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Lean on Me (1989)

 -  Drama  -  3 March 1989 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 13,164 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 11 critic

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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Title: Lean on Me (1989)

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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:

A true story about a real hero. 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:

 »

Box Office

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 one scene (while holding a baseball bat), Morgan Freeman says "They used to call me Crazy Joe. Well now they can call me Batman!" Years later Freeman would play the character of Lucius Fox, ally to Batman, in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. See more »

Goofs

Maria's hair between shots when Clark is somewhat berating Mrs. Powers over the way she taught the school song to the "song birds". See more »

Quotes

Ms. Levias: [as Mr. Clark is walking down a hallway, she is running up to him] Mr. Clark!
Joe Clark: Yes, Ms. Levias?
Ms. Levias: May I talk to you for a minute please?
Joe Clark: What is it?
Ms. Levias: I want you to transfer me.
Joe Clark: To where?
Ms. Levias: Out of here!
Joe Clark: You know, this doesn't surprise me one bit, Ms. Levias. I have sensed resistance in you since our very first meeting.
Ms. Levias: You're an egomaniacal windbag
Joe Clark: Who are you talking to?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.57 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

YOU ARE THE ONE
Performed by T.K.A. (as TKA)
Produced by Tony Moran and Joey Gardner
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Records
Written by Keath Lowry (as K. Lowery) and David Gaskins (as D. Gaskins)
See more »

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User Reviews

Great acting, so-so script
30 April 2001 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Morgan Freeman's performance is the real reason to see this film. He's helped by a solid supporting cast, leading to some truly memorable scenes as principal Joe Clark (Freeman) battles teachers, parents, and administrators who are outraged by his controversial methods.

But this film deserved a grittier treatment than what it was given. The script is an awkward blend of inner-city drama with feel-good heroics. The subplot about the basic skills test should have been scrapped. First of all, it never happened in real life. But more importantly, it changed the entire tone of the film. Clark's story was about how he disciplined a school, not how he educated it. The softened approach leaves LEAN ON ME at odds with itself - it tries to be like STAND AND DELIVER, when it should have been like THE PRINCIPAL.






5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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How Could Joe Clark Expel 300 Students? leighabc123
Joe Clarke's previous school ben-1047
Clark was too much of a sour a-hole oscarflix
Firing of Mrs. Elliott Staceyjj3
things a principal can't do gfnoyes
Morgan Freeman: Great actor jwpostman
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