IMDb > The Principal (1987)
The Principal
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The Principal (1987) More at IMDbPro »

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The Principal -- Tough inner-city high school principal (James Belushi) butts heads with gang members in a crusade which may cost him his career and his life.


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Up 25% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank Deese (written by)
View company contact information for The Principal on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 September 1987 (USA) See more »
An educator who never plays by the rules. A high school where the only law is survival. Will he break it before it breaks him? See more »
A teacher is assigned to be the principal of a violent and crime ridden high school. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
James Belushi is The Principal See more (53 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

James Belushi ... Rick Latimer

Louis Gossett Jr. ... Jake Phillips

Rae Dawn Chong ... Hilary Orozco

Michael Wright ... Victor Duncan

J.J. Cohen ... White Zac

Esai Morales ... Raymi Rojas
Troy Winbush ... 'Baby' Emile

Jacob Vargas ... Arturo Diego

Thomas Ryan ... Robert Darcy
Reggie Johnson ... Jojo

Kelly Jo Minter ... Treena Lester (as Kelly Minter)
Ruth Beckford ... Mrs. Jenkins
Julian Brooks ... Kevin
Joan Valderrama ... Secretary
Rick Hamilton ... Mr. Harkley
Marty Pistone ... Security Guard (as Martin Pistone)
Richard Dupell ... Buddy (as Richard Duppell)

Peter Fitzsimmons ... Buddy

Joe Flood ... Terhune
Annabel Armour ... Mrs. Ripton (as Ann Armour)
Tony Haney ... Police Officer
Sharon Thomas Cain ... Kimberly (as Sharon Thomas)
Daniel Royal ... Will
Delores Mitchell ... Mrs. Coswell
Zoltan Gray ... P.E. Teacher
John Allen Vick ... Frank Valdis
Sean Michael Allen ... Rolf (as Sean Allen Barnes)
Yuri Lane ... Lance Woodbury
Steve Birger ... Stevie B. (as Steve W. Birger)
Gus Dimas ... Gus
Leo Downey ... George Pierce
Tom Winston ... Principal O'Connor
Kathryn Knotts ... Jan Buchanan
Marshall Jones ... Gang Member
Josh Wood ... Charles Lester
Mark Anger ... Desk Officer

Frank Deese ... Mr. Petersen
J.J. Johnston ... Will (as J.J. Johnson)
Doug White ... Eric
Wat Takeshita ... Maintenance Man
Elliott S. Valderrama ... Drug Dealer
Joel Valentin ... Kid

Jessica Looney ... Girl (as Jessica Wilson)
Kaprice Wilson ... Girl
Bridgette Rodriguez ... Girl
Tom Bryant ... Shocked Teacher
Danny Kovacs ... Substitute Teacher
Charmaine Anderson ... Hilary's Student
Terry Coleman ... Student
Melissa Lee Holloman ... Student
Luis Zuno ... Student
Nemon Wade ... Student
Eural Wills ... Student
James Edward Griffin ... Gang Student
David Williams ... Gang Student
Melanie G. Muters ... Alley Girl
Linda Trowbridge ... Nurse
Danny Williams ... Dangerous Danny
Bill Yarbrough ... Randall

Directed by
Christopher Cain 
Writing credits
Frank Deese (written by)

