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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 1,093 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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Title: Up the Down Staircase (1967)

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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

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The year's #1 best seller picks you up and never lets you down. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 July 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apigorevmena skalopatia  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Like Dangerous Minds (1995) 28 years later, this movie was filmed in a real-life urban high school building, using real high school kids from the neighborhood as extras, many of whom were believed to be armed on the set. See more »

Goofs

During the opening montage establishing the first day of school in September in a New York high school, several shots were obviously filmed in dead of winter with extras in heavy coats, gray skies, etc. contrasting wildly with scenes of sunny skies and lightweight costumes of main characters. See more »

Quotes

Joe Ferone: I've just seen your type before, that's all. There's one every year. "Not living up to your potential," they say. Is that what you were going to say, teach? "Just wanna help you, Joe?" "Just wanna be your friend?" Then they get to feeling very sorry for your about your "environmental factors", and your "low socio-economic level". Till you've just have to tell 'em; "Get your nose outta my environmental factors, will ya? Keep your damn hands off my potential"... and then they turn you in.
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Connections

Referenced in The Wire: Home Rooms (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Drama
15 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

Reminds me of the wonderful movie "To Sir, with Love" starring Sidney Poitier, which came out one year earlier in 1966. Both have an academic setting and emphasize reaching difficult young adults through intellect and respect. The direction and the script on this one is somewhat darker, and scenes are allowed to build up suspense with realistic danger that comes very close to the edge. The film explores the spectrum of student characters and the delicate balance a teacher has with both students and faculty. A very hard to find film, I've seen it only once just after midnight and commercial free on a highly rated classic movie channel, Turner Classic Movies. I highly recommend at least one viewing of this great drama.


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