When Rickey and his friends put a snake in the desk of the new substitute teacher, to their surprise, she lovingly picks it up and puts it around her neck. Soon her strange stories of the ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nico Hughes ...
Edward O'Connor ...
Virgilio Martí ...
Old Man (as Virgilio Marti)
Paul Stolarsky ...
Mr. Hibler
Hamadi Izzard ...
Hassan Izzard ...
Edna Harris ...
Carol Jean Lewis ...
Mrs. Harris
Ophelia Gonzalez ...
Sully Diaz ...
Lupe (Mom)
Aurelio Padrón ...
Domingo (as Aurelio Padron)
Eduardo Calderon Jr. ...
Kira Delgado ...


When Rickey and his friends put a snake in the desk of the new substitute teacher, to their surprise, she lovingly picks it up and puts it around her neck. Soon her strange stories of the wonders and beauty of the world around them helps them to see there is more to life than ever imagined. Written by thedigitalcellulidstore

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User Reviews

A memorable, thought-provoking film especially for students, teachers...and angels.
10 January 2001 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

This one-hour made-for-TV movie was a part of the Wonderworks series and stars Amanda Plummer and Alexis Cruz. Its theme is that one's ordinary life is surrounded by magic, usually overlooked. A belief that magic exists in daily life and a desire to reach out to it are all that are necessary to transform one's life.

Things are excruciatingly boring and painful in the lives of a class of predominately Hispanic inner city middle school students when Miss Ferenczi, an "angel" (Amanda Plummer), appears one day as the substitute teacher. She seems to be an aging hippie or New Age eccentric. The students don't know what to make of her. Her doctrine is that the students must expand their minds, reach out and up to a new level of thinking and perceiving. The highly artistic and sensitive Ricky (Alexis Cruz) is able to capture her meaning, but his new level of awareness puts him in conflict with other classmates who see him as selling out to the teacher. In a stroke of insight, Ricky organizes the class to spray paint the back of the school building with a fantasized Gryphon he created--with Miss Ferenczi's blessing (and the principal's consternation). To Ricky, the Gryphon represents the validation of Miss Ferenczi's teachings. In mythology, the Gryphon--a lion with the head of an eagle--guards over treasure. Society's treasure may be considered its children, over whose school Ricky's Gryphon guards, protecting their youthful vision of beauty and of other worlds to conquer. Miss Ferenczi's last comment: "Remember, angels hide their wings on Earth."

I give this movie a rating of "7" out of "10" because of uninspired production values (probably due to a low budget) and to the fact that it was directed toward middle school children. This latter fact is reflected in the dialogue, the lack of depth in characterization, the facile plot, and the cartoonish presentation of the regular teacher. However, the film was based on a very interesting premise and was memorable. It could be summarized in one word: "thought-provoking". It would be especially valuable to Hispanics, students and teachers...as well as angels.

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