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Max von Sydow
In the 1930's, Max Brown is an urban young man from an Eastern province, fresh from college, whose only job offer is in a one-room school house in the Canadian prairie. At first he's distant, superior, lonely, and bewildered; his students are rebellious. Over the course of the year, he is drawn to Alice Field, the wife of a farmer, in a love that can lead nowhere. But, he and his students connect, a connection that matters and lasts. Written by
I found this sweet little film to be a very enjoyable and highly recommended experience!
Bud Cort gives one of his finest performances as the naïve, lonely, sensitive, and oh-so-out-of-place Max Brown, a city fellow from Ottawa trying to make a life as a poorly compensated teacher in the very rural town of Willowgreen in western Canada during the Great Depression. It's comic how he has to deal with adjusting to the town, the townspeople, and their children as his students; and is especially very poignant and sad watching his doomed romance with the very married and just as lonely and frustrated Alice Field, played by Samantha Eggar.
As his 'Harold and Maude' was poorly served when it came out on DVD, how I wish that 'Why Shoot the Teacher?' would find its way onto DVD, having such special features as outtakes, deleted scenes, and especially, interviews with Bud Cort and the remaining cast and crew of the film. It's sad to see this one overlooked and, instead, to find such films of lesser quality in Bud's oeuvre, like 'Hysterical,' getting the DVD treatment. I hope that this oversight will someday be rectified for this gem in the career of Bud Cort.
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