Produced by
Thomas H. Brodek .... producer
Original Music by
Jay Gruska 
Cinematography by
Arthur Albert (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jack Hofstra 
Casting by
Penny Perry 
Art Direction by
Mark Billerman 
Set Decoration by
Rick Brown 
Costume Design by
Marianna Åström-De Fina  (as Marianna Aström-DeFina)
Makeup Department
Steven E. Anderson .... key makeup artist
Karoly Balazs .... makeup advisor (as Balazs)
Candace Neal .... hair stylist
Production Management
James T. Davis .... unit production manager
Trevor Jolly .... post-production supervisor
Ted Zachary .... executive in charge of production (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Myers .... first assistant director (as Charles D. Myers)
W. Thomas Snyder .... second assistant director (as Tom Snyder)
Art Department
F.X. Crowley .... assistant property master (as Frances X. Crowley)
Jeffrey P. Cude .... set dresser
Sean Everett .... property assistant (as Sean E. Markland)
Jack Kostelnik .... leadman
Teresa Nielsen .... set painter
Daniel J. Nilles .... set dresser
Michelle Souza .... set dresser (as Michelle L. Souza)
J. Michael Speakman .... assistant property master
Philip Steuer .... property master
I.J. Van Perre .... construction coordinator (as I.J. Van Perre Jr.)
Sound Department
Stephen Balliet .... boom operator
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
David E. Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer (as Dave Campbell)
Gordon Daniel .... sound editor
G.W. Davis .... sound editor
Denis Dutton .... sound editor
Dan Gleich .... boom operator
John Paul Jones .... foley editor
Horace Manzanares .... assistant sound editor (as Horace Manzaneres)
Gilbert D. Marchant .... supervising sound editor
John T. Reitz .... sound re-recording mixer (as John Reitz)
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer
Edward L. Sandlin .... sound editor (as Edward Sandlin)
Richard Stewart .... assistant sound editor
Andy Wiskes .... production sound mixer
Jerry Trent .... foley artist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Douglas Cattaneo .... special effects
Allen S. Gross Jr. .... special effects
David Pier .... special effects supervisor
Visual Effects by
Bridgid O'Donnell .... restoration supervisor (uncredited)
Mickey Alzola .... stunts
Bobby Angelle .... stunts
Michael Bransfield .... stunts
Lyle Byrum .... stunts
Everett Creach .... stunt coordinator
Everett Creach .... stunts
Laurie Creach .... stunts (as Lauri Creach)
Gregg Dandridge .... stunts
Kirk Elam .... stunts (as Kirk A. Elam)
Taylor Gilbert .... stunts
Len Glascow .... stunts
Scott Howell .... stunts (as Scott A. Howell)
Eileen Lane .... stunts
Shawn Lane .... stunts (as Shawn Patrick Lane)
William T. Lane .... stunts
Tyann Means .... stunts
Eddie Mulder .... stunts
Norma Nobile .... stunts
Kristen Suzanne Raden .... stunts (as Krissy Raden)
Michael Raden .... stunts (as Mike Raden)
Don Ruffin .... stunts
Vicki Swindell .... stunts
Shirley Walker .... stunts (as Shirley A. Walker)
Tom Wright .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Sharon Alley .... second assistant camera
Anthony F. Balderrama .... first assistant camera
Gary M. Brickley .... best boy
Gregory M. Childers .... best boy grip
Greg Davies .... gaffer
Philip Holahan .... additional photographer
Barbara Lakin .... still photographer
Dennis Pope .... dolly grip
Jani Vournas .... electrical best boy
Casting Department
Terri Pappas .... extras casting
Cate Praggastis .... extras casting
Mae Williams .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Judy Feil .... costumer
Barbara Kassal .... costumer
Sue Miller .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Denise Cochran .... apprentice film editor
Marlys James .... apprentice film editor
Frank Kniest .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Jellybean Benítez .... music supervisor (as Jellybean)
Ian Eales .... music recordist
Ken Johnson .... music editor
Steve Livingston .... music editor
Timothy R. Sexton .... executive in charge of music
Daniel J. Johnson .... music editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Jon Thorgusen .... transportation captain
Randy White .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Nandi Bowe .... production assistant
Randi Lynn Braun .... titles
Jane Bucklin .... assistant: Mr. Brodek
Dulanie M. Ellis .... script supervisor (as Dulanie Ellis)
Terry Gusto .... location manager
Barbara Gutman .... assistant accountant
Doris Hellmann .... assistant production coordinator
Arlene Johnson .... assistant: Mr. Cain
Jennifer Neiman .... production accountant
Steve Scheutzow .... production assistant (as Stephen Scheutzow)
Peter Steinfeld .... physical trainer: Body by Jake
Lauren Beth Strogoff .... unit publicist
Eugene M. Texeira .... craft service (as Eugene Texeira)
Elliott S. Valderrama .... production assistant (as E.S. Valderrama)
Thomas Vranesich .... production assistant
Laurel Walter .... production coordinator
Dara Weintraub .... production assistant (as Dara L. Weintraub)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
109 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

In the movie James Belushi (Ricky Latimer) is supposed to be much older than Michael Wright (Victor Duncan). In actuality they are less than 2 years apart in age. Belushi was born in June of 1954 and Wright was born in April of 1956.See more »
Continuity: In the scene when Rick Latimer and Jake Phillips first meet, Jake takes his hat off, then in the next shot his hat is on, and finally in a third shot his hat is off again and we see him put it back on.See more »
Jake Phillips:["Screwdriver" Phillips barges into the office of a napping "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" Latimer] ... You're ever-vigilant, I see.
Rick Latimer:Where I come from, we knock.
Jake Phillips:Where *I* come from, we pick locks. With your permission, I'll replace your old rusty one with a new deadbolt. The kind only .357 Magnums can open up.
Rick Latimer:Thanks, Jake; that's real encouraging. I feel much better now.
Jake Phillips:Do you mind if I ask you a question I ask all imported principals?
[without waiting for an answer]
Jake Phillips:... What is a fine, white-bread boy like you doing in a place like this?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Unikal'noe pozdravlenie (2014)See more »
Our Own EyesSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
James Belushi is The Principal, 30 October 2000
Author: dee.reid from United States

Let me just start by saying James Belushi totally kicks a$$ as Rick Latimer, a city school teacher, who one night, after drinking a few shots of alcohol, gets a bat and smashes up the car of the lawyer who is dating his wife, who represented her at their divorce trial. For his violent actions the night before, the school board offers him to be principal at Brandel High School. The other board members just cringe at the name. Rick doesn't take the offer lightly, but he has no choice. Once he gets to the school, he discovers that the school seems more like a prison than a school. He quickly learns that Brandel is actually the end of the line for kids who have been kicked out of all the other good schools in the district. Rick is p***** at the condition of the school and calls an assembly. At the assembly, Rick announces that he will enforce a new and painfully simple rule of, "No More." Rick says,"This means no more skipping class, dealing drugs, or whatever the hell it is you've been majoring in here, No More!" He is able to enforce this rule by forming a mediocre security team with the help of a janitor (Louis Gossett, Jr.) to help bring back order to the school. However, this does not look good in the eyes of Victor, a drug dealer who has set up in the school. He begins making threats to Rick, telling to get out of the school while he still has a chance.

James Belushi is what makes this movie worth watching. He's made this movie what it is. He cracks a few occasional jokes and does this well. I think The Principal started the whole teacher vs. inner city school generation of films. Similar films like Dangerous Minds (1995), The Substitute (1996), 187 (1997), and High School High (1996), but The Principal, I think is the one that started it all. I give The Principal a 10/10 for being original and James Belushi.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (53 total) »

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Where's the rest of the security staff? jeremynicholsv1
we need a hardcore remake campblood1981
James Belushi matthewhwolf
whats that song bb3raver
Song at the begining of the movie in the school Lespaul2891
The Principal MikeTuinstra
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