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Based on the story, "See How They Run," which ran in the June, 1951 issue of "The Ladies' Home Journal" and subsequently won that year's Christopher Award. The story was written by Mary Elizabeth Vroman, a fourth-generation school teacher from the British West Indies. "Bright Road" has only one white actor in the cast, Robert Horton. Jane Richards is a young 4th-grade teacher in the South who has a problem in her classroom with 11-year-old C.T. Young, a backward boy whose pride has made him a stubborn rebel and an exalted liar. Jane believes in him, discovers that he has an interest in nature when he spends his time watching a caterpillar in a tree trunk as it develops a cocoon. C. T. is devoted to his family and also to little Tanya, who adores him. When Tanya, despite every effort to save her on the part of Dr. Mitchell, dies of viral pneumonia, the embittered C.T. stays away from school. When he returns and gets into a fight, he is punished by being sent to Coventry. But when a ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
It is no coincidence this movie was written by a seasoned School Teacher. What this award-winning story essentially does - in the unusual context of a Hollywood movie - is to present an "outside-the-box" approach to dealing with the disciplinary and behavioral problems of a young male school student. By tapping into and encouraging the talents and interests of young rambunctious C.T., school teacher Ms. Richards (played by Dorothy Dandridge), is able to show how superficial negative classroom behavior can be evaluated and properly re-channeled to achieve positive results. Where the typical reaction to the student in our school system today by teachers and school administrators is to issue non-rehabilitating disciplinary action or suspension, the constructive approach demonstrated in this movie results in a "win-win" solution for all involved. Not a bad lesson for both our overcrowded and dysfunctional school and judicial systems to learn some 50 years later as they both still routinely devour the C.T.'s of the world without a care to the horrendous social cost-benefits resulting from excessive or unnecessary punitive action.
Harry Belafonte (in his first film role) also stars as the supportive school Principal. In a poignant scene beautifully worked into the story, he premieres one of his original compositions, "Suzanne."
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