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Killing Mr Griffin


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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From the author of I Know What You Did Last Summer comes this edge-of-your-seat thriller, reminiscent of Teaching Mrs. Tingle. A group of high school students (Amy Jo Johnson, "Felicity"; Scott Baristow, The Postman; Mario Lopez, Colors) hatch a plot to kidnap an overly strict teacher, Mr. Griffin (Jay Thomas, Mr. Holland's Opus), wanting to teach him a lesson in humiliation. But the lesson goes too far. Mr. Griffin isn't cooperating. They leave him tied up in the woods only to return and find him dead. Who killed Mr. Griffin? What started out as a prank has turned into murder. A cover-up begins as the plot twists. How can they find out who really killed Mr. Griffin?

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Scott Bairstow, Amy Jo Johnson, Mario Lopez, Chris Young, Michelle Williams
  • Directors: Jack Bender
  • Writers: Kathleen Rowell, Lois Duncan, Michael Angeli
  • Producers: Chris Young, Bonnie Raskin, Suzy Beugen, Thomas L. Wilhite
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Black & White
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009YXGP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,325 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Killing Mr Griffin" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Molly P. on August 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
With lots of star power (Scott Bairstow, Amy Jo Johnson, Michelle Williams, and more), Killing Mr. Griffin occasionally hits home because it contains realistic elements of teenage life--at any rate, the life of an awkward, smart, unpopular teenage girl, Susan, who is dying to be popular. Amy Jo Johnson plays this part well. After her teacher, Mr. Griffin, humilates her in class, Susan agrees to be part of a prank that is operated by some of the popular kids, including the guy she has a crush on. The kids want to humilate Mr. Griffin, like he humiliates his students. But the prank goes horribly wrong, and the students spend the rest of the movie living with the consequences of having to keep a terrible secret. Susan is especially haunted by what has happened. Her friend Maya (Michelle Williams) and her family suspect she is hiding something, and Susan is conflicted between doing the right thing and keeping her "good girl" image. It's a bit scary at times. Sometimes even a little *too* dark and edgy. It isn't the best film out there, but it is an interesting story and features talented actors, which more than make up for the dreariness of the plot.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
As far as TV movies go, "Killing Mr. Griffin" is a pretty good teen-oriented suspense film and a definite improvement on the 1978 book Lois Duncan wrote. In the book, there's no main character to empathize with, but in the movie, Susan McConnell (played by Amy Jo Johnson) is the leading protagonist, who is targeted by a group of popular classmates and asked to assist them in a senior prank played on Mr. Griffin (Jay Thomas), the harsh English teacher at Del Norte High School. Things go wrong, though, when Mr. Griffin accidentally dies on them due to his heart condition, and now all six teens must try and cover up his death.
Most of the book's characters are the same in the movie, except for Tori and Bree (Mindy Spence and Jennifer Hammon), who are kind of a combination of Betsy Cline, the cheerleader in the book. Tori is probably the closest thing to Betsy, though--she's basically a blonde rah-rah. But in the movie, Tori is Mark Kinney's (Scott Bairstow) girlfriend, whereas in the book, Mark was pretty much a loner. He's also much more popular and charismatic in the movie--and not all that bad-looking either. ;)
The remaining two guys, Dave Ruggles (Mario Lopez) and Jeff Garrett (Chris Young), act as Mark's sidekicks, but Dave is more in the spotlight than Jeff, because he's the one to lure Susan into their kidnapping scheme. Michelle Williams from "Dawson's Creek" even makes a few appearances as Susan's close friend, Maya (another made-up character for the movie).
If you've read "Killing Mr. Griffin" by Lois Duncan, then you might want to give this movie a try. In my opinion, it's much better than the book. It's more organized plot wise, has good character development and a somewhat better ending. Rated PG-13 for some violence and sensuality.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lady Blakeney on January 26, 2004
Format: DVD
Lois Duncan's Killing Mr. Griffin was an interesting novel in its own right, but this made for television movie manages to improve on the original. Amy Jo Johnson, the pretty young actress many may recognize as the former Pink Power Ranger, stars as Susan McConnell. Susan is a good student, yet she is shy and awkward around the popular crowd. She is especially shy around Dave (former "Saved by the Bell" player Mario Lopez), the handsome jock she has a crush on. Mark, the leader of the group Dave hangs with, is bent on becoming student body president and the most popular guy in high school. After being humiliated by Mr. Griffin, the notoriously strict English teacher, Mark develops a plan to get revenge. They will kidnap Mr. Griffin as a prank to humiliate him as he has humiliated students. Susan is unwittingly sucked into the plan by her feelings for Dave and her desire to become popular. Dave is pressured into using Susan's obvious feelings for him to a nasty advantage. The plan to kidnap Griffin goes almost as planned...but then he dies unexpectedly, and things spin out of control. The climax of the film is better than that in the novel, with just enough suspense to keep viewers hooked. Overall, this movie was excellent, and serves as a grim reminder of what peer pressure is capable of. The only qualm I had was that it was not a theatrical release. Highly recommended.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 19, 2000
Format: DVD
Finally! A Lois Duncan movie that actually is LIKE the book.
For most people that have seen the movie and read the book probably think I'm crazy. I've heard many times that the movie is NOTHING like the book.
NOT so!
Even Lois Duncan liked it herself and was proud to have her name on it.
The movie follows a silent, shy girl named Susan that is far from popular. She daydreams about David, a popular boy in what I call the "in-crowd". Things start heating up when Mr. Griffin, a tough, no-nonsense teacher, brings the in-crowd to their knees. Play time and slacking is over when you hit his classroom.
Of course, the in-crowd doesn't like it and the leader, Mark, convinces the others in the group (ala followers) to play a...vengeful prank on Griffin: kidnap him and make him crawl like he does to his students. But they need a decoy: Susan, who is one of Griffin's better students. Susan, dazzled by the attention of the in-crowd and David, falls into their whims and agrees to help with the prank. But things suddenly go wrong. Yep, of all things Griffin ends up dead by accident--or is it? Now the rest of the movie the group tries to cover up the crime. But, of course, their plans go wrong.
The movie, I believe, captured the essense of Lois Duncan's original novel. It has some differences (major to minor), but the point of Duncan's book is there. Unlike like other movies based on Lois Duncan's novels, (I Know What You Did Last Summer and I've Been Waiting For You for example) Lois Duncan's point of writing the original novel is not thrown away to make a cheap teen slasher flick. And that alone gets kudos in my book.
Rent it and see.
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