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Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 25 March 1955 (USA)
2:51 | Trailer

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A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.



(screenplay), (novel)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Dadier
Jim Murdock
Lois Judby Hammond
Mr. Warneke
Joshua Y. Edwards
Emile Meyer ...
Mr. Halloran
Dr. Bradley
Prof. A.R. Kraal
Gregory W. Miller
Artie West
Dan Terranova ...
Pete V. Morales
Emmanuel Stoker


War veteran Rick Dadier is one of three new teachers hired at North Manual High School, an inner city boys school. This is his first teaching assignment, which he needs to support himself and his insecure pregnant wife, Anne. Despite Principle Warnecke's assertions to the contrary, Dadier quickly learns that the rumors of student discipline problems at the school are indeed true. The established teachers at the school try to counsel the newcomers, all inexperienced in such situations, as how best to handle the rowdy students. Regardless, Dadier tries to exert discipline in his class, which provokes a violent response. Dadier believes the student leaders against him are Artie West, but more specifically Gregory Miller, who he thinks uses the fact of being black as a means of racial provocation. Dadier has to decide either to leave and teach at a "real" school, or stay and figure out how to get through to his students. If he decides to stay, he has to figure out who the real disruptive ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SHOCKING! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 March 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Blackboard Jungle  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,168,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film launched the rock 'n' roll era, especially in American movies, by using "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets as its theme. The song was chosen for the titles after it was heard among records owned by Peter Ford, son of the film's star, Glenn Ford (proving phony the original belief that the producer's daughter had discovered the song.) "Rock Around the Clock" had not been largely ignored until it was heard in the movie, after which it soon shot to No. 1 around the world, and eventually sold an estimated 25 million copies. In an embarrassing miscalculation, MGM could have owned the complete rights to the song, but it ignored writer/director Richard Brooks's advice to buy it outright; instead, being penny-wise and pound-foolish, for a few dollars less, the studio merely purchased the film-use rights to the mega-hit song. See more »


In the record smashing scene, as the students exit the classroom, Santini(Jamie Farr) is shown walking down the hallway, but in the next shot he is still in the classroom,giving Mr.Edwards his glasses. See more »


Richard Dadier: There will be no calling out. You have any questions to ask, just raise your hand. You here that, Miller?
Gregory W. Miller: Sure, teach. You coming in strong. I can't tune you out.
Gregory W. Miller: His name ain't "teach".
Belazi: It's "Daddy-Oh"
Artie West: Hey, don't you know his name, jerk?
Belazi: Excuse me, Mr. Jerk.
Richard Dadier: Alright West, since you're so cooperative, suppose you stay after class and help me out.
Artie West: I'm busy.
Belazi: Oh, go on, Artie. Help him out.
Emmanuel Stoker: Then you could be together, "alone".
See more »


Referenced in Charles in Charge: The Blackboard Bungle (1988) See more »


Let Me Go Lover
Written by Jenny Lou Carson and Al Hill
Performed by Joan Weber
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Rock around the clock
20 July 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"Blackboard Jungle" marked a turn around in films coming from Hollywood. This was a film that dealt with a reality that movies had not dared to touch before in the way they always wanted to sugar coat every picture about teens in high school. The guys one sees here are the real thing, as though taken from any high school in the inner city of that time.

The amazing thing this high school, at the center of the action, is not typical of any other schools in that one males attended and no females are to be seen around them. By making an old male high school, Richard Brooks updated Evan Hunter's novel to show the violent nature of most of those young men that are clearly from under privileged homes, perhaps, boys whose fathers had bolted and left their women to bring up the sons they didn't want to have anything with.

The film is important in that it marked the arrival of a strong actor that would dominate the movies like no other one, Sidney Poitier. With his handsome looks, and his great screen presence, Mr. Poitier was instrumental in breaking into the main stream movies in ways others tried, but didn't make a dent. Perhaps it was in the cards that Hollywood began dealing with a reality they tried to ignore integrating their stories with Blacks that had taken a back seat to other, not so talented performers.

The film works because of the strong performances by Glenn Ford, Vic Morrow and Sidney Poitier. Also, the theme song of the film, "Rock Around the Clock" went to become an anthem for viewers that filled the theaters for the thrill of hearing it play as the film started, putting them in the right frame of mind to accept what they were going to see.

Richard Brooks is the one responsible for the adaptation and the inspired direction for the movie that still resonates because of its raw energy.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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