6.6/10
109
5 user

Spare the Rod (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama | 19 April 1962 (Hungary)
It is London in the year 1960 and John Saunders enthusiastically begins his new teaching career at a tough slum-area school. His class are bored pupils in their last term before leaving. Will he handle the grave problems that lie ahead?

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(screenplay), (based on the book by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Max Bygraves ...
...
...
...
Ann Collins
Peter Reynolds ...
Alec Murray
...
Mrs. Pond
Eleanor Summerfield ...
Mrs. Harkness
...
Miss Fogg
Richard O'Sullivan ...
Fred Harkness
Claire Marshall ...
...
Angell
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Storyline

John Saunders is a teacher, just out of training college, who takes over a class of badly behaved children in an inner city school. The general rule amongst the other teachers is to enforce discipline with the cane, but Saunders has other ideas, but he has to fight against another teacher, who has a vicious streak. Written by mike.wilson6@btinternet.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

19 April 1962 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Suhog a pálca  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

Opening credits: All characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Quotes

[to Mr Gregory who is enraged at being locked overnight in the playground toilet]
large group of children: [singing] Oh dear what a calamity, old Greg got locked in the lavatory, he was there from Monday till Saturday.
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits cast list ends with "and the Rest of Class II. See more »


Soundtracks

Two Lovely Black Eyes
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Coborn
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User Reviews

 
Very realistic portrayal of what "secondary mods" in very poor areas were really like
1 January 2018 | by See all my reviews

I must say I find the "6" rating awarded by all the previous reviewers of this film a bit on the harsh side and have awarded a ranking two levels higher myself. OK, so Max Bygraves was not a professional actor and his cinema 'career' is really not that much to speak about, but I still think he did a very good job in this picture. The support from consummate professionals like Pleasance and Keene also helped, of course, but he obviously established a genuine rapport with the actors playing the school pupils and he conveys the various emotions demanded by the role well, I thought. The main pleasure I experienced from watching the film, however, was in being reminded of just how absolutely appalling and brutalising so-called "secondary mods" in poor areas were, with jaded and often burnt-out teachers often resorting to brutal physical force/punishment in an attempt to maintain some sort of order and discipline. The film shows many insights, both retrospectively (e.g. how many (non-commissioned) ex-service men were herded into teaching after the second world war) and (unknowlingly) in terms of the future as well (e.g. the lad who tells Bygraves he "does not need to learn to read" as he intends to follow his dad in "working on the docks for £28.00 a week" (considerably more than a teacher like Bygraves portrays would have received at the time!) One wonders what became of the lad twenty years later when the London Docks had all gone and the entire surrounding area (as I can personally recall) had become totally derelict (until reclaimed by property developers who have now made the whole area totally beyond the dreams of the grandchildren of most of the kind of kids portrayed in the film.) A fascinating insight into a world long gone - and, one has to say, hopefully for good in some ways! The next time someone starts bleeting on about how "great" grammar schools were, the question to ask is, "And will YOU be sending your kids to a secondary mod like 'Worrell St' if the tests show they are a "sheep and not a goat" as well?


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