7.4/10
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81 user 14 critic

Lean on Me (1989)

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

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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Powers
Sloane Shelton ...
Mrs. Hamilton
Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins ...
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Mrs. Santos
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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 his 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 never had a principal this tough...or one who cared this much about its students. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apóyate en mí  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,000,000, 5 March 1989, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$31,906,454
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real-life Joe Clark resigned as principal of Eastside High School shortly after the film was released. Around the time the film debuted, he was suspended by the school board for one week, after scheduling an assembly, in which dancers stripped down to their G-strings. Clark said he hadn't known about it in advance. Ironically, the man who suspended him, was Dr. Frank Napier, the Superintendent played by Robert Guillaume in the film. After Clark left Eastside, he became an author, and motivational speaker. In 1995, he was hired to run a juvenile detention center in Newark, New Jersey, a position he held, until he resigned in 2002. During his time there, he once again came under fire for his controversial methods. See more »

Goofs

Mr Clark stops Sams in the hallway when he's about to duck into the bathroom to look for his friends. He begins to question Sams how he's doing in class and asks when he gets his report card. The principal of a school, especially one as hard-nosed as Mr Clark would know when report cards are issued. See more »

Quotes

Kaneesha Carter: Mr. Clark don't play!
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Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Bad Teacher/Cars 2 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

LEAN ON ME
Performed by Sandra Reaves-Phillips and the Cast
Produced by Brooks Arthur and Michael Schiffer
Also Performed by Club Nouveau
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Morgan Freeman Dominates the Action From Start to Finish
25 November 2000 | by See all my reviews

Good film about a high school principal in New Jersey (Morgan Freeman) who will stop at nothing to make the school the best it can be. This film is based on a true story, but it never does come through as well as it could have. Freeman dominates the action, but everyone else just seems to be going through the motions. A few people have their moments, but Freeman's dynamite performance overshadows everyone else. These are both the strong and weak points of "Lean on Me". John G. Avildsen once again proves that he has trouble with his direction. The screenplay though is the real culprit, as it is just not as smart and intriguing as it could have been. 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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