Some guy wrote about Rock 'n Roll High School yesterday. After Tommy died, I watched the movie for the first time in decades and was struck by two things:Director Alan Arkush and screenwriter Joseph McBride look back on the now cult classic Rock 'n Roll High School:
1. Oh my God, they really do sound retarded. Like, they aspire to be retards.
2. Who took longer to show up onscreen in their own movie, The Ramones in Rock 'n Roll High School (almost 38 minutes in) or the shark in Jaws? - XMASTIME
Arkush was hoping The Ramones would be witty, like The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night, but as McBride recalls, “When The Ramones showed up, they could hardly talk … they were not verbal people, actually rather monosyllabic. So Allan was smart enough to work around that. One of (famed French director) Jean Renoir’s pieces of advice was, ‘Never change an actor to fit the script. Change the script to fit the actor.’”“Dee Dee was not really capable of sitting there and reading a script,” Arkush says. “John was, but he wasn’t interested and bored. They didn’t want to rehearse, although I tried to go over some of their lines, but that was kind of useless after a while. When we shot a scene, they either said it well or they didn’t.”Still, Arkush got along well with the band, and they inspired another great gag in the film when the band gets pizza delivered backstage, but their manager makes Joey eat health food instead. “I had dinner with The Ramones at (Sire Records founder) Seymour Stein’s place,” Arkush says. “They ordered this lavish, Italian take-out meal, and once the band got there, they said, ‘I thought we were havin’ Italian food.’ ‘We are.’ ‘Where’s the pizza?’ So they had to order pizza because they didn’t want to eat the other stuff!”