David Greene is brought into a prestigious 1950s school to help their football team to beat the school's old rivals. David, however, is from a working class background, so he isn't really "one of them", but he's very successful at making friends. David is a Jew, and has to keep this a secret from his friends for fear of being rejected.Written by
I've read the first 30 comments about this movie. Not once did anyone comment on the reasons why Greene (Fraser) never mentioned his religion -- the casual "joking" and "common knowledge" comments heard in the bathroom. Is it any less a matter of prejudice to use the phrase "I jewed him down" than it would be to use the term "kike"? Is telling a derogatory joke about homosexuals any more offensive than calling us "fag"? This is the only movie I can think of right off-hand other than "The Laramie Project" that makes the point that casual speech can be used as a form of maintaining prejudice. For this reason alone, "School Ties" is an important film. As a survivor of a 1964 prep school much like the one in the movie, I can tell you that the scenes and attitudes are accurately presented. I found the characters to be a little one-sided, yes. It's rare to meet any person who is as totally focused and determined as the Greene presented here. Nor is any prejudiced person or group normally so totally open in expression as the "good old boys" we see in this production. But, that's the most impressive way to show the public just how bad it is to be bigoted or to be the target of bigotry. For the production and acting values I'd give this film 6 on a scale of 10. For the "pre-star" status performances of Fraser, O'Donell, Damon, and, yes, even Affleck, I'd give it a 7.5 on a scale of 10. For the message I'd give it 9.5 on that same scale. "School Ties" is a movie that can be enjoyed by anyone who sees it. For "star followers", it has a cool four New Idols in "pre-star" roles to add to their tape collections. For the activists in the world it is a stark and dramatic example of how prevalent unrecognised bigotry is in our society.
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