Movies involving Portrayals of Real Life Teachers

by zzzorf | created - 06 Mar 2017 | updated - 06 Mar 2017 | Public

The movies in this list all have one thing in common, they are movies that have one or more of their characters based on a real life teacher/mentor/instructor etc.

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1. Gridiron Gang (2006)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

52 Metascore

Teenagers at a juvenile detention center, under the leadership of their counselor, gain self-esteem by playing football together.

Director: Phil Joanou | Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell, Leon Rippy

Votes: 42,520 | Gross: $38.43M

Sean Porter, Kilpatrick Mustangs, coach and prison guard

2. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Unrated | 114 min | Drama, Romance

An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin | Stars: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills

Votes: 9,088

W. H. Balgarnie, inspiration for Mr Chippin

3. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)

G | 155 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

A shy, withdrawn English schoolteacher falls for a flashy showgirl.

Director: Herbert Ross | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave, George Baker

Votes: 2,893

W. H. Balgarnie, inspiration for Mr Chippin

4. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (2002 TV Movie)

99 min | Drama

In the later years of the nineteenth century Latin master Mr. Chipping is the mainstay of Brookfields boys boarding school, a good teacher and a kindly person but he is considered to be ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Orme | Stars: Martin Clunes, Victoria Hamilton, Conleth Hill, John Wood

Votes: 703

W. H. Balgarnie, inspiration for Mr Chippin

5. Beyond the Blackboard (2011 TV Movie)

PG | 95 min | Drama, Family

A 24-year-old first-time teacher overcomes her initial fears and prejudices and makes a difference in the lives of the homeless children she teaches in a shelter's makeshift classroom.

Director: Jeff Bleckner | Stars: Emily VanCamp, Steve Talley, Timothy Busfield, Julio Oscar Mechoso

Votes: 1,821

Stacey Bess

6. Remember the Titans (2000)

PG | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

48 Metascore

The true story of a newly appointed African-American coach and his high school team on their first season as a racially integrated unit.

Director: Boaz Yakin | Stars: Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris, Ryan Hurst

Votes: 186,216 | Gross: $115.65M

Herman Boone and Bill Yoast, high school football coaches

7. Up the Down Staircase (1967)

Approved | 124 min | Drama

The experiences of a young female English teacher in an inner-city New York high school.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Patrick Bedford, Sandy Dennis, Eileen Heckart, Ruth White

Votes: 1,713

Sylvia Barrett, new teacher at a New York City high school

8. Without Limits (1998)

PG-13 | 117 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

The life of renowned runner Steve Prefontaine and his relationship with legendary coach Bill Bowerman.

Director: Robert Towne | Stars: Billy Crudup, Donald Sutherland, Monica Potter, Jeremy Sisto

Votes: 6,335 | Gross: $0.78M

Bill Bowerman, track and field coach

9. To Sir, with Love (1967)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

55 Metascore

Idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End.

Director: James Clavell | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, Christian Roberts, Suzy Kendall

Votes: 14,469 | Gross: $42.43M

E. R. Braithwaite, British secondary school teacher and visiting professor at Manchester Community College

10. Miracle on Ice (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 150 min | Drama, Sport

A fact-based story of how the U.S. Olympic hockey team beat the Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid, New York Winter Olympics, then went on to win the gold medal.

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern | Stars: Karl Malden, Andrew Stevens, Steve Guttenberg, Jerry Houser

Votes: 489

Herb Brooks, hockey coach

11. Miracle (2004)

PG | 135 min | Biography, Drama, History

68 Metascore

The true story of Herb Brooks, the player-turned-coach who led the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team to victory over the seemingly invincible Russian squad.

Director: Gavin O'Connor | Stars: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Nathan West, Noah Emmerich

Votes: 43,803 | Gross: $64.38M

Herb Brooks, hockey coach

12. The Junction Boys (2002 TV Movie)

93 min | Drama, Sport

Story of Bear Bryant's first summer as head football coach at Texas A&M. Bear takes his charges out onto the scorched plains and sees who survives.

