American Pie (film)

American Pie is a 1999 American teen sex comedy film written by Adam Herz and directed by brothers Paul and Chris Weitz, in their directorial film debut. It is the first film in the American Pie theatrical series. The film features an ensemble cast including Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy. The film concentrates on five best friends (Jim, Kevin, Oz, Finch, and Stifler) who attend East Great Falls High. With the exception of Stifler (who has already lost his virginity), the guys make a pact to lose their virginity before their high school graduation. The title is borrowed from the song of the same name and refers to a scene in the film, in which the protagonist is caught masturbating with a pie after being told that third base feels like "warm apple pie". Writer Adam Herz has stated that the title also refers to the quest of losing one's virginity in high school, which is as "American as apple pie."

American Pie
Group picture of the cast. Alyson Hannigan has a flute in hand.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPaul Weitz
Chris Weitz
Produced byChris Weitz
Paul Weitz
Chris Moore
Warren Zide
Craig Perry
Written byAdam Herz
Music byDavid Lawrence
CinematographyRichard Crudo
Edited byPriscilla Nedd-Friendly
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • July 9, 1999 (1999-07-09)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$11 million[1]
Box office$235.5 million[1]

The film was a box-office hit and spawned three direct sequels: American Pie 2 (2001), American Wedding (2003), and American Reunion (2012).[2] In addition to the primary American Pie saga, there are four direct-to-DVD spin-off films bearing the title American Pie Presents: Band Camp (2005), The Naked Mile (2006), Beta House (2007), and The Book of Love (2009), with an upcoming fifth film entitled Girls' Rules, is set to be released in October 2020.

In response to the success of American Reunion, a fifth theatrical film, under the working title American Pie 5 was announced on August 4, 2012.[3] In August 2017, Seann William Scott said in an interview that the fourth film probably had not made enough at the domestic box office to warrant another film.[4]


Five high school seniors from East Great Falls High School in West Michigan are good friends: Jim, an awkward and sexually naïve nerd whose dad offers him pornography and unwanted sexual advice; Oz, on the school lacrosse team; Kevin, the calm leader of the group seeking to lose his virginity to his girlfriend Vicky; Finch, a mochaccino-drinking sophisticate and nerd; and Stifler, a popular but raucous jock who often throws wild parties when his mom is away, and is the only one of the five who is not a virgin. Dorky classmate Sherman claims that he lost his virginity at a party hosted by Stifler. Kevin prompts Oz, Finch, Jim, and Kevin to pledge to no longer be virgins by their high school graduation.

Vicky accuses Kevin of wanting her only for sex, and he has to repair their relationship before the senior prom night, now the target day the four plan to lose their virginity. Oz joins the school jazz choir to find a girlfriend, learns about sensitivity, and that it is about asking girls questions and listening to what they say. He soon wins the attention of Heather, a girl in the choir. Heather learns about Oz's reputation, breaks up with him, and then learns to trust him when he leaves the lacrosse championship game to perform a competition duet with her.

Jim pursues Nadia, an exchange student from the former Czechoslovakia. Oz tells Jim that third base feels like "warm apple pie" and when found by his dad having sex with a pie, he is persuaded to keep it from Jim's mom. Stifler persuades Jim to set up a webcam in his room so that they can all watch Nadia changing clothes after coming over to study following her ballet class. Nadia discovers Jim's pornography collection and while half-naked sitting on his bed masturbates to it. Jim is persuaded to return to his room, where he joins Nadia, unaware that he has sent the webcam link to everyone on the school list. With her, he experiences premature ejaculation—twice. Nadia's sponsors see the video and send her back home, leaving Jim dateless for the prom.

Jim thinks band camp geek Michelle is unaware of the cam incident so he asks her to the prom. Finch pays Vicky's friend, Jessica, $200 to spread the rumor of his sexual prowess, hoping that it will increase his chances of success. Stifler is turned down by a girl because she wants Finch to ask her; he spikes Finch's mochaccino with a laxative. Stifler plays to Finch's school restroom germaphobia to use the girls' restroom. Finch has diarrhea, and is humiliated by the crowd of students.

Vicky asks Sherman's conquest about his claim. Everyone learns it is false and as a result, Sherman wets himself, in front of everyone at the prom.

The boys plan to fulfill their pledge at the Stifler post-prom party. Kevin and Vicky have sex in an upstairs bedroom. Vicky breaks up with Kevin afterwards on the grounds that they will drift apart when they go to college. Oz confesses the pact to Heather, and renounces it, saying that just them being together makes him a winner. They reconcile and have sex. Oz, honoring his newfound sensitivity, does not divulge what they did.

