Blackboard Jungle (1955)
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|A powerful school drama about a veteran who becomes a teacher and takes on a group of delinquent youths.|
Editor's NoteThis provocative portrait of juvenile delinqency in a 1950s inner-city high school was based on the best-selling novel by Evan Hunter. Groundbreaking in its gritty realism and its use of rock & roll on the soundtrack, BLACKBOARD JUNGLE paved the way for such realistic and tough adolescent pictures as WEST SIDE STORY and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. The atmospheric tale of a teacher's harrowing experience in the New York City school system stars Glenn Ford as Richard Dadier, an idealistic teacher assigned to a new school located in one of the poorest and ethnically diverse city neighborhoods. Dadier's idealism fades as he struggles to make a difference to his indifferent students. Darkly ominous cinematography highlights the street world of the desperate delinquents as they carouse, smoke, and steal after school. The film features smoldering performances by a young Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow as tough-as-nails rebels fighting over the role of leader in Dadier's classroom. This innovative and ultimately uplifting portrayal of a generation at odds with the world served as a seminal portrait of the darker side of the 1950s; however, it was laced with controversy as well, as it was withdrawn from the 1955 Venice Film Festival for showing an unflattering view of American high school life.
Cast & Crew
|Evan Hunter - Based On Novel By|
|Pandro S. Berman - Producer|
|Richard Brooks - Director|
|Richard Brooks - Screenplay|
Plot SummaryThis controversial film, based on Evan Hunter's best-selling novel, is widely recognized as a groundbreaking and innovative portrait of juvenile delinquency in the 1950s. Glenn Ford stars as Richard Dadier, an idealistic new teacher struggling to make a difference at a rough prisonlike school in New York city. His new school--located in one of the poorest ethnic districts--is a magnet for delinquent students, hoodlums, and ruffians. Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow costar as young rebels in Dadier's classroom who are angry, violent, and itching to defy authority. Rock & roll came to the big screen in a major way as Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" bopped over the opening credits.
|"I've been beaten up. But I'm not beaten...I'm not beaten. And I'm not quitting."----Dadier (Glenn Ford) to his wife, Anne (Anne Francis)|