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great comedy and some good drama, One thing to Point out from the First
review was the the Machine was a stencil duplicator or mimeograph
machine (often abbreviated to mimeo) is a low-cost printing press that
works by forcing ink through a stencil onto paper.
Along with spirit duplicators and hectographs, mimeographs were for many decades used to print short-run office work, classroom materials, and church bulletins. They also were critical to the development of early fanzines because their low cost and availability enabled publication of amateur writings. These technologies began to be supplanted by photocopying and cheap offset printing in the late 1960s.
Mimeographs did Smell something awful. I am trying to remember if we used them in the early 80'sI know we did in the 70's. Comments on a Movies about teachers and Schools can be Educational.
Just watched this movie again (found the VHS at a Goodwill for 99
cents!). Two performances I noticed that I hadn't recognized from
previous viewings: Anthony Heald as the "Narc", who later appeared as
"Assistant Principal Scott Goober" in Boston Public, and Steven Hill as
the attorney "Sloan", who later appeared as the main attorney "D.A.
Adam Schiff" in Law And Order. I thought both of these performances
were ironic and somewhat prophetic -- the high school narc turned
principal, and Hill as a D.A. in both roles.
That's all. Maybe someday this film will be released on DVD, and we won't have to search it out on VHS from thrift stores.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This off-the-wall film, unrealistic at times, is absolutely terrific.
Why? It brings forth the blame of the urban school system on where it
belongs- the administration, uncaring parents, and even the teachers to
Judd Hirsch is perfect as the lousy English teacher who got out of the classroom and is now some stinker as an assistant principal.
The always terrific Lee Grant shines as the District Superintendent, desperately trying to save her rear end and those of her administrators at the expense of the students who attend this school of utter failure. Of course, we must remember that it is the student population that will make or break a school.
Nick Nolte, as the frustrated burned out teacher, is perfect for the part. He reaches the point where he is no longer able to work under a miserable system.
While the section dealing with the teacher who died while reading a newspaper may be over the top, the sequence just shows you how bad our schools can be.
Jo Beth Williams is stunning as a former graduate, an attorney, who is fighting the school for its inability to educate.
James Dean could move over thanks to a towering performance by Ralph Macchio, as a student going nowhere but to disaster. Macchio conveys the frustrated, out of control kid, who is almost doomed by uncaring parents and an administration in school. This film is great on detail. Madeleine Sherwood plays the role of the school secretary just as I've observed many a secretary. School secretaries think that they run the schools and they're not entirely wrong. Principals have given them such authority. William Schallert, who portrays the principal in this film, conveys the idea of the figure head. He is there in name only. Afraid of scandal and to step on toes, he is the typical principal leading an urban school-while counting the days to retirement. This film is definitely thought provoking as it attempts to establish what is going on in our urban school system. It a rousing success.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I sat down to watch this movie with my father in-law who is a retired
school teacher. He'd rented it after hearing about how good it was for
many years. Watching it with him I caught him laughing and remembering
the good times, nodding and remembering the hard times. This movie
really touched home for him.
I did think it was a tad predictable in spots, but few movies aren't. The acting was wonderful with a huge cast of fairly large names - especially for the time it was made.
Laura Dern gave an honest performance of the pretty school slut who gets in trouble. Machio gives a great performance, not at all plastic as he was in the Karate Kid movies. JoBeth was endearing and a bit naked. Judd gave, as usual, a stellar performance. Morgan Freeman was virtually unrecognisable as the man/actor he is today. He's come a long way, but it's nice to see him skinny and unsure of himself. Crispin Glover was amazing. I was thoroughly impressed with his role of a troubled teenage boy. My heart went out to him and I'm now going to hunt down other movies he's been in - He blew my mind with his portrayal! As for Nolte... I have to admit to never liking him or the movies he's done. I cringed when I saw he was the lead, but was delightfully surprised with this performance. None of his ego bled through. All I saw was a burnt out teacher make a turn around and decide to try again to make lives better for the kids who get shoved aside.
Overall a great movie that should have gotten more of a push when it came out. Teachers should see this to reignite their passions, as should lawyers. Students should see it to realize teachers are not all out to get them, or just there to earn a paycheck.
Like the movie trivia says...this movie was taped at Central High
School in Columbus. And it(The school building)has since been remodeled
and COSI now uses it.
The Central HS building was owned by Columbus Public Schools. They allowed the movie crew(Whoever that may have been)to use the building.
Not realizing what the movie was going to be about. Basically putting down the school systems. Saying that the school systems were passing kids that couldn't even read. Even though it was not based off of that school district.
