Paul Reis returns to the exclusive Catholic prep school he graduated from nine years earlier as a gym teacher. He is reunited with his former mentor and English teacher, the affable and gregarious Joseph Dobbs, the most popular member of the faculty and advisor to the junior class, and Jerome Malley, a strict disciplinarian and teacher of classical languages, whose old-fashioned methods make him heartily disliked by his pupils. Reis finds himself caught in between the two men in a struggle for the hearts, minds, and souls of the boys. Malley, nicknamed "Lash" by his students has ruled out retirement, and Dobbs, who feels that Malley has lost touch with the students, hopes to inherit the senior class. Even though Malley's mother is dying an agonizing death from cancer, the Latin and Greek teacher refuses to surrender his position as head of the senior class to a man whose motives he questions. The tensions on the faculty are mirrored in the student body, which has endured a rash of ... Written by
You only lose once.
Did You Know?
originally signed for the role of Joseph Dobbs (Robert Preston
), but quit the production before principal photography commenced. According to Bob Thomas's "Brando: Portrait of the Artist as a Rebel", Brando quit the production when he realized that James Mason
had the better role, and that his flagging career would soon be revitalized by the The Godfather
(1972). Preston, a fine actor, received poor reviews for his performance from Pauline Kael, among others. Brando subsequently was sued by producer David Merrick
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I don't know if you've noticed. There is the decided smell of brimstone in the air. This may have been the wrong way for me, but I believe in God, and I believe in Satan.
[He drinks and sets his glass down uneasily, only to have it fall
Now I believe I will go get another drink.
[He walks tipsily out of the room