Few high school films come close to topping 1993’s Dazed and Confused. Shot on location in Austin Texas, it’s the coming-of-age classic which defined a slacker generation and still has people going ‘isn’t that [insert A-list star here] today.
So rather than tell you what you probably picked up on the 18th VHS viewing, how about discovering some facts about the film you might not be aware of?
(Images: Rex Features, All Star)
The basis for much of the freshman-baiting, paddling scenes actually came from director Richard Linklater’s own high school experience, with the sadistic pummeling at the baseball field directly inspired by one time he got ‘licked’ following a summer-league baseball game.
Wiley Wiggins originally signed up to be an extra in the film, but producers ended up giving him the lead part of edgy freshman Mitch Kramer, after, according to the man himself, noticing his funny name and naturally long hair.
Rory Cochrane, on the other hand, wore a long-hair wig to play stoner deity Ron Slater.
Future stars to narrowly miss out on roles include Elizabeth Berkley, Ashley Judd and even Vince Vaughn, who was on course to play hothead bully Fred Benny O’Bannion until Ben Affleck was cast instead.
Universal demanded already established young stars and offered a role - reportedly that of reluctant football star Randall ‘Pink’ Floyd’ Pink’ to Brendan Fraser - who turned down the film because he no longer wanted to do high school films. The part went to Jason London.
A whopping 15 per cent of the $6m budget was spent on securing copyrights for the songs featured in the film, and the figure would have been much higher had Led Zeppelin (upon whose song the film’s title was based) declined the use of their records.
Studio pressure and a tight shooting schedule meant that Linklater and a select crew would sneak out to film extra scenes, including the one where hothead Clint talks with Wooderson about cars.
The F-bomb is dropped 59 times in the film, 144 less times than the word “man”.
One of the wooden paddles (custom-designed by the actors themselves) was engraved with ’17’ as a nod to the years between the film’s setting (1976) and the then-present (1993).
Mirroring their characters’ on- screen relationship, Mila Jovovich (Michelle Burroughs) and Kevin Pickford (Shawn Andrews) absconded to Las Vegas and got married during the shoot. Those nuptials were later overturned due to Jovovich only being 16 at the time.
Despite the fact Sweet Emotion features prominently in the opening credits (costing $100,000 - four times the budget of Linklater's previous film, Slacker), Aerosmith wouldn’t allow the song to be used on the film’s soundtrack.
Matthew McConaughey got the role of Wooderson by chance, running into casting director Don Phillips at an Austin bar which the pair later got kicked out of for being too drunk.
Wooderson’s now iconic “all right, all right, all right” line used before wooing redhead Cynthia Dunn, was McConaughey’s first scene – to conquer nerves he meditated while listening to The Doors before the takes.
Another Texas native to bag some early screen time was Renee Zellweger, briefly seen holding a beer funnel in an uncredited non-speaking role of Nesi White.
Contrary to rumours suggesting otherwise, Linklater banned the cast from using real marijuana during the shoot – not that it stopped them blazing up for the final scene where Pink, Wooderson, Ron and Simone cruise down the highway in search of Aerosmith tickets.