Film / Up the Academy

In 1980, MAD, taking note of National Lampoon's success with Animal House, decided that they, too, wanted to get in films. Which would make sense, considering that Mad had been around longer than National Lampoon as a satirical magazine, and a lot of film critics who wrote negative reviews of movies the magazine satirized noted that the spoofs were more entertaining than the movies themselves.

Thus, Up the Academy was produced. The movie stars Ron Leibman (who had his name removed from the credits despite having a prominent role) as Major Vaughn Liceman, a semi-fascist instructor at a Military School where a group of misfits get into trouble, lust over Barbara Bach (playing the armaments specialist), and try any way they can to buck the system and turn the tables on Liceman.

The movie's raunchy humor was a sore point for many, including the Mad staff, and fans of the magazine. Mad publisher William M. Gaines paid $30,000 to have all references to the movie removed from television broadcasts and home video releases after it was a box office failure. However, the original version of the movie was put back into syndication and released on DVD after Time/Warner purchased Mad.

Up The Academy was directed by Robert Downey Sr. A young Ralph Macchio plays one of the main characters. Antonio Fargas plays the soccer coach, and a young Robert Downey, Jr. appears as one of the boys on the soccer team. Rick Baker designed the mask for Alfred E. Neuman, who appears during the opening and ending sequences.

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