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
Up The Down Staircase, is the story of a girl who fell in love with a monster... (The Girl is Sylvia Barrett. Occupation: Brand new teacher)
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Did You Know?
Film debut of Bud Cort
, in an uncredited walk-on role as a student. He is seen at the tail end of the film, chewing gum and tossing a book in the air as he passes by Sandy Dennis in the school hallway. See more
In the classroom scene where Harry A Kagan is talking, his necktie alternates between being tucked into the belt and in front of the belt. See more
[Frequently Over Intercom
Disregard all bells.
Referenced in The Wire: Home Rooms