Director: Mike Robe | Stars: Tom Berenger, Bernard Curry, Fletcher Humphrys, Ryan Kwanten

Votes: 862

Paul "Bear" Bryant, American football coach

13. Coach Carter (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

57 Metascore

Controversy surrounds high school basketball coach Ken Carter after he benches his entire team for breaking their academic contract with him.

Director: Thomas Carter | Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Rick Gonzalez, Robert Ri'chard, Rob Brown

Votes: 114,005 | Gross: $67.26M

Ken Carter, education activist and former high school basketball coach

14. Racing for Time (2008 TV Movie)

TV-14 | 86 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

From Emmy-winning director and actor Charles S. Dutton, comes the true story of a guard (Dutton) at a Teen Correctional Facility-- who saw the cycle of destructive choices and racial ... See full summary »

Director: Charles S. Dutton | Stars: Charles S. Dutton, Yaya DaCosta, Zulay Henao, Alessandra Ford Balazs

Votes: 222

Noel Chestnut, track team coach and prison guard

15. Lean on Me (1989)

PG-13 | 108 min | Drama

58 Metascore

The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school and he is determined to improve by any and all means.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd, Robert Guillaume, Alan North

Votes: 16,952 | Gross: $31.91M

Joe Louis Clark, high school principal

16. The Ron Clark Story (2006 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 90 min | Biography, Drama

A small-town teacher relocates to one of the toughest classrooms in the country.

Director: Randa Haines | Stars: Matthew Perry, Judith Buchan, Griffin Cork, Jerry Callaghan

Votes: 8,822

Ron Clark

17. The Marva Collins Story (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Biography, Drama

This movie can inspire you to overcome whatever obstacles you have, when you see how Marva Collins overcame the obstacles, financial and otherwise, in opening her own School in her home. ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Levin | Stars: Cicely Tyson, Morgan Freeman, Rodrick F. Wimberly, Mashaune Hardy

Votes: 209

Marva Collins, American educator who in 1975 started Westside Preparatory School in the impoverished Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago

18. Conrack (1974)

PG | 106 min | Drama

White Pat Conroy was born and raised in Beaufort, South Carolina. In March 1969 under the Beaufort School District, he starts a job teaching at a small poor school located on Daufuskie ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt | Stars: Jon Voight, Paul Winfield, Madge Sinclair, Tina Andrews

Votes: 1,643

Pat Conroy, teacher and later writer

19. The Water Is Wide (2006 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 100 min | Drama

Pat Conroy, an ambitious, slightly rebellious, idealistic teacher, accepts Bennington county SC's school board superintendent's offer to teach the all-black kids of the pauper fishery ... See full summary »

Director: John Kent Harrison | Stars: Jeff Hephner, Frank Langella, Julianne Nicholson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson

Votes: 340

Pat Conroy, teacher and later writer

20. The Corn Is Green (1945)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama

A schoolteacher becomes the mentor of a talented young miner and seeks to get him into a university.

Director: Irving Rapper | Stars: Bette Davis, John Dall, Nigel Bruce, Rhys Williams

Votes: 2,210

Sarah Grace Cooke, on whom the character Miss Moffatt was closely modeled

21. The Corn Is Green (1979 TV Movie)

93 min | Drama

A strong-willed teacher, determined to educate the poor and illiterate youth of an impoverished Welsh village, discovers one student whom she believes to have the seeds of genius in him.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ian Saynor, Bill Fraser, Patricia Hayes

Votes: 531

Sarah Grace Cooke, on whom the character Miss Moffatt was closely modeled

22. Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Approved | 101 min | Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Director: Richard Brooks | Stars: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern, Margaret Hayes

Votes: 7,537

Richard Dadier, English teacher

23. We Are Marshall (2006)

PG | 131 min | Drama, Sport

53 Metascore

When a plane crash claims the lives of members of the Marshall University football team and some of its fans, the team's new coach and his surviving players try to keep the football program alive.

