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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of several films named after its famous titular song played during the movie's end credits in which the title has no direct correlation with the film's actual plot. This trend began in the mid '80s with Stand by Me (1986); other titles include Lean on Me (1989) and My Girl (1991). See more »
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 »
[Escalante is driving Pancho's car]
Kemo, I don't wanna let you down but the money I'd be making'll buy me a new Trans Am.
No one cruise through life, Pancho. Wouldn't you rather be designing these things than repairing them? Can't even do that, things got fuel injection -
Kemo, you're gonna strip my gears, man!
Don't panic, Johnny, just watch out for the other guy -
[grinds gears again]
Right or left?
GO RIGHT! GO RIGHT!
[Kemo turns right, screams to halt in front of a dead end]
All you ...
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There are many films about teachers breaking through to tough students. Many are trite, sappy and formula-written. This is one of the few truly powerful films in this genre. Every member of the cast gives an incredible performance. This is particularly true of the students. Adult writers in this genre usually fail to write convincing adolescent dialogue, but the students in this film talked and acted quite convincingly. The role of the teacher was not glorified, but treated as a regular human being who was doing his best to do something good, sometimes in the right way and sometimes in the wrong way. The race subplot was powerful, but not too preachy. In short, this was an excellent and inspiring story of teachers and students overcoming their shortcomings and being the best that they could be. A stunning and vastly underrated film.
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