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 ...
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The leader of a right-wing German political party discovers that an illiterate woodcarver is actually the son of Adolf Hitler. He kidnaps the young man from a mental institution and ... See full summary »
A psychedelic trip with a social commentary. Bud Cort, in his debut performance, plays Massimo Monaldi, a student involved in political protests and juvenile delinquency. When Massimo ... See full summary »
A San Francisco cab driver finds himself in possession of a monkey that is carrying a formula for turning atomic waste into a plutonium bomb. He finds himself framed for a murder and chased all over town by people trying to get the formula.
Stacy Keach is electrifying as Jonas Candide, an ex-Carny who in 1918 travels around the bayou with a portable electric chair. At $100 a head, he renders his services with loving care. But then he falls for a female "client".
A drama documentary about the daughter of the Russian dancer Nijinsky. Along the way it sheds light on the woman, then 60 years old, who had tried to pursue her own career as a dancer, with... See full summary »
Max von Sydow
Based on the play by Joe Orton, this film follows the adventures of two pals who have pulled off a bank robbery and have to hide the loot. Fortunately one of them works in a funeral parlor ... See full summary »
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
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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