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The Substitute (1996)

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After a botched mission in Cuba, professional mercenary Shale and his crew Joey Six, Hollan, Rem, and Wellman head home to Miami, Florida, where Shale is reunited with his fiance Jane ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Mandel
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... Shale
Raymond Cruz ... Joey Six
William Forsythe ... Hollan
Luis Guzmán ... Rem
Richard Brooks ... Wellman
Ana Azcuy Ana Azcuy ... TV Announcer
Diane Venora ... Jane Hetzko
Glenn Plummer ... Sherman
Shar-Ron Corley ... Jerome (as Sharron Corley)
Vincent Laresca ... Rodriguez
Maurice Compte ... Tay
Marc Anthony ... Lacas
Ernie Hudson ... Rolle
Beau Weaver ... Janus Showreel Narrator
Cliff De Young ... Wolfson
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Storyline

After a botched mission in Cuba, professional mercenary Shale and his crew Joey Six, Hollan, Rem, and Wellman head home to Miami, Florida, where Shale is reunited with his fiance Jane Hetzko, who is a history teacher at Columbus High School in Miami. Some of Jane's students happen to be members of a street gang known as the "Kings of Destruction" (KOD), led by Juan Lacas, who has been terrorizing Jane. After Jane's kneecap is broken by a big seminole named Bull, she tells Shale that she believes Lacas ordered the attack, so Shale goes undercover as Jane's substitute, and initially, Jane has no idea that Shale is doing this. At the school, Shale meets principal Claude Rolle, librarian Hannah Dillon, and english and drama teacher Darrell Sherman. It turns out that Lacas is one of Jane's students. As Shale investigates the attack on Jane, he discovers that drugs are being circulated into the school. Shale even investigates local drug kingpin Johnny Glades, who may or may not have someone... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most dangerous thing about school used to be the students. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 April 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El sustituto See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,096,833, 21 April 1996

Gross USA:

$14,818,176

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,818,176
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Tom Berenger's character explains to the class he is teaching about his services and experiences in Vietnam. Berenger played a Sgt. (Barnes) in the Vietnam movie Platoon 10 years earlier. See more »

Goofs

When Shale throws the fourth kid from the window in the library scene his shirt is unbuttoned and you can see that he is not wearing his bullet-proof vest. In the next shot he is taking the vest off. See more »

Quotes

Principal Claude Rolle: Two of your students are in the nurse's office talking a lawsuit right now.
Shale: Why, is the nurse a lawyer?
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Substitute 2: School's Out (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Licorice Stiks
Written by D. Weldon, C. Givings, S. Bell
Performed by Intense Method
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not very good - though Berenger was excellent!
13 June 2004 | by RussianPantyHogSee all my reviews

I have to agree with the majority. This film is not very good; badly directed, sloppy script, tedious stereotypes, and cliched throughout. But in my opinion Tom Berenger just about saved it. He is an EXCELLENT actor & I don't understand why his career stalled. I guess that's just the nature of Hollywood. The scene where Berenger has just beaten up a pair of gangsters and the Principal asks him to apologise to them stands out in particular. "Oh, that'll be the $@#%£$& day." This is what a GOOD actor can do with even a throwaway line. My own Drama teacher was fond of saying: "Don't just DO something. STAND there." Berenger's been unfairly criticised for a "leaden" performance, but I think it was intentional - and perfect! It showed the gravity of Shale's personality. He's a dark & serious guy. I was also amazed to see that Berenger was 47 when this movie was made. I'm 20 years younger and in (much) worse shape. I was also glad to see Luis Guzman in this film, though he was completely wasted. Anyone who's seen him play "Pachanga" in Carlito's Way will know how fantastic he is in the hyperactive/psychotic supporting role; yet he hardly had a single line. Crazy! My biggest criticism of The Substitute is something I haven't noticed anyone else mention; so here goes. Where the Hell were the Miami Police!!!!!! Here you have a school absolutely awash with drugs and gangsters, assault rifles, unemployed kids driving BMW 735s, teachers being threatened, attacked and murdered etc etc - yet not a cop in sight? So, mega-disappointing. I recently saw Berenger in the latest series of Law & Order. He played an ageing FBI Agent trying to take the blame for his teenage daughter who commits a murder. Another stunning performance and it's a real shame he hasn't got the major roles he deserves.


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