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Up the Down Staircase (1967)

 -  Drama  -  19 July 1967 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,079 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 13 critic

The experiences of a young female English teacher in an inner-city New York high school.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Patrick Bedford ...
Paul Barringer
...
Henrietta Pastorfield
...
Beatrice Schacter
...
Sadie Finch
...
Dr. Bester
Roy Poole ...
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 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

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Release Date:

19 July 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apigorevmena skalopatia  »

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Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sylvia Barrett: When I finally get the chance, the first few precious minutes to talk to them about something I want them to understand, and I find that I am some kind of enemy... the butt of some enormous joke.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Replacements: Hollywoodn't (2008) 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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