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There are many films about teachers breaking through to tough students. Many are trite, sappy and formula-written. This is one of the few truly powerful films in this genre. Every member of the cast gives an incredible performance. This is particularly true of the students. Adult writers in this genre usually fail to write convincing adolescent dialogue, but the students in this film talked and acted quite convincingly. The role of the teacher was not glorified, but treated as a regular human being who was doing his best to do something good, sometimes in the right way and sometimes in the wrong way. The race subplot was powerful, but not too preachy. In short, this was an excellent and inspiring story of teachers and students overcoming their shortcomings and being the best that they could be. A stunning and vastly underrated film.
I really enjoyed this movie. I was watching it on PBS one late night. I am really glad that PBS endorses this film. It is such an influence for kids to do well in school. I hope that it influences teachers to be more supportive and teach better, although I don't have much faith anymore in our broken school systems nowadays. But I still believe in HOPE! I, personally, am not a minority, but you just really hoped the best for the kids in this film. Watching this film, you really get on their side and you really want them to do well. They all have their ups and downs and their home lives are not perfect. The role of Edward James Olmos as Kimo is simply unforgettable. You really admire how Kimo sticks by his kids 100 percent. Teachers like that are so rare. I hope there are teachers like that to pass the torch down to other teachers in the next generation. I look forward to seeing this movie again!
This film is excellent. It details the struggles of inner city Latinos and their pursuit of excellence. The movie is based on a true story and is about a teacher, Jaime Escalante, and his class of high school math students in a predominantly Latino area of Los Angeles. I am a Latino from New York City and can relate to the struggles of these students. "Stand and Deliver " inspired me when I was struggling through college and continues to inspire me now.
"Stand and Deliver" is a strong film which is based on a true story. Edward James Olmos received an Oscar nomination as Jaime Escalante, a man who has decided to teach in a Los Angeles school after quitting a high-paying technological job. Escalante is a man who could be described as a "Patton of the classroom". He will do anything and everything to teach his Hispanic students the complicated mathematics of Calculus so they can pass a test which will give them college credit. This is Olmos' show all the way. He proved to be a dominant actor here and it is he who makes the film believable and overall exceptional. The supporting cast is good, led by a young Lou Diamond Phillips. A solid screenplay and smart direction make "Stand and Deliver" a forgotten winner from the 1980s. 4 stars out of 5.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Stand And Deliver deals with a lot of inner city kids who have grown up in a
bad neighborhood and who all have dismal outlooks for the future. Edward
James Olmos delivers the performance of his career as Jaime Esclante, the
math teacher who comes to this school determined to teach these kids
calculus and have them succeed in school to inspire them to improve the rest
of their lives. The rest of the staff at Garfield High School has just as
little faith in him and his efforts as they do in the rest of the school,
and the film is also able to remain even more interesting because it deals
with the lives of the kids outside of the school as well as in the
Because the film presents such a realistic image of inner city life, we are completely engrossed with the atmosphere and the efforts of Mr. Escalante to teach these kids advanced mathematics, when many times they don't even want to put forth the effort themselves. There have been many films made about students with little to no potential showing that they are capable of being educated, and Stand and Deliver ran a huge risk of being repetitive when it was released, but it manages to cover new ground because it deals with so many different levels of the lives of the kids and the efforts of the teacher to teach them. The film is able to revolve not just around the kids trying to learn or the teacher trying to teach them, but around both of these things as well as around the daily lives of the students and the teacher and even the health and relationship of Mr. Escalante with his wife.
We are introduced to a variety of fascinating and memorable characters in this film, particularly in Mr. Escalante, played brilliantly by Edward James Olmos, and especially Angel, played by Lou Diamond Phillips (who, by the way, can be seen at his desk on the cover of the movie, but can't be seen on the IMDb's top billed list of cast on the Stand and Deliver page). The movie has the perfect amount of comic relief that is genuinely amusing but that doesn't take away from the overall appeal and seriousness of the movie.
I can't say that there were no scenes within the film that were dramatized for effect, thereby illustrating the influences of Hollywood on the film, but even these scenes did not take away enough from the total value of the movie and the story that it presents to tarnish the real life accomplishments of Jaime Escalante, his calculus class, and the many students thereafter at Garfield High School that managed to pass the same test that we saw in this movie. This is wonderful entertainment for the entire family, don't miss it!
Back when I was the age of these kids that Jaime Escalante taught I
wish I had a math teacher who could have made it as interesting and
challenging as he did for the barrio kids he taught in East Los
Angeles's Garfield High School.
Stand and Deliver is one of the best films of the Eighties and one of the most inspiring I've ever seen. Anyone who could get kids fired up about algebra and calculus as Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante did has my undying respect.
Olmos is one of those rare teachers whose very presence in the lives of his students makes them change. So many I had back in the day were just time serving bureaucrats, little better than clerks who took attendance. Of course I had some good ones too, but not in mathematics, I was kind of hopeless in that subject.
