Giving movie teachers a report card
Jon Voight's ''Conrack,'' Edward James Olmos' ''Stand and Deliver,'' and four others who made the grade
Michelle Pfeiffer may be the rare female exception, but in Dangerous Minds she joins a roll call of movie teachers who become class acts. Here, some of the screen’s best educators, graded for their ability to win hearts — and minds.
STAND AND DELIVER (1988, Warner)
Teacher: Caring Jaime Escalante, a.k.a. Kemo (Edward James Olmos).
School: Garfield High.
Students: Promiscuous, delinquent, seemingly disaffected contemporary East L.A. teens.
Encouraging words: ”The only thing I need from you is gana [desire].” A+
CONRACK (1974, FoxVideo)
Teacher: Young, dedicated Pat Conroy (Jon Voight).
Students: Mostly illiterate black children on an island off South Carolina, circa 1969.
Encouraging words: ”I will. Higher, stronger, faster, better. Either a Caesar or nobody.” A+
TO SIR, WITH LOVE (1967, Columbia TriStar)
Teacher: Rookie Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier).
School: North Quay Secondary School.
Students: Promiscuous, delinquent, seemingly disaffected teens from London’s East End, circa 1967.
Encouraging words: ”It’s your duty to change the world if you can.” A
DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989, Buena Vista)
Teacher: Ebullient John Keating (Robin Williams).
School: Welton Academy.
Students: Upper-crust 1959 New England teens.
Encouraging words: ”Carpe diem.” A
GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (1939, MGM/ UA)
Teacher: Shy, well-meaning Mr. Chipping (Robert Donat).
Students: Privileged Brits at the turn of the century.
Encouraging words: ”Give a boy a sense of humor and a sense of proportion, and he’ll stand up to anything.” A
FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982, MCA/Universal)
Teacher: Put-upon Mr. Hand (Ray Walston).
School: See title.
Subject: U.S. history.
Students: Promiscuous, delinquent, seemingly disaffected contemporary L.A. teens.
Encouraging words: ”What are you people, on dope?” B