13 user 1 critic

Spare the Rod (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama | 18 June 1961 (UK)
1:58 | Trailer
It is London in the year 1960 and John Saunders enthusiastically begins his new teaching career at a tough slum-area school. His class are bored pupils in their last term before leaving. Will he handle the grave problems that lie ahead?


Leslie Norman


John Cresswell (screenplay), Michael Croft (based on the book by)





Complete credited cast:
Max Bygraves Max Bygraves ... John Saunders
Donald Pleasence ... Mr. Jenkins
Geoffrey Keen ... Arthur Gregory
Betty McDowall ... Ann Collins
Peter Reynolds ... Alec Murray
Jean Anderson ... Mrs. Pond
Eleanor Summerfield Eleanor Summerfield ... Mrs. Harkness
Mary Merrall ... Miss Fogg
Richard O'Sullivan ... Fred Harkness
Claire Marshall Claire Marshall ... Margaret (as Diane Marshall)
Jeremy Bulloch ... Angell


John Saunders is a teacher, just out of training college, who takes over a class of badly behaved children in an inner city school. The general rule amongst the other teachers is to enforce discipline with the cane, but Saunders has other ideas, but he has to fight against another teacher, who has a vicious streak. Written by mike.wilson6@btinternet.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Leading actor Max Bygraves personally funded most of the film's budget, as he felt the novel was good enough to be adapted. See more »


The opening scene has a lollipop man holding up the traffic to allow children to cross the road however he stops and walks off as some children start to cross the road and the traffic almost runs into them, the lollipop man would not leave his post until all the children had crossed and the cars would not deliberately aim for the kids. See more »


[Whispering to her friend, Margaret, in class and stealing glances at Mr Saunders whom Margaret has a crush on]
Doris: I reckon those specs makes him look like Gregory Peck. Don't you, Marge?
Margaret: Yeah, he does a bit. He looks real posh with them on.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits cast list ends with "and the Rest of Class II. See more »


Featured in Talkies: Talking Pictures with Sally Geeson (2019) See more »


Music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
Words by William Blake
See more »

User Reviews

7 April 2020 | by malcpSee all my reviews

I enjoyed Blackboard Jungle and To Sir, with Love, but hadn't got around to seeing this counterpart until recently. I remember Max Bygraves mentioning it years ago on TV which always intrigued me. Bygraves is actually quite suited to his role, any shortcomings in his performance largely compensated for by the nature of the role he is playing. Donald Pleasence is marvellous as always and I'm sure Geoffrey Keen enjoyed every moment as the preening Mr Gregory. The book it is based upon did stir up the debate on the use of corporal punishment in schools when it came out, and although the cane is never likely to reappear, recent creative developments in school discipline suggest that another film along these lines may soon be needed to temper the fine balance between rectification and reprisal.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

18 June 1961 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Suhog a pálca See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Weyland Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed