Hamilton Cade is an alcoholic teacher striving to put his life back together. He accepts a job tutoring an "exceptional child" only to find that young Freddie is mentally retarded (an ... See full summary »
A well meaning but burned-out high school teacher tries to maintain order against the backdrop of a pending lawsuit against his school district when it comes to light they gave a diploma to an illiterate student.
Hamilton Cade is an alcoholic teacher striving to put his life back together. He accepts a job tutoring an "exceptional child" only to find that young Freddie is mentally retarded (an outstanding performance by retarded actor Billy Schulman). A black man who works for Freddie's father also becomes interested in teaching the child, and becomes a second role model for him. A "Hall of Fame" production. Written by
Molly Malloy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I first saw "Teacher, Teacher" when I was about 14 years old, primarily, because I was in love with David McCallum, who played Illya Kuryakin on "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." and because, in the 1960s, the "Hallmark Hall of Fame," specials held the imprimatur of quality television programming. I was so moved by the relationship between teacher and student, played by McCallum and Billy Schulman, that I took the opportunity to see it again at The Museum of Television and Radio some forty years later. The emotional impact of the story still holds up, and now, as a teacher, I appreciate the portrayal of the toughness of teaching a special needs student. With this second viewing, I'm reminded of the genius of Ozzie Davis who gave an understated, multi-layered performance as the handyman and kind of truth-sayer in this story. I may be looking at this film through the lens of nostalgia, but I find that many filmmakers of the 1960s had aspirations of telling stories that made views think about the human condition and social issues that needed closer examination. These films helped mobilize people, to some degree, to change in action or thought about many issues of the day. I think "Teacher, Teacher" like "To, Sir with Love" and "Up the Down Staircase" are quality films that do well in addressing teaching, learning, and the conditions necessary to make learning possible. I'd recommend that you seek out "Teacher, Teacher" and these other films that I have mentioned in this review. They are effective on many levels.
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