
As Norris gets to know the school and the area, he decides that he wants to put together an orchestra with his more advanced students. The film follows Stegman’s gang as they sell drugs, run a strip club, and cause all kinds of mayhem. They follow Norris home and taunt him one night.
At school, Norris is confronted with more and more evidence of Stegman’s crimes. The two grow increasingly at odds. Eventually, they wind up in a bathroom alone together. Stegman throws himself into a mirror and beats himself up before claiming that Norris attacked him. Trying to clear things up, Norris visits Stegman’s mother at home. Frustrated when Stegman still plays the victim and his mother will not hear Norris out, he hotwires Stegman’s car and drives it into a wall.
Class of 1984 (1982)
Directed by: Mark L. Lester
Starring: Perry King, Merrie Lynn Ross, Timothy Van Patten, Stefan Arngrim, Michael Fox, Roddy McDowall, Michael J. Fox, Lisa Langlois
Screenplay by: Tom Holland, Mark Lester, John Saxton
Cinematography by: Albert J. Dunk
Film Editing by: Howard Kunin
Costume Design by: Lynne MacKay
Set Decoration by: Hilton Rosemarin
Art Direction by: Geoffrey Holmes, Edwin Watkins
Music by: Lalo Schifrin
Distributed by: United Film Distribution Company
Release Date: August 20, 1982