Michelle accepted Jim's offer to be his date because she saw the "Nadia incident" and thought he was a "sure thing". Michelle is sexually aggressive in bed. When he wakes up, she is gone and he learns that he had a one-night stand with her but he is okay about it.

Finch meets Stifler's mom in the basement recreation room where they have sex on the pool table. Stifler finds them on the pool table asleep and he faints. The morning after the prom, the boys eat breakfast at their favorite restaurant where they toast to the "next step".

Nadia watches Jim stripping via webcam. Jim is oblivious to his father walking in, then walks out of the room and starts dancing.



  • Blink-182 make a cameo appearance as the band watching Jim and Nadia during their webcast, though drummer Travis Barker is incorrectly credited as former Blink-182 drummer "Scott Raynor". Also, when their song "Mutt" is credited, Barker's name is misspelled as "Travis Barkor". The parts were given when Tom DeLonge's acting agent reported the film needed a band.
  • Casey Affleck as Tom Myers, Kevin's older brother.
  • Stacy Fuson, Playmate of the Month for February 1999, appears in the crowd laughing at Finch when he exits the girls' restroom.


Northwest view of the Los Cerritos house.

Much of the film is based on the writer's days at East Grand Rapids High School in Michigan.[5][6] In the film, the town is called "East Great Falls", and the high school sports the same school colors — blue and gold — along with a similar mascot — the Trailblazers instead of the Pioneers. The restaurant hangout, "Dog Years", is based on Yesterdog, a popular hot dog restaurant in the nearby Eastown neighborhood of Grand Rapids.[7] The "Central Chicks" and "Central" Lacrosse team that East Great Falls plays against is an amalgam of nearby Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School.[8] The working title for the film had been "East Great Falls High".[9]

Adam Herz wrote the screenplay, tentatively titled Untitled Teenage Sex Comedy That Can Be Made For Under $10 Million That Most Readers Will Probably Hate But I Think You Will Love, in six weeks using Porky's and Bachelor Party as inspiration. Principal photography on the film, now titled Great Falls, begun on July 21 and wrapped on September 11, 1998. The film originally received an NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America until edits were made to secure an R rating.[10] During the casting of the film, Bill Murray was considered for the role of Noah Levenstein, Jim's dad.[11] When Eugene Levy was cast, he insisted on being allowed to improvise his lines, as he disliked how his character was written in the script. In the final film, most of his lines were improvised.[12]

The film was actually shot in Southern California, most notably in Long Beach using Long Beach Unified School District area high schools. Millikan High School, whose school colors are blue and gold, was used for exterior shots, and Long Beach Polytechnic High School was used for interior shots. Located in Los Cerritos, Long Beach, California, both schools are within five miles of the Virginia Country Club and Los Cerritos Neighborhood (where Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Donnie Darko were filmed).[13]


Box officeEdit

Despite insiders claiming it to be a potential sleeper hit, Universal Pictures sold off the foreign rights in an attempt to recoup its budget. American Pie was sold successfully to foreign distributors at the Cannes International Film Festival.[14] The film took in a gross worldwide revenue of $235,483,004,[1][15] $132,922,000 of which was from international tickets. In North America, it was the twentieth highest-grossing film of 1999. In Germany, it was the most successful theatrical release of 2000 before Mission: Impossible 2 and American Beauty.[16]

In home video rentals, the film has grossed $109,577,352 worldwide, with $56,408,552 of that coming from sales in the US.[17]

Critical responseEdit

The film received mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, American Pie has an approval rating of 61% based on 126 reviews, with an average rating of 5.77/10. The critical consensus reads, "So embarrassing it's believable, American Pie succeeds in bringing back the teen movie genre."[18] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 58 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[19] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade A- on scale of A to F.[20]

The more negative reviews include Stephen Holden of The New York Times who felt American Pie was "one of the shallowest and the most prurient teen films."[21] Robert Horton of wrote that American Pie "had a few amusing bits, however the audience should strongly note that the movie is really awful, and that it was not worthy of guilty pleasure status."[22] Jim Sullivan of The Boston Globe wrote that American Pie is a "gross and tasteless high school romp with sentimental mush."[23] Roger Ebert was more supportive, awarding it three out of four stars. He noted that "[i]t is not inspired, but it's cheerful and hard-working and sometimes funny, and—here's the important thing—it's not mean. Its characters are sort of sweet and lovable."[24]


