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To Sir, with Love (1967)

 -  Drama  -  14 June 1967 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,385 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 19 critic

Idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End.

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(novel), (written for the screen by)
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Title: To Sir, with Love (1967)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Suzy Kendall ...
Gillian Blanchard
Ann Bell ...
Mrs. Dare
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Theo Weston
Faith Brook ...
Grace Evans
...
Clinty Clintridge
Chris Chittell ...
Potter (as Christopher Chittell)
Adrienne Posta ...
Moira Joseph
Edward Burnham ...
Florian
Rita Webb ...
Mrs. Joseph
Fiona Duncan ...
Euphemia Phillips
Fred Griffiths ...
Mr. Clark
Mona Bruce ...
Josie Dawes
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Storyline

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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story as fresh as the girls in their minis. . .and as cool as their teacher had to be! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To Sir, with Love  »

Box Office

Budget:

$640,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The band at the dance, The Mindbenders, were the original backing band for Wayne Fontana. Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders had a hit with "Game of Love" while the Mindbenders had a hit with "Groovy Kind of Love". Eric Stewart from the Mindbenders went onto greater success as part of 10CC. See more »

Goofs

During the dance between Thackeray and Pamela, when The Mindbenders abruptly switch from a slow song (opening bars of "Off And Running") to a fast one ("It's Getting Harder All The Time") we hear the students cheering, but the shot at that moment is of the whole class, and no one is cheering. See more »

Quotes

Barbara Pegg: You ever been broke, Sir? Real broke? Skint?
Mark Thackeray: Yup. Many, many, many times.
Ingham: Oh, I don't understand you a bit Sir. I mean, you're a toff, and you ain't.
Mark Thackeray: Huh?
Moira Joseph: Sir, what he means is, blimey, I can't sorta put it into words, or anything, but...
Barbara Pegg: Well, Sir, you're like us, but you ain't, I mean, you're not. It's kinda scary, but nice. You know what I mean, don't you?
Mark Thackeray: Well, I... I don't know how to answer you, except to say that I teach you truths. My truths. Yeah, and it is kinda scary, dealing with ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the end credits, Michael Des Barres name is misspelled as "Micheal." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: To Surveil, with Love (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

To Sir, With Love
Lyrics by Don Black
Music by Mark London (as Marc London)
Performed by Lulu (uncredited)
Arranged and Conducted by Mike Leander (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An Underrated Poitier Vehicle
17 October 1999 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Recorded on a budget of just $640,000, To Sir, With Love was drafted, as with Lilies of the Field, to give Sidney a share of the gross profits to account for his diminished fee. Writer-director Clavell also received the same arrangement, a writer who was chosen for his love of the source material. The rights to the source, an identically-named novel by E. R. Braithwaite, had passed from studio to studio, and been offered to numerous stars before finally getting the green light when in the hands of Columbia President Mike Frankovich.

Poitier noted in his autobiography the similarities in terms of racial issues between America and England. Filmed in London, the picture featured a number of minorities, many of whom, he observed, would be unable to find work outside of the confines of the movie. However, for his time spent with the cast, he was delighted with their company. Sidney played Mark Thackeray, one of his most famous characters, an engineer taking a teaching post as a stopgap between jobs. Eventually the relationship he develops with the students causes him to question his loyalty to the profession.

To Sir, With Love is often frowned upon nowadays due to its sentimentality. While not wholly condemned as a film, it is certainly regarded as the poor relation of Poitier's three 1967 works. This is an unfair assessment of a movie that commits the only crime of having its heart on its sleeve. And, though the late sixties would see an increase in the political situation, To Sir, With Love was the only one of the three Poitier vehicles that year that did not rely upon his colour for its subtext. Instead, a few bigoted remarks were inserted, largely from a fellow teacher (Geoffrey Bayldon as Mr. Weston) than the pupils. Compared to his other overshadowing works that year, direction paled, too, the camera-work at times almost static. However, the scope for Poitier as an actor was broader than in the other '67 roles, and certainly broader than in the 1996 TV sequel. Where there the plot would be propelled largely by one pupil, here multiple characters would be guided through numerous situations over an entire term period. Over the course of the lengthy film the viewer can feel as though they have experienced the timescale too. And who would argue that the sheer amount of silly moves Sidney and Judy Geeson perform in the final ball didn't directly influence Travolta and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction?


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