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Harry H. Corbett,
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David Hemmings had clearly forgotten the climax to this film because in his autobiography he describes a totally different ending to the film. See more »
[John Ebony's first day teaching. The students are taking turns reading from a history book]
hypotenuse... hypotenuse... hypotenuse
Who's that muttering?
He can't help it, sir.
He says 'hypotenuse' all the time, sir.
He likes the word.
Mr. Pelham said he was 'hypotenus-ed' by it, sir!
Stop it! Very well, you've had ample warning. This form will kept in on Saturday afternoon from 2:30.
[...] See more »
In the closing credits, when the names of actors playing the schoolboys appear they are listed in alphabetical order according to the character's surname. This is so as to resemble the class's register. The character of 'Zigo' appears at the very end but as he never appears in the film, instead of an actor being credited, it merely says "Zigo....Absent". See more »
Brooks?"Blackboard Jungle" in which Glenn Ford's wife is assaulted by the young guys.Anderson?"If" with its strict school and religion and sport as vectors of alienation.Vigo? (Check the name;it cannot be a coincidence;besides Zigo is always away during the whole movie)"Zero de conduite" the granddaddy of all these students rebellions.
With such references,the miracle is that "Unman,Wittering and Zigo" is a thoroughly original movie,what we usually call a sleeper.Extremely suspenseful,frightening without any special effect,it sustains interest till its last pictures.David Hemmings gives a good performance of this nice teacher ,literally under his students'thumb.What is really fascinating is the way they subdue him,the very polite way they speak;the story is implausible,but its implacable logic makes our blood run cold."We have killed your predecessor" they say to a first bemused teacher "It's a perfect crime".Hemmings 's character is completely lonely in his chic school where nobody wants to believe him ,not even his wife."We took you in hand" his students keep on repeating him.
SPOILERS:Once again,the punching bag subject comes to the fore;it makes sense that such a character should be the instigator of the crime .Being an outcast is ,to some,unbearable,and out of despair,he'd do anything to become part of the group.But what's bred in the bone comes out in the flesh:during the terrifying scene at the gym,this boy is once again humiliated .Although ,they treated their pal like a dog,they have lost their strange leader and they become children again,crying children in the last sequence.
"Unman ,Wittering and Zigo" is a disturbing movie;to the art teacher who tells him he ultimately solves the mystery,Hemmings answers :"but what can explain their behavior?"And as they carry their dead companion,the students walk hostilely towards the headmaster and his old fossils:the true rebellion has only begun.
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