Director: McG | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, Anthony Mackie, David Strathairn

Votes: 54,268 | Gross: $43.55M

Jack Lengyel, coach & William "Red" Dawson, assistant coach of Marshall University Thundering Herd football

24. Prefontaine (1997)

PG-13 | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

56 Metascore

Based on the life of Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine, a long distance runner who lived in Oregon and died young

Director: Steve James | Stars: Jared Leto, R. Lee Ermey, Ed O'Neill, Breckin Meyer

Votes: 6,577 | Gross: $0.53M

Bill Dellinger, assistant track and field coach

25. Take the Lead (2006)

PG-13 | 118 min | Drama, Music

55 Metascore

The real story of a dance teacher who believed in the talent of a group of problem kids.

Director: Liz Friedlander | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Rob Brown, Yaya DaCosta, Alfre Woodard

Votes: 23,932 | Gross: $34.74M

Pierre Dulaine, dancer and dance educator

26. Pride (2007)

PG | 104 min | Drama, Sport

55 Metascore

The determined Jim Ellis starts a swim team for troubled teens at the Philadelphia Department of Recreation.

Director: Sunu Gonera | Stars: Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, Kimberly Elise, Tom Arnold

Votes: 5,977 | Gross: $7.04M

Jim Ellis, swimming coach

27. Stand and Deliver (1988)

PG | 103 min | Biography, Drama

77 Metascore

The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus.

Director: Ramón Menéndez | Stars: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan, Virginia Paris

Votes: 14,849 | Gross: $13.99M

Jaime Escalante, high school math teacher

28. Friday Night Lights (2004)

PG-13 | 118 min | Action, Drama, Sport

70 Metascore

Based on H.G. Bissinger's book, which profiled the economically depressed town of Odessa, Texas and their heroic high school football team, The Permian High Panthers.

Director: Peter Berg | Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Jay Hernandez, Derek Luke, Lucas Black

Votes: 54,858 | Gross: $61.19M

Gary Gaines, football coach

29. Fighting the Odds: The Marilyn Gambrell Story (2005 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 120 min | Biography, Drama

Based on a true story, former parole officer Marilyn Gambrell and a colleague set up a pioneer trial-based program in one of America's toughest high schools to help the children of ... See full summary »

Director: Andy Wolk | Stars: Jami Gertz, Ernie Hudson, Eugene Clark, Sicily Johnson

Votes: 284

Marilyn Gambrell, parole officer-turned high school teacher

30. Freedom Writers (2007)

PG-13 | 123 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

64 Metascore

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves and pursue education beyond high school.

Director: Richard LaGravenese | Stars: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn

Votes: 62,662 | Gross: $36.61M

Erin Gruwell, high school teacher

31. Music of the Heart (1999)

PG | 124 min | Drama, Music

54 Metascore

Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.

Director: Wes Craven | Stars: Meryl Streep, Cloris Leachman, Henry Dinhofer, Michael Angarano

Votes: 11,410 | Gross: $14.86M

Roberta Guaspari, music teacher and violinist

32. Glory Road (2006)

PG | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

58 Metascore

In 1966, Texas Western coach Don Haskins led the first all-black starting line-up for a college basketball team to the NCAA national championship.

Director: James Gartner | Stars: Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Austin Nichols, Jon Voight

Votes: 40,364 | Gross: $42.64M

Don Haskins, American collegiate basketball coach

33. Dangerous Minds (1995)

R | 99 min | Biography, Drama

47 Metascore

An ex-Marine turned teacher struggles to connect with her students in an inner city school.

Director: John N. Smith | Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzundza, Courtney B. Vance, Robin Bartlett

Votes: 45,246 | Gross: $84.92M

LouAnne Johnson, teacher and retired United States Marine

34. Radio (2003)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

38 Metascore

The story of a high school coach and the developmentally challenged man who he took under his wing.

Director: Michael Tollin | Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Ed Harris, Debra Winger, S. Epatha Merkerson

Votes: 36,616 | Gross: $52.28M

Harold Jones, T.L. Hanna High School, football coach

35. Anna and the King of Siam (1946)

Approved | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

In 1862, a young Englishwoman becomes royal tutor in Siam and befriends the King.

