7.2/10
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21 user 2 critic

Why Shoot the Teacher? (1977)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | January 1980 (USA)
In the 1930's, Max Brown is an urban young man from an Eastern province, fresh from college, whose only job offer is in a one-room school house in the Canadian prairie. At first he's ... See full summary »

Director:

Silvio Narizzano

Writers:

James Defelice (screenplay), Max Braithwaite (based on the book "Why Shoot The Teacher" by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bud Cort ... Max Brown
Samantha Eggar ... Alice Field
Chris Wiggins Chris Wiggins ... Lyle Bishop
Gary Reineke Gary Reineke ... Harris Montgomery
John Friesen ... Dave McDougall
Michael J. Reynolds ... Bert Field
Kenneth Griffith Kenneth Griffith ... Inspector Woods
Scott Swan Scott Swan ... Dan Trowbridge
Merrilyn Gann ... Sheila Barnes
Norma West ... Mrs. Bishop
Margery Hill Margery Hill ... Mrs. Montgomery
Joanne McNeal Joanne McNeal ... Mrs. McDougall
George Gwin George Gwin ... Dance Caller
Doug Blake Doug Blake ... Percy Garfield
Alan Stebbings Alan Stebbings ... Lester Sinclair
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Storyline

In the 1930's, Max Brown is an urban young man from an Eastern province, fresh from college, whose only job offer is in a one-room school house in the Canadian prairie. At first he's distant, superior, lonely, and bewildered; his students are rebellious. Over the course of the year, he is drawn to Alice Field, the wife of a farmer, in a love that can lead nowhere. But, he and his students connect, a connection that matters and lasts. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

1935 wasn't all his fault

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, language, some violence and sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Man schießt nicht auf den Lehrer See more »

Filming Locations:

Hanna, Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD810,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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 film takes place in 1935. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Wood: This should be an easy one. What is the capital of Canada?
Inspector Wood: [pointing to a student in the classroom] Yes, boy.
Charlie Mc Dougall: [standing to attention] The capital of Canada is C.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Capital of Canada is "C"
21 March 2013 | by BERSERKERpoetrySee all my reviews

I grew up in rural Canada, in a small middle-class household that was a little bit on the old-fashioned side. Dramas like these were part of the experience when all you had was access to CBC television and a small selection of video tapes. Although I never caught this one in particular as a child, it would have been perfectly welcome.

It's hard to picture why exactly a film like "Why Shoot the Teacher?" has been so well-forgotten over the years. Something in the lack of initial distribution no doubt, which seems to be the lot of nearly all Canadian films of this era. It's based on a book by Max Braithwaite, and it feels very much like a true story, though there's a chance I suppose that it isn't. Silvio Narizzano directs it to life with a looseness and a real live humanity.

The acting is undoubtedly what gives this film its energy, and Bud Cort is better than I've ever seen him. In a similar sense as Charles Martin Smith's character in "Never Cry Wolf" he portrays a truly charming combination of naiveté and forced confidence. It's that painfully forced bravery that saves him in the end. This film could serve as a lesson in how much difference overcoming even the smallest percentage of personal fears can make in your life.

There is a lightness to "Why Shoot the Teacher?", a faithful depiction with just enough weight to keep it all from blowing away. I felt it moving through me, lifting my head and softening my heart. It's something to be thankful for, this gentle little thing.


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