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Killing Mr. Griffin (1997)

PG-13 | | Thriller, Drama | TV Movie 7 April 1997
The high school students didn't mean to kill Mr. Griffin. They wanted to make him suffer. But when their mean English teacher turns up dead, they have to find out who killed them before the... See full summary »



(novel), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Kinney
Susan McConnell
Dave Ruggles
Jennifer Hammon ...
Bree Gunderson
Mindy Spence ...
Candice Lee
Cordelia Richards ...
Kathy Griffin
Mr. Griffin
Janet McConnell
Vince McConnell
James McDonnell ...
Willy Kinney
Rhonda Dotson ...
Dolly Luna
Nicholas McConnell


The high school students didn't mean to kill Mr. Griffin. They wanted to make him suffer. But when their mean English teacher turns up dead, they have to find out who killed them before the police arrests them all. Written by Adam Hakari <spotlite@disocver-net.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's only one way to make the grade...


Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 April 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Prise d'otage sanglante  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The outside scenes of the high school and the quad/lunch area were filmed at Calabasas High School in Calabasas, California ... real juniors and seniors from the school were used as extras (volunteer) on a Saturday and Sunday during the filming ... See more »


When Susan and Dave are talking after rock climbing, Dave's cup changes from his right hand to his left, and back again, between shots. See more »


References The Net (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Adequate, but read the book instead
8 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

Poor Lois Duncan. She's written many good-to-excellent thrillers aimed at the teen set, but their video adaptations almost never do them justice. "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was turned into a teen slasher flick; "Gallows Hill" was butchered into "I've Been Waiting for You", and "Don't Look Behind You" (one of Duncan's best, about a girl whose family enters Witness Relocation) was turned into a vehicle for "Dallas" has-been Patrick Duffy! Only "Summer of Fear", aka "Stranger in Our House", managed to survive intact (though you still have to put up with the dog/horse plot switch, as well as Linda Blair's scary perm).

The "Killing Mr. Griffin" movie, sad to say, is a middling effort, not at all worthy of the excellent source material. Most of the characters survive the transition to the screen, but are watered down and robbed of their distinctive traits. Mr. Griffin himself, a well-meaning guy who has trouble relating to kids in the book, is simply a jerk here. But worse is what happens to Mark Kinney. In the book, it is slowly and frighteningly revealed that Mark is actually a sociopath, whose history of violence and ability bend the group to his will is even more troubling than what happens to Mr. Griffin. But in the movie, Mark is just another troubled kid who is reacting to the pressure his parents have put on him to succeed. Too bad, because his original incarnation is much, much scarier.

If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it, as well as the other books I've mentioned above. It would be a much better use of your time.

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