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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.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

Richard Brooks (screenplay), Evan Hunter (novel)
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Popularity
1,304 ( 12,435)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Ford ... Richard Dadier
Anne Francis ... Anne Dadier
Louis Calhern ... Jim Murdock
Margaret Hayes ... Lois Judby Hammond
John Hoyt ... Mr. Warneke
Richard Kiley ... Joshua Y. Edwards
Emile Meyer ... Mr. Halloran
Warner Anderson ... Dr. Bradley
Basil Ruysdael ... Prof. A.R. Kraal
Sidney Poitier ... Gregory W. Miller
Vic Morrow ... Artie West
Dan Terranova ... Belazi
Rafael Campos ... Pete V. Morales
Paul Mazursky ... Emmanuel Stoker
Horace McMahon ... Detective
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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:

The sensational novel...now on the screen! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blackboard Jungle See more »

Filming Locations:

El Segundo, California, USA See more »

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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:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film launched the rock and roll era, especially in American movies, by using "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets as its theme. The song was chosen for the titles after it was heard among records owned by Peter Ford, son of the film's star, Glenn Ford (proving phony the original belief that the producer's daughter had discovered the song.) "Rock Around the Clock" had not been largely ignored until it was heard in the movie, after which it soon shot to number one around the world, and eventually sold an estimated twenty-five million copies. In an embarrassing miscalculation, MGM could have owned the complete rights to the song, but it ignored Writer and Director Richard Brooks' advice to buy it outright; instead, being penny-wise and pound-foolish, for a few dollars less, the studio merely purchased the film-use rights to the mega-hit song. See more »

Goofs

In the record smashing scene,as the students leave the classroom, Santini walks down the hallway, but in the next shot is handing Mr. Edwards his glasses. 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.
See more »

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 »

Alternate Versions

The film was originally rejected in the UK for containing "unbridled, revolting hooliganism" and having a "damaging and harmful effect (on teenagers)". Following protests from the distributor, it was viewed again but there was an even split between examiners in favor of banning it again or cutting it for an X (16) certificate. After further meetings where the distributor claimed it had a sincere moral purpose, a cuts list was drawn up which removed around five minutes of footage. This included the following:
  • The foreword which absolved the US of blame regarding its realistic depiction - this was added specifically for foreign releases following the huge controversy it caused back home. It reads: "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. It is in this spirit and with this faith that BLACKBOARD JUNGLE was produced."
  • Male pupils leering at women.
  • A boy assaulting a female teacher.
  • Dadier being attacked.
  • Dadier being threatened by a knife-wielding pupil.
  • The planning and execution of a van robbery.
  • Dadier fighting back against a pupil.
Despite the heated conflict involving the BBFC and mixed reviews, the release of this X-rated cut version passed without incident and very little public feedback. No councils who viewed it chose to ban it. In 1996, it was submitted for a video release and passed uncut with a 12 certificate. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Indiana Jones 4: Pre-production (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Go Down Moses
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Miller and his vocal group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

None of these students will ever pitch for the Yankees.
2 November 1999 | by yenloSee all my reviews

Certainly a classic American motion picture. Glenn Ford stars as a teacher who is proud of his profession and is dedicated to teaching others. He is assigned to an unruly inner city high school filled mostly with teen-age thugs. The general attitude of the schools staff is to just sit on the garbage can (referring to their student body) from year to year. Fords Richard Dadier character attempts to teach these penitentiary candidates is met with resistance led chiefly by the ultimate juvenile delinquent Artie West played masterfully by Vic Morrow.

Well cast with a number of fine actors and actresses virtually all films that followed this one and dealt with unruly schools and students are born from this one. Sidney Poitier turns in a great performance as a student who has academic potential but is torn between his street ways and his desire to become educated and better himself. While watching this film it's hard to imagine any worse situation-taking place in a high school. Yet what has been happening in Americas high schools of recent makes the goings on in the classroom of Richard Dadier seem quite mild. A young Jamie Farr who would achieve fame as Klinger on the long running TV series MASH is cast as a simple minded student in the class of delinquents. None of whom will ever pitch for the Yankees by the way! After seeing this movie you might just say `Oh Daddy-O what a good film'


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