But something that I didn't realize about math then, but that Olmos says and Stand and Deliver emphasizes is that math is the great equalizer. There's no cultural bias in math, no interpretative spins on it, you either know it and do it or you don't. It does help to develop the gray cells, no doubt about it.
The Mexican-American kids he teaches in Garfield High School have it in their minds they'll be filling station attendants, fast food cooks, or day laborers, striving for better is not something they think about. More than teaching them math skills, we are shown how Olmos makes them believe in themselves and their potential. It's certainly a better life lesson than anything else. I doubt any of Escalante's kids at parties do quadratic equations for entertainment.
Lou Diamond Phillips has a supporting role in this film which was made earlier than his breakout role in La Bamba, but released later. Of course his billing was adjusted as befit his new star status. He's very good as the kid who makes a deal with Olmos for three textbooks, one for home, one for class, and one for his locker just so his image among his home boys is kept secure. After all as Olmos says, we wouldn't want anyone to get the idea you're really smart.
Rosanna DeSoto who was LDP's mother in La Bamba is Olmos's wife in Stand and Deliver, loyal and supportive. Other good performances are from Carmen Argenziano as Olmos's supportive school principal and of the kids besides Phillips, you will love young Vanessa Marquez.
Andy Garcia and Rif Hutton play a couple of educators from the Educational Testing Service, read Standardized Aptitude Test (SAT) who can't quite believe what Olmos has accomplished with these barrio kids. Has to be something wrong here. You have to see the film to see what comes out of their questioning Olmos's competence and integrity.
Edward James Olmos was nominated for Best Actor in 1988. Unfortunately he was up against a singularly unique performance by Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. The real Jaime Escalante no longer teaches in the USA. A few years ago Escalante went back to Bolivia to give back a little to the people from where he came. That's entirely in keeping with the character of this man that Stand and Deliver tells the story of.
One of the most inspirational films ever made, don't ever miss it when broadcast.
One of my favorite films of all time ... a worthwhile story with many outstanding performances. The journey these kids and their teacher takes is extraordinary and inspiring. It is also thrilling to see a rare film that treats Hispanic-Americans with respect and dignity while examining serious topics. A must see!
Based on a true story Stand and Deliver was written by Ramón Menéndez and
Tom Musca, and directed by Ramón Menéndez. I wish there were more movies
made by minorities showing their own perception of life. I especially
that this movie was a triumph because the directors, the actors, are
The story is well told and is sad and shows the urban life of students in
Los Angeles. I must say that I take my hat off to any teacher, especially
those in the inner city. I would never have the patience to deal with
teenagers at all, regardless of race, religion, etc. It is a hard age
the kids think that they are invincible.
The teacher "Edward James Olmos" Jaime Escalante, did a wonderful job with
those students, as Jaime Escalante did a good job teaching. He was
for several awards.
The most unfair thing is to think that just because those kids were poor
they could not excel and had to take the same exam twice. What a system is
this? I loved the fact that Mr. Olmos expected more from the students than
mediocrity and they lived up to his expectations.
Favorite Scenes: When the students passed the second test. Unfortunately I
think that there were instances in American history that certain minority
groups would not had even the chance to go to school, much less to have a
second chance to prove how good they are.
Favorite Quotes: Edward James Olmos: Claudia: "You're worried that we'll
screw up big tomorrow, aren't you?" Edward James Olmos: "Tomorrow's
day. I'm worried you're gonna screw up the rest of your lives." Edward
James Olmos: "Tough guys don't do math. Tough guys fry chicken for a
living!" Edward James Olmos: "They learned that if you try really hard
nothing changes." We don't live in a perfect world. I recommend this
although I found it somewhat sad, because it is very realistic. But
is not always pleasant.
I know, there are a million movies made like this. The story about a
teacher handling tough students has been told quite some times.
"Dangerous Minds", To Sir, With Love", "The Substitute"-movies, "The
Principal",... The stories often look a lot like each other and "Stand
and Deliver" isn't any different, but that doesn't bother. This is a
I don't know if Edward James Olmos' Academy Award nomination was a big surprise at the Oscars or if his performance was indeed one of the 5 best performances of 1988, but I can only confirm that he gave a great performance. Funny, smart and touching as well. I think all the students were great as well, even so I didn't knew any of them, except from Lou Diamond Philips of course.
"Stand and Deliver" might not be the most original movie ever made, but that doesn't change the fact that it's highly enjoyable to watch. The story is good and the performances are great. Nor melodramatic, neither comic, just excellent Saturday night entertainment without being cheap. Worth watching!
STAND AND DELIVER in my opinion, is an outstanding biopic about one of the bravest teachers of all time. The performances were smashing, the soundtrack was great, and the casting was just right. Anyway, if you ask me, it was brave of Jamie (Edward James Olmos) to get his class to learn the way he did. I would probably do the same thing if I were in his shoes. This would be especially true if they were accused of cheating when they hadn't. In conclusion, if you are a die-hard fan of Edward James Olmos, I heartily recommend this outstanding biopic about one of the bravest teachers of all time. You're in for a real treat and a good time, so don't miss this one.
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