7.4/10
18,106
86 user 17 critic

Lean on Me (1989)

PG-13 | | Drama | 3 March 1989 (USA)
Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school he is determined to improve by any and all means.

Director:

John G. Avildsen
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Morgan Freeman ... Principal Joe Clark
Beverly Todd ... Ms. Levias
Robert Guillaume ... Dr. Frank Napier
Alan North ... Mayor Don Bottman
Lynne Thigpen ... Leonna Barrett
Robin Bartlett ... Mrs. Elliott
Michael Beach ... Mr. Darnell
Ethan Phillips ... Mr. Rosenberg
Sandra Reaves-Phillips ... Mrs. Powers
Sloane Shelton ... Mrs. Hamilton
Jermaine Hopkins ... Thomas Sams (as Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins)
Karen Malina White ... Kaneesha Carter
Karina Arroyave ... Maria
Ivonne Coll ... Mrs. Santos
Regina Taylor ... Mrs. Carter
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Storyline

An arrogant and unorthodox teacher returns as principal to the idyllic high school from which he had earlier been fired to find it a den of drug abuse, gang violence, and urban despair. Eventually he is successful but unorthodox methods lead to a clash with city officials that threatens to undo all his efforts. Based on a true story. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Eastside High was a training ground for jail. Then Joe Clark took over. Now the kids are getting something they never had. A future. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lean On Me is a Norman Twain Production. The film company only had six titles under their belt, including Lean On Me, which was the only film released in the 80's. They released a single made for TV movie in the 90's, and another made for TV movie a few years later. They released two feature films in 2007, and their final film was released in 2009. Norman Twain passed away in 2016. See more »

Goofs

After Mr Clark is done keeping the Fire Chief out, on his way back into the school he tells Mr Darnell its good to have him back. Mr Darnell says "You should have never fired me in the first place". He never fired him. He suspended him. See more »

Quotes

Joe Clark: [removing Sams' baseball cap] Hey, son... Put something in your head, not on it!
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Connections

References Club Nouveau: Lean on Me (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

All the Way to Love
Performed by Siedah Garrett
Produced by Glen Ballard, Brooks Arthur and Michael Schiffer
Courtesy of Qwest Records
Written by Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett
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User Reviews

strong acting helps overcome the familiarity of the material
12 March 2007 | by Special-K88See all my reviews

Freeman is perfectly cast as "Crazy" Joe Clark, a radical, newly appointed principal at a deteriorating, gang-ridden school who gets through to his students with a tough, opinionated, no-nonsense approach to the pursuit of academic excellence. The odds are stacked against him as the education board threatens to shut down Eastside High School, but with his burning desire, devoted staff and administration, and some bright students who actually want to succeed, he rallies them for what will be the final chance to save the school. Based on a true story the premise is familiar and the script has its ups and downs, but it's meaningful and acted with strength and conviction, especially Freeman who is nothing short of superb. ***


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Portuguese

Release Date:

3 March 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lean on Me See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,032,605, 5 March 1989

Gross USA:

$31,906,454

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,906,454
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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