7.6/10
1,439
33 user 12 critic

Up the Down Staircase (1967)

Approved | | Drama | 4 August 1967 (Finland)
The experiences of a young female English teacher in an inner-city New York high school.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Patrick Bedford ...
Paul Barringer
...
Henrietta Pastorfield
...
Beatrice Schacter
...
Sadie Finch
...
Dr. Bester
...
Mr. McHabe
...
Ella Friedenberg
Vinnette Carroll ...
The Mother
Janice Mars ...
Miss Gordon
Loretta Leversee ...
Social Studies Teacher
John Callahan
Denis Fay
Otto Lomax
Martha Greenhouse ...
Alberta Kagan
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Storyline

Sylvia Barrett is a rookie teacher at New York's inner-city Calvin Coolidge High: her lit classes are overcrowded, a window is broken, there's no chalk, books arrive late. The administration is concerned mainly with forms and rules (there's an up and a down staircase); bells ring at the wrong time. Nevertheless, she tries. How she handles the chaos and her despair in her first semester makes up the film: a promising student drops out, another sleeps through class, a girl with a crush on a male teacher gets suicidal, and a bright but troublesome student misunderstands Sylvia's reaching out. A discussion of Dickens, parents' night, and a mock trial highlight the term. Can she make it? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Simple words that start a war: "Good morning. My name is Miss Barrett. I am your Home Room teacher..." See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 August 1967 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Apigorevmena skalopatia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Benjamin Franklin High School on Pleasant Avenue and 116th Street is now the Center for Mathematics and Science. The building is seen on the cover of the DVD with Sandy Dennis in foreground. See more »

Goofs

During opening scenes of kids returning to school, the voice of Miss Finch (Jean Stapleton) blares from public address system (urging students to report to different rooms, ignore real time bells, etc.) yet when Sylvia walks into office where Miss Finch is working, she has no access to a microphone or other broadcast equipment that would enable her voice to be heard throughout entire school. See more »

Quotes

[Lou Martin gives an oral book report]
Lou Martin: My book is...
Sylvia Barrett: [Correcting his grammar] The book you read.
Lou Martin: Yeah. The title is called "MacBeth," by Shakespeare.
Sylvia Barrett: [Correcting his grammar, again] The title 'is.'
Lou Martin: [Finishing her sentence] "... MacBeth."
Sylvia Barrett: Isn't "MacBeth" required reading for last english term?
Lou Martin: I ain't never read it before.
Sylvia Barrett: [Correcting his grammar, again] I' ve never read it.
Lou Martin: Me neither.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in South Park: Up the Down Steroid (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Every Teacher Should See This Movie!
25 August 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I felt that I was watching reality even forty years later. I too aspired to be an English teacher like Sylvia Barrett. Sandy Dennis was a terrific actress and this film shows her ability and wide range. The cast features well known and familiar faces. Sylvia endures a stark reality of the urban teaching world. Schools in the poorest sections of New York City are still under funded. The Calvin Coolidge High School appears more like a prison than a school. The atmosphere reminds me of going to the unemployment office where its grim and depressing. How can anybody believe learning is going on? Of course not, schools are supposed to prepare our students for the future but are terribly let down. Today's students believe technology will solve everything. We can't teach how to think as teachers. This film should be shown to all aspiring teachers about the reality of urban school teaching.


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