5.9/10
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38 user 23 critic

School Daze (1988)

A not so popular young man wants to pledge to a popular fraternity at his historically black college.

Director:

Spike Lee

Writer:

Spike Lee

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Fishburne ... Dap (as Larry Fishburne)
Giancarlo Esposito ... Julian
Tisha Campbell-Martin ... Jane Toussaint (as Tisha Campbell)
Kyme Kyme ... Rachel Meadows
Joe Seneca ... President McPherson
Ellen Holly Ellen Holly ... Odrie McPherson
Art Evans ... Cedar Cloud
Ossie Davis ... Coach Odom
Bill Nunn ... Grady
James Bond III ... Monroe
Branford Marsalis ... Jordan
Kadeem Hardison ... Edge
Eric Payne ... Booker T. (as Eric A. Payne)
Spike Lee ... Half-Pint
Anthony Thompkins Anthony Thompkins ... Doo-Doo Breath
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Storyline

In the South of the United States are taking place confrontations between two groups of students who have different ideas and are not able to accept the one of the opponent. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aulas turbulentas See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,802,656, 15 February 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,545,844
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This is the first studio-funded musical to be directed by an African-American. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end of "I Don't Want to Be Alone Tonight", the audio is slightly ahead of the video. See more »

Quotes

Grady: In life, there are times to be quiet, to shut the fuck up. This is one of those times.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Spike Lee (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can Only Be Me
Music and Lyrics by Stevie Wonder
Performed by Keith John
Produced by Stevie Wonder
Jobete Music Co., Inc./Black Bull Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

Nostalgic treat
12 November 2001 | by stonedog23See all my reviews

I had not seen Spike Lee's School Daze in 13 years, the first weekend of its release. This movie has a very special meaning to African Americans like me who were college students in the 80s. The school setting acts as a microcosm of black life as a whole. The social issues it tackles are all too familiar to black life: light skin vs. dark skin, college kids vs. the surrounding economically disadvantage community, and the social responsibility of African Americans to Africans across the entire black diaspora among others.

Watching it in 1988 I thought the dance sequences were too long, but in 2001 I now see their worth. The DVD is visually beautiful, while being gritty in spots where it should thanks to the beautiful work of the great Ernest Dickerson. This was a huge leap for Spike as a director, coming from a $175,000 budget for She's Got To Have It to School Daze.

This film does a great job of giving us some of the inner workings of Black Greek letter organizations. It also shows what abuse people will go through to belong. I was actually living School Daze when I saw it in 1988, so I come from that perspective. It was thrilling to figuratively see myself on that screen in 1988.

If you are looking for Academy Award winning performances, then this isn't the film for you, although there are some really fine actors in the film. If you haven't ever lived this existence, it is really hard to appreciate School Daze. I have a great appreciation for Spike, the era, and the story Spike has written and brought to the screen.

Most folks don't get the ending "Wake Up" scene, but it absolutely belongs. The entire movie and most of Spike's works are wake up calls to America, but specifically to the black community.


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