An unqualified teacher finds himself saddled with coaching duties after a small group of high school seniors form a wrestling team in a last ditch effort to end a 9-year losing streak against a rival school.
Ed Branish, a snooty English teacher who finds his situation at Mingo Junction High School far beneath him and barely tolerable, flaunts his air of superiority over all (including his supportive wife) by frequently spouting platitudes from literary masters to validate his often contemptuous viewpoint. His habit of having as little to do with his school as possible finally gets the better of him when his light schedule makes him the only staff member available to supervise the newly formed wrestling team. Cornered, he lashes out at the first student to cross his path - Nick Kilvitus, a reserved 185 lbs. senior who's embarrassed by his near-poverty social status and who's also missed a lot of classes lately. No one realizes Nick's been filling in for his alcoholic father at a steel mill (hauling I-beams) when his dad's too drunk to show up (which is all too often, and which also keeps Nick busy at night fishing his embittered father out of bars - to be carried home (Fireman's Carry ...Written by
Take Down was partially filmed in the small town of American Fork, Utah, at the old high school that was built around the turn of the 20th century and abandoned as a school at the end of the 1974-1975 school year. Much of the student body of the high school skipped school for several days in 1978 and showed up to be extras for this film. Members of American Fork High School's classes of '79 through '81 are featured in crowd scenes and in close-ups throughout the film. Boyd Silversmith, who plays Jack Gross in the film, was an alumnus of American Fork High School's class of 1978. See more »
I must admit, there are times when I'm with those characters that I do wish I could teach them something.
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I haven't seen this movie since it aired on HBO in 1979-1980. It must have aired 100 times that month, since HBO was young, and we just got it at my home in Pittsburgh, PA. Wrestling is not a big sport everywhere, but it was in Pittsburgh, so this was a movie I had really wanted to see, as I was a cheerleader, and thought it would be fun to watch. It was a beautiful story, of love, and awkwardness, overcoming difficult home life circumstances, triumph, teamwork, and growth. Lorenzo Lamas, was young and handsome, and his relationship with the coach and English teacher was touching and very realistic. Lorenzo also sang the theme song for this movie...an acoustic guitar performance that I remember touched me. Years later, as a young adult, I got to speak to him on the radio about this film as well as his other early work in Grease, Secrets of Midland Heights, and then of course Falcon Crest. He was surprised I knew of this film and he was very proud of this. He couldn't remember the words to the song, but sang me the Star Spangled Banner instead. Great Memories!
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