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Engineer Mark Thackeray arrives to teach a totally undisciplined class at an East End school. Still hoping for a good engineering job, he's hopeful that he won't be there long. He starts implementing his own brand of classroom discipline: forcing the pupils to treat each other with respect. Inevitably he begins getting involved in the students' personal lives, and must avoid the advances of an amorous student while winning over the class tough. What will he decide when the engineering job comes through? Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Touching film; anchored by Poitier's flawless performance
Sidney Poitier's exceptional lead performance anchors this touching film about that special person who changes your life. As the first time teacher to a group of undisciplined British youth, Poitier is in virtually every frame of this picture. It is a role that calls for a high degree of character development, and Poitier meets and expands the challenge by totally inhabiting the character he is playing. I honestly cannot think of any way his performance could be better, and this is a huge compliment for any actor - even one of Mr. Poitier's immense talents.
While not in the same league, the young cast of then-unknowns also perform quite well. Particularly effective of the young cast members is fresh-faced Judy Geeson, who brings unexpected depth to the stereotypical role of the young schoolgirl love-struck over Mr. Poitier (who could blame her). Director/writer/producer James Clavell avoids over-sentimentalization by inject his well-written script with a healthy dose of realism. The film may not be particularly striking, in the visual sense, but Clavell is a perfectly competent film maker, and his love of the material is evident throughout the entire picture.
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