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Up the Down Staircase (1967)

Approved | | Drama | 28 June 1967 (USA)
The experiences of a young female English teacher in an inner-city New York high school.

Director:

Robert Mulligan

Writers:

Bel Kaufman (novel), Tad Mosel (screenplay)
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandy Dennis ... Sylvia Barrett
Patrick Bedford Patrick Bedford ... Paul Barringer
Eileen Heckart ... Henrietta Pastorfield
Ruth White ... Beatrice Schacter
Jean Stapleton ... Sadie Finch
Sorrell Booke ... Dr. Bester
Roy Poole ... Mr. McHabe
Florence Stanley ... Ella Friedenberg
Vinnette Carroll Vinnette Carroll ... The Mother
Janice Mars Janice Mars ... Miss Gordon
Loretta Leversee Loretta Leversee ... Social Studies Teacher
John Callahan John Callahan
Denis Fay Denis Fay
Otto Lomax Otto Lomax
Martha Greenhouse Martha Greenhouse ... Alberta Kagan
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Storyline

Sylvia Barrett is a rookie teacher at New York's inner-city Calvin Coolidge High: her lit classes are overcrowded, a window is broken, there's no chalk, books arrive late. The administration is concerned mainly with forms and rules (there's an up and a down staircase); bells ring at the wrong time. Nevertheless, she tries. How she handles the chaos and her despair in her first semester makes up the film: a promising student drops out, another sleeps through class, a girl with a crush on a male teacher gets suicidal, and a bright but troublesome student misunderstands Sylvia's reaching out. A discussion of Dickens, parents' night, and a mock trial highlight the term. Can she make it? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Actually filmed in the classrooms and on the sidewalks of New York! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 June 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apigorevmena skalopatia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Park Place Production See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The U.S. State Department submitted this film to the 1967 Moscow Film Festival, in order to contradict Soviet propaganda, which implied that all American schools were racially segregated. See more »

Goofs

In the classroom scene where Harry A Kagan is talking, his necktie alternates between being tucked into the belt and in front of the belt. See more »

Quotes

[Defending her inability to treat an abused student]
Nurse Frances Eagen: I give them tea. At least that's something.
See more »

Connections

References Batman (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The one they'll always remember Sandy Dennis for.
20 October 1999 | by Ddey65See all my reviews

If there's any movie that one can automatically associate with Sandy Dennis, "Up the Down Staircase" is the one. True, she did win an Oscar for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," but that was mainly a Richard Burton-Elizabeth Taylor movie. I saw this one night on television sometime after her death, and became a huge fan. Actually, I think I may have seen it several times or more before, and forgot about it. I fell for everybody involved, from the late Sandy Dennis, to Bel Kaufman, to Fred Karlin, who's musical score is one that I'm lucky to possess a copy of, and is long overdue to be re-released on Compact Disc. In addition, I also gained an appreciation for people like Jean Stapelton, and Sorrell Booke, who I previously couldn't think of as anyone else but Edith Bunker, and Boss Hogg, respectively. Patrick Bedford, however, sounded like he was trying to be the new Cary Grant. I was almost ready for him to shout out..."SYLVIA, SYLVIA, SYLVIA!!!" And how about the kids? None of them went on to fame and fortune, except for But Cort, who I still can't spot, but a few of them (Jeff Howard, Jose Rodriguez, Maria Landa, etc.,...) had roles as extras. It's also a shame that Lew Wallach, who played as Lou Martin was never on screen again. He was hilarious.

If you ever see a copy of this movie in a video store, pick it up. I did, and I'm glad.


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