Director: John Cromwell | Stars: Irene Dunne, Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Lee J. Cobb

Votes: 2,018

Anna Leonowens, teacher and tutor to the children of Mongkut, King of Siam

36. Anna and the King (1999)

PG-13 | 148 min | Drama, History, Romance

56 Metascore

The story of the romance between the King of Siam and widowed British schoolteacher, Anna Leonowens, during the 1860s.

Director: Andy Tennant | Stars: Jodie Foster, Yun-Fat Chow, Bai Ling, Tom Felton

Votes: 34,393 | Gross: $39.26M

Anna Leonowens, teacher and tutor to the children of Mongkut, King of Siam

37. The King and I (1956)

G | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

72 Metascore

A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson

Votes: 22,406 | Gross: $21.30M

Anna Leonowens, teacher and tutor to the children of Mongkut, King of Siam

38. The King and I (1999)

G | 87 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

29 Metascore

Traveling to the exotic kingdom of Siam, English schoolteacher Anna Leonowens soon discovers that her most difficult challenge is the stubborn, imperious King himself.

Director: Richard Rich | Stars: Miranda Richardson, Martin Vidnovic, Christiane Noll, Ian Richardson

Votes: 3,504 | Gross: $11.96M

Anna Leonowens, teacher and tutor to the children of Mongkut, King of Siam

39. The George McKenna Story (1986 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Biography, Drama

He risked it all to make the grade.

Director: Eric Laneuville | Stars: Denzel Washington, Lynn Whitfield, Debra Artis, Edna Auguillard

Votes: 601

George McKenna, educator, teacher, administrator, and superintendent

40. The Rookie (2002)

G | 127 min | Drama, Family, Sport

72 Metascore

A Texas baseball coach makes the major league after agreeing to try out if his high school team made the playoffs.

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Dennis Quaid, J.D. Evermore, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez

Votes: 30,252 | Gross: $75.60M

Jim Morris, high school science teacher and baseball coach who became a major league baseball player after his students encouraged him to try out

41. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama

72 Metascore

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 782,437 | Gross: $170.74M

John Forbes Nash, Jr., mathematics professor at MIT and Princeton

42. The Fighter (I) (2010)

R | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

79 Metascore

Based on the story of Micky Ward, a fledgling boxer who tries to escape the shadow of his more famous but troubled older boxing brother and get his own shot at greatness.

Director: David O. Russell | Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo

Votes: 319,694 | Gross: $93.62M

Mickey O'Keefe, boxing coach and police sergeant portraying himself

43. Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

PG | 109 min | Biography, Drama

89 Metascore

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

Director: Steven Zaillian | Stars: Joe Mantegna, Ben Kingsley, Max Pomeranc, Joan Allen

Votes: 27,454 | Gross: $7.27M

Bruce Pandolfini, chess master who instructed young prodigy Joshua Waitzkin

44. Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | 128 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles

Votes: 378,339 | Gross: $95.86M

Samuel F. Pickering, Jr., English professor

45. October Sky (1999)

PG | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Family

71 Metascore

The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

Director: Joe Johnston | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Chris Owen

Votes: 76,376 | Gross: $32.48M

Freida J. Riley, teacher who inspired a love for science and mathematics in her rural West Virginia high school students, particularly future NASA engineer Homer Hickam

46. Knute Rockne All American (1940)

Approved | 98 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

The story of legendary Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne.

Directors: Lloyd Bacon, William K. Howard | Stars: Pat O'Brien, Gale Page, Ronald Reagan, Donald Crisp

Votes: 1,612

Knute Rockne, football coach

47. The Express (2008)

PG | 130 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

58 Metascore

A drama based on the life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Director: Gary Fleder | Stars: Rob Brown, Dennis Quaid, Clancy Brown, Darrin Dewitt Henson

Votes: 18,845 | Gross: $9.59M

Ben Schwartzwalder, football coach

48. From the Rough (2013)

PG | 97 min | Drama, Sport

Dr. Catana Starks made history as the first woman and the first African American woman to coach a men's college golf team.

Director: Pierre Bagley | Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Tom Felton, Justin Chon

Votes: 816

Catana Starks, former Tennessee State Tigers swim coach, who became the first woman ever to coach a college men's golf team

49. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)

PG | 107 min | Comedy, Family, Music