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Good film, flawed, but good.
I saw this movie again recently and even though it was exaggerated a little, I thought it was pretty good. I went to both public and private schools in the 70s-80s and saw many of the same sort of teachers and administration in both types of school. I had teachers who didn't care, who just couldn't teach, and those who actually did try to engage the students and do a good job, and all of those types, although exaggerated a little, are portrayed here. I've also seen clueless principals who just hid out in their offices all day and were in their car driving away 5 minutes before the final bell rang.
Around the time the movie was released, I read a news story about a girl who was valedictorian of her school, in the National Honors Society, but flunked out of college due to being unable to read because of dyslexia and she ended up suing her school.
This wasn't clearly the case in the film, but should a student who can't perform to a minimum academic standard or doesn't even show up for class and turn in work still pass and get a diploma?
The fact the school was more concerned with with its image than with addressing the issue is something I also saw in school growing up and even now. In my area recently, a local doctor sued his son's former school over unrefunded tuition money. He claimed his son was bullied there for a couple of years and complaints and meetings with school officials didn't help, so he enrolled his son elsewhere. When he unenrolled his son, the school would only refund the unused portion of tuition if the father signed a confidentiality agreement stating he wouldn't discuss what went on there. Sound familiar?
Although a bit over the top, Teachers is an example of what went on, and probably still goes on, in schools and is worth seeing.
A lot of talent went to waste
I hadn't thought about this film for a long time until my wife brought home a special edition Bee Gees DVD which included their "One Night Only" concert and a documentary about the band. In an interview segment, one of them talked about how they were offered the chance to do this film and thought it sounded good but a few weeks into it they wanted out! This made me want to look it up on IMDb.
My older sister went to see this movie in 1978 and owned the soundtrack and for some reason, always raved about how great they were! At the same time, I also remember hearing a radio news story about how some stores had pulled the soundtrack album from the shelves because they weren't selling.
I had a friend who also saw this film and when that friend came by the house to see me, they'd end up hanging out together listening to the Sgt. Pepper soundtrack instead of my music, with both of them often condemning my musical tastes. One day I decided to do something and made some tapes of Beatles albums my brother had, so my friend might prefer hanging out with me and my music instead of her music.
She brought in that album and said something along the lines of "want to listen to some good music now?" with my friend responding "Yes." When I pointed what I had was the Beatles my friend responded "Not your kind of Beatles, her kind of Beatles," which made no sense to me because that soundtrack wasn't even the actual Beatles! A few years later, I saw the movie was coming on TV and thought I'd give it a chance, since it had some very talented people in it. It was to put it mildly, terrible. I couldn't believe my sister and friend thought it was so great. Most of the covers of the Beatles' songs were horrible and I still don't understand why my friend and sister preferred this over the originals. Aerosmith's "Come Together" was pretty good I'll admit, and it still gets played on classic rock stations today. I'm not against singers doing covers of older songs, but at least do good covers of them. I sat through the whole film that one time it was on TV and don't ever plan to do that again. A year or so later, I was switching channels and saw it on TV again. I just moved to the next channel.
It's a shame this movie was so bad because the producers of this film had some great talent at their disposal. In spite of all that talent, all they could turn out was this piece of rubbish.