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Thicker Than Blood (1998)

TV Movie  -  Drama  -  31 May 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 298 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

Griffin Byrne is the idealistic new history, English and maths teacher in Father Frank Larkin's school in a mainly Latino ghetto neighborhood where most kids, even many of its graduates, ... See full summary »



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Title: Thicker Than Blood (TV Movie 1998)

Thicker Than Blood (TV Movie 1998) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Griffin Byrne
Lee Cortez
Camilla Lopez
Brandon Segarra ...
Travis Delingua ...
Agustin Rodriguez ...
Floyd Resnick ...
Lanisha Mora ...
Camilla's kid


Griffin Byrne is the idealistic new history, English and maths teacher in Father Frank Larkin's school in a mainly Latino ghetto neighborhood where most kids, even many of its graduates, end up in crime and poverty. He takes a particular interest in one of the boys nobody believes will ever come to anything, Lee Cortes, who he finds to be a prodigy in cartoon drawing but who never spoke a word at school, and always wears a Walkman, essentially because of his home situation: his elder brother Tyro, a drug dealer, abuses him and his mother, so he often stays home to mind the smallest siblings. Griffin tries everything to help Lee, despite everyones cynicism, even takes him in his bachelor flat, but finds the whole family situation must be solved, which is probably beyond his power, yet tries tireless, even if he gets nothing but abuse and the results seem to do more hurting then helping... Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

school | based on play





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Release Date:

31 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stand Up Tragedy  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

dying in vain
18 July 2010 | by (Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

In a lot of ways - at least the most important ones - this film takes the whole "teacher saves student" genre and gives it some actual life and intelligence. There's is a certain measure of self-awareness to how the script subverts the old clichés, making sure that it takes the opposite expected approach at key moments. In the end, this doesn't make it more realistic, just more different. At one point, the main character watches a portion of "Stand and Deliver", which is, interestingly, more raw and realistic than this film.

There's a kind of episodic approach to "Thicker Than Blood". It ends up feeling a little bit like an entire television season condensed to a single film. I believe that this takes away from the overall story. We're left without a lot of connecting tissue to keep it together. The emotional crescendo that finally rounds out the film loses some of it's punch because we're robbed of the quiet moments in the getting there.

But there are several good points. Richard Pearce works well with his actors, as he nearly always does. Working within a fairly standard script, he pulls an extra unexpected bit out of them in the process. The actors themselves are believable, which is a plus. Without the on-screen chemistry of Dan Futterman and Carlo Alban, there'd be little else to hold it all together. Alban, especially, has a kind of painful real life quality to him. If this type of story is your sort, it's up there with films like "Up the Down Staircase", "Stand and Deliver" and the "Boston Public" series. If it isn't, you might still get a little something from the experience.

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