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Blackboard Jungle (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 25 March 1955 (USA)
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A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mr. Warneke
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Mr. Halloran
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Dr. Bradley
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Storyline

War veteran Rick Dadier is one of three new teachers hired at North Manual High School, an inner city boys school. This is his first teaching assignment, which he needs to support himself and his insecure pregnant wife, Anne. Despite Principle Warnecke's assertions to the contrary, Dadier quickly learns that the rumors of student discipline problems at the school are indeed true. The established teachers at the school try to counsel the newcomers, all inexperienced in such situations, as how best to handle the rowdy students. Regardless, Dadier tries to exert discipline in his class, which provokes a violent response. Dadier believes the student leaders against him are Artie West, but more specifically Gregory Miller, who he thinks uses the fact of being black as a means of racial provocation. Dadier has to decide either to leave and teach at a "real" school, or stay and figure out how to get through to his students. If he decides to stay, he has to figure out who the real disruptive ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A DRAMA OF TEEN-AGE Terror! (original print ad - almost all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Blackboard Jungle  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,168,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,292,000, 31 December 1955

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,144,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul McCartney stated in The Beatles Anthology Book that when he was fifteen and George Harrison was fourteen they had a great desire to see the film because "Rock Around The Clock" was its theme. However, they needed to be sixteen to gain entrance. Because George looked so young, Paul took some dirt and rubbed it on George's upper lip to try and make a mustache. The rouse worked and they both were admitted, with Paul stating that the duo were rather disappointed and bored by the film because it was all acting and talking, and not anything salacious as they had hoped. See more »

Goofs

As Mr.Dadier is talking to the detective about his attackers,a few of the students are seen entering the classroom twice. See more »

Quotes

Joshua Y. Edwards: They don't even know their multiplication tables.
Jim Murdock: Of course not. All they can multiply is themselves.
Joshua Y. Edwards: Well, how will they ever graduate?
Jim Murdock: Graduate? They just get to be 18. Then they throw them out to make room for more of the same kind.
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Crazy Credits

"We, in the United States, are fortunate to have a school system that is a tribute to our communities and to our faith in American youth. Today we are concerned with juvenile delinquency -- its causes -- and its effects. We are especially concerned when this delinquency boils over into our schools. The scenes and incidents depicted here are fictional. However, we believe that public awareness is a first step toward a remedy for any problem. Is is in this spirit and with this faith that BLACKBOARD JUNGLE was produced." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blood and Blackboards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Invention for Guitar and Trumpet
Written by Willis Holman (uncredited)
Played by Stan Kenton and His Orchestra
Sal Salvador (guitar) (uncredited)
Maynard Ferguson (trumpet) (uncredited)
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Hey Teach, you're in my classroom now"
24 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

Blackboard Jungle is one of the seminal films in Glenn Ford's career. As Richard Dadier, newly minted teacher going into one of the inner city schools in New York City, he's nervous, but full of idealism and commitment that he can make a difference in the lives of these kids.

One of the aspects of Blackboard Jungle that is never discussed is the problem, still very much with us today, of illiteracy. For me the key to the whole story is when Ford has to get down to the level of running a movie cartoon of Jack and the Beanstalk in order to communicate with them. That's when he reaches them and also takes control of the situation in his classroom away from the school thug as graphically portrayed by Vic Morrow.

I was involved with someone for many years and his literacy level was very low. It made him angry and unable to handle the world and all the problems he had in life. He had a worse situation than the kids in The Blackboard Jungle. He was raised in a group home where they didn't care at all if you learned anything.

Blackboard Jungle is also memorable for the use of a previously recorded song by Bill Haley and the Comets that sold a few records the year earlier, but didn't set the world on fire. Director Richard Brooks heard it in young Peter Ford's collection and decided it would be his theme. Rock Around the Clock became a rock and roll institution after The Blackboard Jungle was out in theaters.

Blackboard Jungle also started another less fortunate trend. That of picking very obviously adult actors to play high school kids. A trend that has continued to this day with such shows as Beverly Hills 90210 carrying on the tradition. Capable players that they are and they certainly delivered fine performances, Sidney Poitier and Vic Morrow don't look like high school kids, especially not next to Rafael Campos who was in the correct age bracket when the film was being shot.

Teacher burnout is also covered in Blackboard Jungle with Louis Calhern leading the pack of cynics Glenn Ford has as colleagues. In many ways Blackboard Jungle is the grandfather of a film like Stand and Deliver where Edward James Olmos is the dedicated math teacher of inner city kids a generation later. Other than ethnic, not too much difference between Richard Dadier and Jaime Escalante.

Richard Brooks assembled and directed a cast that made a classic that's still agonizingly relevant today.


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