Blackboard Jungle (1955) Poster

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  • War veteran Rick Dadier (Glenn Ford) accepts a job teaching English at North Manual High School, an inner city boys school known for its discipline problems. Determined to do his job, Dadier must put up with student hostility, faculty apathy, racial provocation, and false accusations sent to his pregnant wife Anne (Anne Francis). He is particularly challenged by thug leaders Artie West (Vic Morrow) and Gregory Miller (Sidney Poitier), culminating in a classroom showdown in which a switchblade is pulled.

  • Yes. The movie is based on Blackboard Jungle (1954), a novel by American author Evan Hunter (born Salvatore Lombino). The novel was adapted for the movie by American film-maker Richard Brooks, who also directed the movie.

  • Miller warns Rick that Artie is high on 'Sneaky Pete' wine, referring to cheap wine often fortified with rubbing alcohol or sterno.

  • After being assured that the baby will be okay, Rick returns to the classroom. An argument breaks out when Rick gives a zero to a student for copying the answers from another student's paper. In defiance, Artie West copies from another's paper then challenges Rick when he orders Artie to the principal's office. When Rick attempts to walk Artie there himself, Artie pulls a switchblade. Rick is cut on his hand but, with the help of Gregory Miller and several other students, he is able to disarm Artie. Rick then realizes that it was Artie, not Miller, who attacked him in the alley, reported him to the principal for making racial slurs, and sent the letters to Anne. Rather than forget the confrontation, Rick takes Artie to the principal's office and sees that he is removed from the class. In the final scene, as Rick leaves school, Miller shows him the .87 cents in the coin can. Between them, they agree to honor their previous vow to remain in the school.

  • Viewers who have enjoyed Blackboard Jungle have recommended the following movies, also featuring a dedicated teacher trying to get through to impoverished or delinquent students: Up the Down Staircase (1967) (1967), To Sir, with Love (1967) (1967), Class of 1984 (1982) (1982), (1984) Teachers (1984) (1984), The Principal (1987) (1987), Stand and Deliver (1988) (1988), Lean on Me (1989) (1989), Dangerous Minds (1995) (1995), The Substitute (1996) (1996), and Take the Lead (2006) (2006).

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