New York Times - 09/24/1993
"...DAZED AND CONFUSED unfolds in a loose, natural style that suits its teenage characters....Enjoyably playful spirit..."
Entertainment Weekly - 04/01/2000 Ranked #9 in Entertainment Weekly's "10 Favorite Films of the '90s" - "...The freest, most graceful comedy of American teenage life ever made..."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/1994
"...[A] vibrantly laid-back comedy....A tightly bound ensemble of funny and believable adolescent..."
Variety - 06/21/1993
Chicago Sun-Times - 09/24/1993
"...This is a good film..."
Total Film - 08/01/2003
"...No movie understands the agony and ecstasy of teenage life better than Richard Linklater's underrated classic..."
Premiere - 11/01/2004
"[It] remains the loose-limbed, thoroughly entertaining trip it was when it was released..."
Premiere - 07/01/2006
"[T]he dialogue is hilariously quotable, the period textures are precise and hardly parodic....[and with a] soundtrack dialing from Aerosmith to ZZ Top."
Richard Linklater's DAZED AND CONFUSED takes a hysterical, nostalgic cross-clique look at high school social development. On the last day of school in May 1976, students at a suburban Texas high school wait, lackadaisically, for classes to end. The restless almost-seniors--an eclectic group of stone-heads, fraternal jocks, and snobby sorority girls--can't wait to haze the incoming freshman, an annual event as harrowing for freshman boys as it is humiliating for girls. Amidst this teenage wasteland of drugs, partying, and rock and roll is football star Pink (Jason London), who saves scrawny pre-frosh Mitch (Wiley Wiggins) from being paddled to oblivion by upper-classmates. But Pink has his own battles: he's struggling over the head coach's demand that football players sign a pledge to abstain from sex and all psychoactive substances. When a wild end-of-the-year party is cancelled, the students end up congregating at a beer-blast in the back woods, organized by aging hang-about Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey). In the same way that George Lucas assembled a cast of fresh young faces for AMERICAN GRAFFITI, Linklater here creates an unforgettable cast of characters that are immediately familiar to anyone who has ever been through high school.
Coming Of Age |
Essential Cinema |
High School Experiences |
High School Students |
Theatrical Release: September 23, 1993.
The movie was filmed on location in Texas, with the cast and crew living in a hotel.
Linklater's 1991 directorial debut film, SLACKER, is similar to DAZED AND CONFUSED in its examination of adolescent nonconformity. The film pays homage to earlier teen angst films. Direct allusions are made to CARRIE and AMERICAN GRAFFITI, the latter of which seems to have served as a thematic and artistic template for DAZED AND CONFUSED.
According the Wall Street Journal, the Hollywood studio had to pull advertisements for the film because drug references violated Motion Picture Association of America's guidelines. Gramercy Pictures president Russell Schwartz claims the MPAA has cracked down on films that are drug related.
The early marketing campaign for DAZED AND CONFUSED included suggestive slogans: "See It with a Bud," and "The Film Everybody's Toking About." But the MPAA's objections were directed at the line: "Finally! A Movie for Everyone Who DID Inhale," a satirical comment on Bill Clinton's infamous line about youthful marijuana smoking.
DAZED AND CONFUSED cost approximately $6 million dollars to produce and was given the same name as a 1969 Led Zeppelin song.
Renee Zellwegger appears uncredited as a high school student who attracts the attention of Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey).
"Martha Washington was a hip, hip, hip, hip lady..."--Slater (Rory Cochrane)
"That's what I love about high school girls: I get older, they stay the same age."--Wooderson