They were not happy when the movie came out depicting the school systems.
I caught Teachers (1984) one night while channel surfing through
Showtime. It was already five minutes in but imagine my surprise when I
saw the image of a dignified educator lunging at an old man by a ditto
machine, blue ink spraying all over both and the astonished crowd. When
the woman is finally retrained and thrown out of the office, vice
principal Rubell (Judd Hirsch) smarmily remarks "she's the school
Thus the precipitating events of this corrosively funny satire begin. We're introduced to Mr. Jurel (Nick Nolte), a cynical yet avuncular history teacher who goes through the motions at work if he manages to show up at all. He has the respect of the kids and the administration (who is under scrutiny for graduating an illiterate student) tolerates him. When asked to fill in for the burnt out psychologist, Jurel slowly starts to reveal his idealism, hidden underneath so much snark and sour. His main sources of inspiration are student and spirited troublemaker Eddie Pilikian (Ralph Macchio) and Lisa Hammond (JoBeth Williams), a lawyer/former student who leads the legal charge against the school district.
Director Arthur Hiller wanted to repeat the critical and box office success of the Oscar nominated The Hospital (1971) with Teachers. Both movies focus on highly regarded institutions who have been atrophying and deserved a good kick in the pants. Additionally both are incredibly dark and feature some promising drama from their leads. Unfortunately Teachers wasn't such a hit critically as the sudden shifts in plotting and mood made it too hard to gage. For a drama these issues could be glossed over but in a comedy, specifically a black comedy, such crimes are unforgivable.
I love this movie because it presents some of the most systemic problems that exist in an urban public school, albeit exaggerated and askew. There are dreadful teachers whose crimes in this film range from being unable to control their pupils to instigating sexual relations with them. The principal is an no-nothing nitwit who's ignorance about the day-to-day operations of the school may be his saving grace and the competent educators are actively trying to obfuscate the truth behind the school's low performance.
Out of the many loose treads that the story weaves, the story of Herbert (Robert Mulligan) is by far the most entertaining. Jurel provides dimensions, Rubell caters the lunacy, but Herbert provides the pure joy and inspiration of being a teacher. He's also certifiable; an outpatient from the local mental hospital who likes to play dress-up in his history class. Even so, his classroom becomes one of the few bright spots in the darkened corridors of the school. Educators should be so lucky to have the gravitas and temerity of Herbert aka Mr. Van Ark.
Teachers isn't the movie that convinced me to become an educator and life long learner. There is no such movie. But Teachers is the movie that convinced me that you have to be a little crazy to be an educationalist. There is a quiet dignity to dedicate your life to children and young adults. Not everyone is cut out to raise and instruct one child let alone a classroom full of pupils. It is for this reason, and the very real issues partially exposed in Teachers that our educators are to be treated with respect. After all, they're nuts!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Recently saw this 80s Arthur Hiller directed mess, entitled "Teachers". I'm not sure if the screenwriters or director know what they're trying to make, a faux-play mockery of teachers, or some heartfelt drama about a burnt out one, the lead character played well by Nick Nolte. There's no denying that there are some genuine moments in "Teachers" that do pretty well and hit some good notes, including some well written dialog - more so in the first 2/3rd of runtime. However, a good movie has focus and continuity of tone, and this one sorely lacks both. The way the teachers, school board-members, and staff interact is buffoonery and sitcomish. You have a kid getting shot, and a woman stripping in the middle of the halls - while pranks, smoking, and statutory rape are all thrown together as side shows. The tone of this movie is all over the place. It's a good thing Nolte helps to somewhat ground all the cheap tricks with his deep voice and sage-like countenance - he alone makes the movie bearable. 6/10 Borderline recommended.
Teachers" is a interesting forgotten movie from the 80's . It's a
movie that wants to be more than just a comedy set in school , but also
doesn't want to become another serious movie about school . It tries to
be something in-between . I appreciate the effort , because it makes
the movie quite unique. Still , in the end the movie fails . It's too
silly for most of the time to be treated seriously and to serious to
watch it as a comedy. The movie also suffers from chaotic screenplay
which puts too many things in the movie and is not focused on the main
subject . For example the car subplot , the crazy guy subplot , the
drugs subplot. All those things are distracting , cheesy and quite
The movie isn't afraid to criticize the system and is right with many things it points out . "Teachers" were made in 1984 in USA . When I'm writing this words it's year 2013 and many things hasn't changed at all . Not only in USA , but also in my country. The movie also captures the relationships between students and teachers really well . I also like the message it sends being a teacher is a big responsibility , because it can change lives of both student and teacher. It's not a work in the fabric , because we're talking about people here , not products. It takes passion and courage to teach despite bad payment.
