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Scandal in a Small Town (1988)

Leda Beth Vincent lives in the small town of Shiloh and works as a cocktail waitress there. She is not too well thought of as she is nothing of a blushing virgin. But she is far from a ... See full summary »

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(as Robert Avrech)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Leda Beth Vincent
Christa Denton ...
Julie Vincent
...
Gwendolyn
...
History professor Paul Martin
...
George Baker
...
Glenn
Ray Girardin ...
Don
...
Jeremy Travis
Arell Blanton ...
Jud
Katherine McGrath ...
Verna
Laurence Haddon ...
Judge Larson
Helen Page Camp ...
Mrs. Bragston
...
Keith Ritter
Harold Pruett ...
Michael Bishop (as Harold P. Pruett)
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Storyline

Leda Beth Vincent lives in the small town of Shiloh and works as a cocktail waitress there. She is not too well thought of as she is nothing of a blushing virgin. But she is far from a whore and brings up her daughter Julie, a high school student, as a loving responsible mother. So, when she becomes aware that Julie's very popular history teacher, Mr Baker, spreads anti-Semitic, racist ideas among his pupils, Leda Beth decides to ask Mr Baker for an explanation. But she comes up against a wall. Nobody in town - Julie less than all others - wants to support her and it looks as if she will have to bring the Board of Education to court. The trouble is that a school dropout and a tramp of her kind does not count for much compared to the holders of knowledge and of morality. Written by Guy Bellinger

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Drama

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Release Date:

10 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Education of Leda Beth Vincent  »

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Technical Specs

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raquel Welch and her on-screen daughter argue and Welch slaps her across the face; after several takes, the producer noticed that Welch, a mother in real life, was looking troubled and said to her, "This must be a really tough scene for you, huh?" Welch replied, "Ohh, it is! My hand is killing me!" See more »

Soundtracks

Original Music played in Scottie's Tavern composed by 3 Sons Music Group
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User Reviews

 
TV Movie with a Message
11 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

This movie is about the confrontation between a waitress (Raquel Welch) and a high-school history teacher: the waitress is not happy with the teacher instilling antisemitic conspiracy theories into the mind of her daughter (and the minds of her classmates). The final scene is in court, but much of the drama comes from the fact that popular opinion is more favorable to high-school teachers than to waitresses; and, in a small town, it is not good to have popular opinion against you.

It is easy to see that this movie was made for TV. The plot is not too bad, but the acting is less than impressive. Given these limitations, it might seem extravagant to compare this movie to High Noon, but some of the themes are there: a small town, a woman with a reputation for easy morals, and a person who stands for what is right even when everybody else wants to keep it quiet. The fact that it is the woman of easy morals who stands for what is right, is an interesting twist.

However, the main point of interest for me were the classroom scenes. It was fascinating to see how the teacher cajoles the students to look at history the way he sees it (that is, as the unfolding of a vast Jewish conspiracy). What really stuck in my mind was the teacher saying that history is about discovering patterns. In a sense, he was right: without looking for patterns, history is just one fact after another. And yet, we can find any pattern we like in history; that is to say, we can use history to justify any prejudice that we have. This is a dilemma that will keep me thinking, and that is more than I normally expect from a TV movie.


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