Year Award Category Recipients Result Ref.
2000 American Comedy Award Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Eugene Levy Nominated
Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Supporting Comedy Actor Eugene Levy Won [25]
Favorite Actress Mena Suvari Nominated [25]
Favorite Actor Alyson Hannigan Nominated [25]
Bogey Awards Bogey Awards in Platinum Universal Pictures Won
Casting Society of America Artios Award for Best Casting for Feature Film Universal Pictures Won
CFCA Award Best Promising Actor Chris Klein Nominated
Csapnivalo Award Golden Slate Award for Best Teen Movie Universal Pictures Won
Golden Screen Universal Pictures Won
Golden Screen with 1 Star Universal Pictures Won
MTV Movie Awards Best Comedic Performance Jason Biggs Nominated [26]
Breakthrough Female Performance Shannon Elizabeth Nominated [26]
Breakthrough Male Performance Jason Biggs Nominated [26]
Best Movie Universal Pictures Nominated [26]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Actor Jason Biggs Nominated
Choice Breakout Performance Chris Klein Nominated
Choice Comedy Universal Pictures Nominated
Choice Liar Chris Klein Nominated
Choice Sleazebag Seann William Scott Nominated
Young Hollywood Awards Best Ensemble Cast Jason Biggs Won
Breakthrough Female Performance Mena Suvari Won
Best Soundtrack Uptown Records & Universal Records Won


The film's soundtrack peaked at number 50 on the Billboard 200 chart.[27]

American Pie: Music from the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJune 29, 1999 (1999-06-29)
GenrePop punk, alternative rock
LabelUptown, Universal
Various artists chronology
American Pie: Music from the Motion Picture
American Pie 2: Music from the Motion Picture
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [28]
No.TitlePerformed byLength
1."New Girl"Third Eye Blind2:16
2."You Wanted More"Tonic3:52
4."Glory"Sugar Ray3:29
5."Super Down"Super TransAtlantic4:07
6."Find Your Way Back Home"Dishwalla4:04
7."Good Morning Baby"Dan Wilson of Semisonic & Bic Runga3:34
8."Stranger by the Day"Shades Apart4:02
9."Summertime"Bachelor No. 13:46
10."Vintage Queen"Goldfinger3:04
11."Sway"Bic Runga4:23
12."Wishen"The Loose Nuts3:04
13."Man with the Hex"The Atomic Fireballs3:01

The following songs were included in the film but were not featured on the soundtrack:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c American Pie at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ TMZ report
  3. ^ "American Pie 5 cooking at Universal". Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  4. ^ Thompson, Simon Y. (April 9, 2018). "Seann William Scott Talks 'Goon' Sequel, More 'American Pie' And 'Dude, Where's My Car?'". Forbes. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  5. ^ "Adam Herz". IMDb.
  6. ^ "The Michigan Daily Online". 2008-02-29. Archived from the original on February 29, 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-21 – via Web Archive.
  7. ^ "History Page "Good Ole Hot Dogs" at 1505 Wealthy, Grand Rapids, Michigan, restaurant". Yesterdog. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  8. ^ (2000-05-28). "American Pie Reunion". Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  9. ^ Karon, Paul (9 July 1998). "Elizabeth 'Falls' for U teen sex comedy". Variety.
  10. ^ "16 Delicious Facts About American Pie". 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  11. ^ Locke, Greg W. (26 August 2011). "The Top 25 Roles Bill Murray Didn't Take". Archived from the original on 2011-11-25. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  12. ^ Branch, Chris (2015-03-17). "The 'American Pie' Dad Was Originally A Much Creepier Character". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  13. ^ "American Pie Filming Locations". Archived from the original on 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  14. ^ "Foreign Strategy May Burn Universal." Los Angeles Times thru Orlando Sentinel (June 13, 1999).
  15. ^ American Pie – Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information The Numbers
  16. ^ "Jahrescharts Deutschland".
  17. ^ "American Pie" – via
  18. ^ "American Pie". Rotten Tomatoes. June 28, 2019.
  19. ^ "American Pie". Metacritic.
  20. ^ "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on July 22, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  21. ^ "'American Pie': The Road to Manhood, Paved in Raunchy Jokes and Pie". The New York Times. 1999-07-09. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  22. ^ "Review of American Pie by Ernest Hardy". 5 May 2001. Archived from the original on 5 May 2001. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  23. ^ Jim Sullivan (1999-09-07). "Sex, comedy are main dishes served with "American Pie"". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 2001-09-14. Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  24. ^ Roger Ebert. "American Pie". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  25. ^ a b c "Blockbuster Entertainment Award winners". Variety. May 9, 2000. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  26. ^ a b c d "2000 MTV Movie Awards - Past Movie Awards- Awards Show Highlights and Winners -".
  27. ^ "American Pie – Original Soundtrack – Awards – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  28. ^ American Pie at AllMusic

External linksEdit