An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.
Craigus R. Johnson,
In 1964, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest...parties, hanging out, meeting new friends. Then life changes for two of the guys when they meet a pair of career criminals and get falsely arrested in connection with stealing a Cadillac. We follow their lives through the end of high school and the dramatic end to their school year.Written by
Director Michael Shultz wanted authentic characters to fill the gangster roles. He was told by Chicago police of two petty thieves who hung out together, Norman Gibson and Sherman Smith, so Michael sought them out. Smith said in an interview that he and Gibson were just walking down the street when Schultz rolled up on them in a limo, asking them to read for the parts. Gibson was shot to death just one year and three months after Cooley High was released. This occurred in his Chicago neighborhood, where he was reportedly robbed by other stick-up men during a dice game. Smith was later convicted of armed robbery and served eight years in prison, but cast mate Jackie Taylor helped him rehabilitate by giving him a job as a janitor at her Black Ensemble Theater in Chicago. He later moved on to acting roles in various productions there. See more »
When Preach finally reaches a badly beaten Cochise underneath the train station,Cochise's right hand moves while Preach is talking to him. See more »
We were friends, a long time ago. Laughin, rappin, chasin girls, obeying no laws, except the law of caring. Basketball days and high nights, no tomorrows, unable to remember yesterday. We live for today...
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The ending of the movie tells the futures of the fictional characters. See more »
Takes place in and around the Cabrini-Green projects on Chicago's Near North Side. Cooley High was a real school that was demolished in the '80s. The interiors, though were filmed in Providence-St. Mel's several miles away. This film is a classic, and if you aren't hip to it, then either you've been living in a cave or just awakened from a 25 year coma. The stellar cast features Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, fresh from "Claudine", veteran of stage and screen Glynn Turman, pre-SNL Garrett Morris, Cynthia Davis (who seemed to disappear soon after the film was released), Steven Williams (currently of "Linc's), Corin Rogers and Jackie Taylor, who has made a name for herself as a writer, producer and director in Chicago theatre. This film also marked the screen debut of Robert Townsend. (He had two lines).
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