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The George McKenna Story (1986)

He risked it all to make the grade.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Bobbie Maxwell
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Debra Artis ...
Wilma
Edna Auguillard
Billy Jaye Banner
...
Mr. Rogers
James Bowman
Ray Buktenica ...
Alan Keith
...
Cynthia Byers
Alexander Byrd
...
Margaret Wright
Kim Davis
...
Howard Smith
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Storyline

The true story of a teacher in Los Angeles who becomes the Principal of George Washington Memorial High School. The school and its students are affected by the normal life of gangs and drugs in their lives. McKenna wanted to give the students a real choice at education and all it offered for their future. But he faced teachers used to the reality of their school, parents unable or unwilling to give the kids the support they needed, and kids just wanting to survive the streets never mind learning something. After Denzel Washington (George McKenna) became a superstar, the film was re-released on home video under the title Hard Lessons.

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He Risked It All To Make The Grade

Genres:

Biography | Drama

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Release Date:

11 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hard Lessons  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A good lesson in some early Denzil!
11 February 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Denzil plays a man name George McKenna who, according to the movie, created homeroom as a way to organization and dictate how many students are coming to class. I find that interesting being someone who went to high school with homeroom and not really given it much thought that their was a beginning.

It's so dated in the 80s with the hip hop soundtrack that includes the DJ scratches. It's over dramatic with the type of stereotypes of bad kids who are misunderstood and gangbangers that people will be making fun of and parodying today.

But it's Denzil. Like the Mighty Quinn would do for him in a short few years later, Hard Lessons was showing the world that Denzil could be a leading man with his performance of George McKenna, a man who cared and was not scared to put it all on the line cause he cared. Some of the actions he took was not liked by fellow teachers, and his dedication to his job cost him his woman (played by Lynn Witfield, who I don't think I would give up to help some kids.)

And like always, Denzil is killing it, even with the limits that television was trying to put on his skills, he shines.

For those of you who are fans of Denzil I would recommend you watch it, try not to laugh at the dated fashion and the message though accurate and positive was being beaten over your head with a melodrama stick. Just try to get into the early development of Mr. Washington.

http://cinemagardens.com


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