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School Ties (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  18 September 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 16,796 users  
Reviews: 77 user | 21 critic

Set in the 1950s, a star-quarterback is given an opportunity to attend an elite preparatory school but must conceal the fact that he is Jewish.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrew Lowery ...
'Mack' McGivern
Jack Connors
Richard 'McGoo' Collins
Sally Wheeler
Peter Donat ...
Headmaster Dr. Bartram
Mr. Cleary
Coach McDevitt
Michael Higgins ...
Mr. Gierasch
Alan Greene


David Green is brought into a prestigious 1950s school to help their football team to beat the school's old rivals. David, however, is from a working class background, so he isn't really "one of them", but he's very successful at making friends. David is a Jew, and has to keep this a secret from his friends for fear of being rejected. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Just Because You're Accepted Doesn't Mean You Belong.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

18 September 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broderskabets bånd  »

Box Office


$14,715,067 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Cole Hauser also appeared in Good Will Hunting together. See more »


In the coal mine scene (when David picks up his father) while they're waiting for the train to go by, you can see that several cars are marked for railroads (Penn Central, Conrail) that didn't exist in the late 1950s. See more »


[first lines]
Joyce: Davey! Davey you're here.
[big hug]
Jack Connors: He's not going off to war, only Massachusetts, huh?
See more »


Spoofed in Living with Fran: School Ties (2007) See more »


Earth Angel
Written by Curtis Williams, Jesse Belvin and Gaynel Hodge, incorrectly credited to Dootsie Williams (the song's producer_
See more »

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User Reviews

More thoughtful than preachy.
26 October 2009 | by (Omaha, NE USA) – See all my reviews

What is it about Jews that so many people hate them? From as far back as the Old Testament, to the weekly ramblings of Pat Buchanan and the fanatical Iranian president, Jews just can't seem to catch a break. What is it they've done that's so bad? They murdered Jesus, did they? And the Romans had nothing to do with that?

Anyway, this is a better film than I expected. Not only does it give us an interesting protagonist, but it allows us to feel like the outsider he is when he arrives at the elite prep school. Regardless of their religion, few people ever get a chance to attend such a ritzy school. Brendan Fraser plays David Green, a working-class Jewish kid who gets a football scholarship to St. Matthews for his senior year. The school is filled with smart and athletic young men destined for Ivy League schools and eventual seats at the head table of our society. The other boys David quickly befriends are played by a who's who of young acting talent just before they became huge stars. Chris O'Donnell, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck are all on display. Matt Damon's Charlie Dillion character is a real jerk. All the guys crack little Jewish jokes here and there, but once Damon learns the new kid's secret. He cranks the Anti-semitism level to really ugly levels.

Luckily for these guys, David Green knows that he has a great chance of getting into Harvard if he just ignores their jokes as long as they don't find out he's a Jew. Green is a tough kid who's had to fight for everything he has, and he could easily beat the snot out of any of them. Once the secret is out, the boys he thought were his new friends suddenly become either indifferent to him, or his enemies. The new girlfriend from a nearby school who adored him also turns her back once she learns his religion. The film could have stopped there and just been a pro-tolerance kind of exercise, but luckily there are other things going on. One of the boys is caught cheating, but the faculty doesn't know who. Unless the boy comes forward, the entire history class will be flunked for breaking the honor code. Green becomes a suspect because he initially hid his religious identity. Will he to take a fall for the guy who cheated?? The film is thoughtful and has interesting characters where it could have just given us closed-minded bigots. Even though we know these guys are ant-Semites, we at least see them as real people with complex problems and motivations of their own. The film boasts some beautiful and realistic locations in most scenes. There are some subplots not fully motivated or fleshed out. What exactly happens to the boy who bolts from his French exam? What became of him after his nervous breakdown? And why did this film feel the need to recylce a gag from the movie Real Genius about putting an intellectual's car inside his dorm room?? Still a very good movie that might make you think twice about cracking ethnic jokes around people you don't know that well. 8 of 10 stars.

The Hound.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Did Charlie Dillon deserve to get expelled? Ernest_Hero
McGivern's breakdown (some questions) Ernest_Hero
How was David found by the St. Matthew's school? kiwiboris
Handwriting match? jtsegal
Did Dillon's family know about David all along? kiwiboris
Class Prejudice kiwiboris
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