7.3/10
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93 user 17 critic

Stand and Deliver (1988)

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The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus.

Director:

Ramón Menéndez (as Ramon Menendez)
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Popularity
3,856 ( 181)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward James Olmos ... Jaime Escalante
Estelle Harris ... Secretary
Mark Phelan ... Cop
Virginia Paris Virginia Paris ... Raquel Ortega
Eliot Eliot ... Tito (as Mark Eliot)
Adelaida Alvarez Adelaida Alvarez ... Sexy Girl
Will Gotay Will Gotay ... Pancho
Patrick Baca Patrick Baca ... Javier
Ingrid Oliu Ingrid Oliu ... Lupe
Carmen Argenziano ... Molina
Richard Martinez Richard Martinez ... Heavy Metal Boy
Mark Everett Mark Everett ... Heavy Metal Boy
Tyde Kierney Tyde Kierney ... Joe Goodell
Rosanna DeSoto ... Fabiola Escalante (as Rosana De Soto)
Bodie Olmos ... Fernando Escalante
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Storyline

Jaime Escalante is a mathematics teacher in a school in a Hispanic neighbourhood. Convinced that his students have potential, he adopts unconventional teaching methods help gang members and no-hopers pass the rigorous Advanced Placement exam in calculus. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A true story about a modern miracle. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

11 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Walking on Water See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$411,884, 13 March 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$13,994,920
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Features Edward James Olmos's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

When the students are in the classroom being questioned about cheating, Pearson (Rif Hutton) can be seen in the background capping his pen twice between shots. See more »

Quotes

[Jaime is using girlfriends as the variables in an algebraic equation]
Rafaela Fuentes: Can you have negative girlfriends?
Jaime Escalante: No, only negative boyfriends. Forgive us, for we know not what we do.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 61st Annual Academy Awards (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Wake Up John
Lyrics & Music by Willie Herron (as W. Herrón)
Performed by Los Illegals
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful yet depressing movie
7 September 2006 | by kari_marieSee all my reviews

Why is this movie depressing? It's a true story about a high school teacher who managed to motivate a group of struggling students to attempt one of the greatest academic challenges a high school student can undertake. It's the true story of the underdogs sticking it to the system. It's the true story of a teacher fighting the system and winning...

Or did he? Despite the success portrayed in the movie, 1987 was the high water mark for the Garfield High School AP Calculus program. In 1987, the principal who had supported Escalante with his AP program went on sabbatical and was replaced by an administrator with a different academic focus. The teachers' union complained about Escalante's class sizes and teaching assignments, and petty rivalries and jealousies abounded, eventually forcing Escalante and his partner teacher out of the school. Unable to find support for his unorthodox methods, in 2001, Escalante moved back to his native Bolivia, where he teaches calculus at a local university.

As much as I love this movie, every time I watch it, I become depressed all over again. It's been over 25 years since Escalante began the AP Calculus program at Garfield High, and one would think that the educational system would learn from him--not only from his example as a teacher, but also the factors that forced him to leave the school, but ultimately the country.

It's not just Garfield High School, and it's not just advanced mathematics. I hear the same words that the naysayer teachers and administrators spoke in the movie spoken on a daily and weekly basis on the public high school campus where I teach. I see the same objections and doubts and obstacles thrown up by the administration and teachers' union in the movie thrown up by administrations and unions today. I work every day with the same underprivileged yet eager to be educated students as Escalante had, students who just need someone to challenge them and believe in them. And I see my students battle against the same low expectations and prejudices as the students in the movie faced.

Which leaves me with the question--what has really changed in 25 years? If this is such an outstanding, motivational movie, why has it not produced a systemic change? Why are underprivileged yet bright students routinely passed over and allowed to fail? Why are creative, energetic, passionate teachers forced out of their schools and even their professions by school systems unwilling to embrace unorthodox methods, even if those methods are proved to promote student success? Escalante poured everything he had into his job. Teaching was his life, his passion--not only a vocation, but an avocation. He was willing to sacrifice his personal relationships and his own health for the sake of the students in which he believed... For what? Nothing has changed. 25+ years later, nothing has changed.

Yes, he made a difference in the lives of those students, and of students for more years than just those portrayed in the movie, but once he left, the program essentially left with him. Despite all of his passion and sacrifice, he effected no systemic change.

And it's that knowledge that, to me, makes this such a depressing film.


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