The movie has some big names in it Nick Nolte as the main hero , Ralph Macchio ("Karate Kid") and Morgan Freeman (with cool hairstyle). There is quite a lot of 80's trademark comedy and some nice pop songs . All those things are good , but can't change the final verdict.
With a much better screenplay this could have been a classic. It's still definitively worth watching , but I just can't rate it high. It's one of those wasted opportunities .
I give it 4/10.
"Teachers" is a great film that came out in 1984. The film really
touched up on the things that is even today, hurting some of our
schools here today in the U.S.. The apathy, red tape, the lack of
concern for the kids is what is causing the schools to get bad. I love
this movie for a lot of reasons, the funny and sad moments in it. The
cast of the film is really excellent.
The film starts out where it is a typical Monday morning at JFK High School where crazy things happen. The school psychologist loses it when the teacher nicknamed "Ditto" (Royal Dano) is hogging the ditto machine and she squirts him with ink. A stabbing has happened. A former student named Lisa Hammond (JoBeth Williams), who now is a lawyer, is representing a kid named John Calvin, a kid who is suing the school cause of the lack of education he received.
Alex Jurel (Nick Nolte), is called in on that Monday morning to teach Social Studies, Alex never comes in on a Monday. Alex Jurel is a teacher who got burned out, fighting a system, which has not changed. He runs into his former student, Lisa Hammond and she sees he has given up. She helps him to reawaken his ideals and Alex helps a kid named Eddie Pilikian (Ralph Macchio), a troubled kid, help him and become friends. Eddie stole a Drivers Ed. car with his friend Danny (Crispin Glover). Danny is a kid at the school who has problems being picked on by other students. Danny gives his teacher, Mr. Rosenberg (Allen Garfield) a hard time, first he bit Rosenberg on the hand and later on steals his car, though Rosenberg does not know about Danny stealing his car.
The other teachers at JFK are Stuart Van Ark (Richard Mulligan) a.k.a. Herbert Gower, an out patient at a mental hospital, who takes up the identity of the real Stuart Van Ark, and teaches his history class, and being entertaining. The kids in the class like him. "Ditto" a.k.a. Mr. Stiles, a teacher who sleeps on the job and doesn't teach at all later on dies in his sleep.
Alex's friend and Vice Principal of JFK, Roger Rubell, is one of the members of the faculty, next to Superintendent Burke, don't care about the kids and are worried about the publicity of the John Calvin case. They want the teachers who are going to be asked questions at their depositions to lie, but one of the teachers, Mr. Carl Rosenberg refuses to lie and does tell Lisa Hammond why they passed John Calvin. The School board want to fire Jurel for taking a student named Dianne Warren (Laura Dern) to an abortion clinic cause she got pregnant by the Physical Education teacher, Mr. Troy (Art Metrano), but Alex knows the real reason why the want to fire is is that the board are worried about what Alex will say at his deposition, though the case ended up being settled. Alex packs his stuff and Lisa Hammond sees him packing and Alex tells her he is quitting. Lisa convinces him to stay.
After Eddie Pilikian sets off the fire alarm, the people are outside and Alex tells him that he is not quitting and will sue them if they try to fire him. Alex tells Burke and Rubell about that the High School is about kids. Alex is staying to teach.
"Teachers" has a great cast and supporting cast like Richard Mulligan, Morgan Freeman as Al Lewis, the school board attorney, veteran actor William Schallert as Principal Horn, a clueless principal who does not know much about the school and some other things.
I am so happy Teachers in out on DVD now, there is a God!,,lol.
As a former teacher, I see a lot of useful information from this movie. It shows many stereotypes that you see in everyday classrooms and schools: absent minded principals, matronly secretaries that truly run the school, highly idealistic teachers that have burned out, paper-hogs like Ditto and buttinski superintendents that won't let school progress like it should. For the comment by another poster about Ditto being absurd, not so fast my friend. I did my student teaching with a real life Ditto. That's all he had his students do and that's all he would let me do. These teachers do exist. Are they good? No, but they do still exist. I agree with many here that say it could be a good teaching tool for aspiring educators. I also think, today's educational institutions that prepare teachers would be too afraid to show it to prospective teachers because they are trying to make the "perfect" teacher. I think this would be a good example of showing different stereotypes of teachers that we saw in school and how to keep from falling into one of those holes as educators.
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