7.4/10
16,970
83 user 15 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.

Director:

John G. Avildsen
Reviews
Popularity
1,279 ( 406)

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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

Director: Ramón Menéndez
Stars: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan
The Principal (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A teacher is assigned to be the principal of a violent and crime-ridden high school.

Director: Christopher Cain
Stars: Jim Belushi, Louis Gossett Jr., Rae Dawn Chong
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ex-Marine turned teacher struggles to connect with her students in an inner city school.

Director: John N. Smith
Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzundza, Courtney B. Vance
La Bamba (1987)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

Director: Luis Valdez
Stars: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A hustling drug addict checks himself into rehab to escape trouble with the law and realizes that it's exactly what he needs.

Director: Glenn Gordon Caron
Stars: Michael Keaton, Kathy Baker, Morgan Freeman
Lean on Me (Video 2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

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.

Director: Ifeanyi Ikpoenyi
Stars: Hanks Anuku, Segun Arinze, Rita Dominic
Juice (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Four inner-city teenagers get caught up in the pursuit of power and happiness, which they refer to as "the juice".

Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Stars: Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An English boy, living in Africa during World War II, through his boxing prowess, becomes a symbol of hope, in a time of war.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Stephen Dorff, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Morgan Freeman
New Jack City (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.

Director: Mario Van Peebles
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne
Glory (1989)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes
Drama

A high school principal in Akron, Ohio applies an unorthodox approach to disciplining her students. Television adaptation of the 1989 film 'Lean on Me'.

Lean on Me 2 (Video 2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Ifeanyi Ikpoenyi
Stars: Hanks Anuku, Segun Arinze, Rita Dominic
Edit

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 'Huggy' Hopkins ... Thomas Sams
Karen Malina White ... Kaneesha Carter
Karina Arroyave ... Maria
Ivonne Coll ... Mrs. Santos
Regina Taylor ... Mrs. Carter
Edit

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 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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Portuguese

Release Date:

3 March 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apóyate en mí See more »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Half the cast, including Morgan Freeman, are left-handed. See more »

Goofs

When the superintendent is discussing who to hire as the principal with the Mayor, the Mayor asks "What was last year's score?". The Superintendent answers "38%". Later, when Joe leaves the stage after expelling the bad students, there is a chart that shows that last year's score was 30%. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Elliott: [in the choir room] I would love to chat, Mr. Clark, but I have a concert next week in New York and I would like to be prepared.
Joe Clark: What?
Mrs. Elliott: Prepare. You do know that means? It means capable, ready and up to your job.
Joe Clark: What concert, Mrs. Elliott?
Mrs. Elliott: The one at Lincoln Center. We do one every year.
Joe Clark: Until now. Your concert is cancelled.
Mrs. Elliott: What?
Joe Clark: CANCELLED! You do know what cancelled means, don't you, Mrs. Elliott? Over! Finished! Terminated!
Mrs. Elliott: WHY? These children have worked too hard!
Joe Clark: And for not telling me for ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Morgan Freeman Performances (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

I AIN'T MAKIN' IT
Performed by Stetsasonic
Produced by Daddy-O and DBC
Courtesy of Tommy Boy Records
Written by Arnold Hamilton, Bob Coulter and Daddy-O (as Glenn Bolton)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Morgan Freeman Dominates the Action From Start to Finish
25 November 2000 | by tfrizzellSee 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.


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 83 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed