The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school that he is determined to improve.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Alan North ...
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Sandra Reaves-Phillips ...
Sloane Shelton ...
Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins ...
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Kaneesha Carter
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Maria
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Mrs. Santos
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Mrs. Carter
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Storyline

An arrogant and unorthodox teacher returns as principal to the idyllic high school from which he had earlier been fired to find it a den of drug abuse, gang violence, and urban despair. Eventually his successful but unorthodox methods lead to a clash with city officials that threatens to undo all his efforts. Based on a true story. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Eastside High was out of control...until Joe Clark took it back. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apóyate en mi  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$31,906,454 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the auditorium scene where Morgan Freeman's character expels the students on stage, a young Michael Imperioli of The Sopranos (1999) can be seen behind him. See more »

Goofs

When the superintendent is discussing who to hire as the principal with the Mayor, the Mayor asks "What was last year's score?". The Superintendent answers "38%". Later, when Joe leaves the stage after expelling the bad students, there is a chart that shows that last year's score was 30%. See more »

Quotes

[after refusing admittance to the Fire Chief]
Joe Clark: You know what he's saying right now? "Black bastard can't throw me out!" You know where he's saying it? Out in the parking lot.
See more »

Connections

References Batman (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

LEAN ON ME
Performed by Thelma Houston and The Winans
Produced by Richard Perry
Courtesy of Qwest Records
Written by Bill Withers
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User Reviews

Morgan Freeman Dominates the Action From Start to Finish
25 November 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Good film about a high school principal in New Jersey (Morgan Freeman) who will stop at nothing to make the school the best it can be. This film is based on a true story, but it never does come through as well as it could have. Freeman dominates the action, but everyone else just seems to be going through the motions. A few people have their moments, but Freeman's dynamite performance overshadows everyone else. These are both the strong and weak points of "Lean on Me". John G. Avildsen once again proves that he has trouble with his direction. The screenplay though is the real culprit, as it is just not as smart and intriguing as it could have been. 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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