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School Daze (1988)

Laurence Fishburne , Giancarlo Esposito , Spike Lee  |  R |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Laurence Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Kyme, Joe Seneca
  • Directors: Spike Lee
  • Writers: Spike Lee
  • Producers: Spike Lee, Grace Blake, Loretha C. Jones, Monty Ross
  • Format: Full Screen, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 30, 2001
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000051YMS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,091 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "School Daze" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Innovative filmmaker, Spike Lee (She's Gotta Have It), brings to the screen a music-filled, offbeatcontemporary comedy that takes an unforgettable look at black college life. Amidst gala coronations, football, fraternities, parades and parties, the stars of the film-Laurence Fishburne ("Dap" Dunlap), an intense student who encourages his buddies ("DaFellas") to fight for his beliefs; Giancarlo Esposito (Julian "Big Brother Almighty" Eaves), out to strengthen the Greek system with his Gamma PhiGamma fraternity brothers; Spike Lee ("Half-Pint"), driven to become a "Gamma man"; and Tisha Campbell (Jane Toussaint), leader of the sorority, "Gamma Rays," find themselves caught up in romance andrelationships/rituals and rivalries during one outrageous homecoming weekend. With dynamic music, including EU's hit "Da Butt", and dance numbers choreographed by Otis Sallid (Fame), Lee successfully challenges viewpoints about self-identity and self-esteem in this original, contemporary musical comed

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Lee's Best January 25, 2001
Format:DVD
I once heard on a TV talk show that you don't have to be a parent to know about kids. This was uttered by a single female with tons of doctorate credentials. As I listened, having kids of my own, I found her comments clinical and devoid of those fundamentals any parent experiences during daily contact with their offspring. I subsequently disregarded most of her observations with the exception of the obvious. Some things do have to be experienced. With that said, Spike Lee's School Daze had to be experienced to really appreciate the social comments being made. Being a graduate of Howard University (an Afro-American college since federal inception) in Washington, D.C., I could readily identify with the life and social levels depicted. This movie is FUBU (For Us By Us). The distinction between light skinned and dark skinned, "good hair" and "kinks", "Greeked" (Fraternity/Sorority) and outsiders, upper-class, middle-class and no-class, may be lost in an already segmented society. However, it hits home to anyone (irregardless of ethnic background) who has attended historically rooted colleges and universiies. The voluntary (and involuntary!) sub-segmentation on campus is real and extant. Spike Lee's direction, musical scenes and comedic comment, gives us a laugh at these really stupid concepts. Laurence Fishburne as usual gives an excellent performance as a politically aware student, trying to change a system that cannot be changed, and personally changing because of it. Spike Lee plays his usual "Baby, baby, pleaseee baby, baby" self-depreciating character caught-up in fraternity life but willing to play for the perceived rewards of acceptance. Giancarlo Esposito is the fraternity leader and movie antagonist bent maintaining class/segment separation. Read more ›
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tough Pill to Swallow April 10, 2001
Format:DVD
As an African American, fraternity member I found this movie not only entertaining, but also convicting. Being a man of Omega (those familiar with the Black Greek system know what I mean) I was a little offended by Gamma Phi Gamma's dipiction of the "dogs." More often than once I felt he was referring to the "dogs of Purple and Gold." Yet, once I got beyond my petty sensitivities, Lee's underlying critique of the social ills plaguing the African American community revolving around issues of social consciousness, skin color, hair texture, education, etc., made this movie provocative and challenging. Also, it's depiction of homecoming, pledging, parties and general "college life" made for an entertaining walk down memory lane. I found his attempt at making this a musical production to be somewhat forced, although the lyrics of the songs were pointedly appropriate.
I may not completely agree with Lee's conclusion concerning the advantages (or disadvantages) of participating in the Black Greek System. However, I appreciate his candid attempt to "tell it like it is." My mother used to say, "Don't air the dirty laundry in public." This is exactly what Lee has done, and unfortunately it is about time.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars College Life From The Black Perspective September 30, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
I have seen this film a few times. Although parts of it are a bit overdone, it basically shows that African Americans each have varying views on their own identity. The scene in the fast food restaurant where the locals and the the college kids clash shows that even African Americans have issues amongst each other. African Americans just like any other race or religious group need to accept each others differences and get along. Spike Lee and Lawrence Fishbourne give excellent portrayals of two conflicting characters in this movie and send a very powerful message especially in the final scene.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spike NAILED the HBCU experience! March 20, 2006
Format:DVD
It takes an HBCU graduate to write about the HBCU experience, period. Just look at "A Different World" and how bad the first season was. Debbie Allen (a Howard grad, I believe) stepped in and gave the show the authenticity it sorely needed. So it's no surprise that Spike Lee, the Morehouse man, would make a movie that sparked so much emotion on both sides of the coin. I'm not saying that you had to attend an HBCU to UNDERSTAND "School Daze", but you had to have attended one to get the real "flavor" of what it was like. And you have to have an open mind.

Any HBCU alum saying that this film wasn't realistic is flat-out lying. Yes, it hit on some things that the old folks call "dirty laundry" (such as hazing, color issues, those who think that getting an education makes you "white", and so on), but those things are real at HBCUs - yes, even today. (Major props to Spike for having that ONE dark-skinned sista in the Gamma Rays. Isn't that ALWAYS the way?) And there are no "good" people or bad people; Spike leaves that decision up to you. Julian had his good points (his intelligence, leadership and pride in his town, school, etc) and Dap had his bad points (his blatant bigotry and bullying), and both of them had legitimate points.

One thing Spike nailed right on was the confrontations that the students tended to have on a regular basis. No offense to whites or anyone who graduated from a PWC, but in my experience at a predominately white high school, I noticed that students there were a lot more subtle with their dislike; they particpated in a more "destroying from within" kind of system, and grew wide-eyed and offended when confronted, even with solid proof. ("I would NEVER spread rumors about you/sleep with your boyfriend/steal your term paper!
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Why 2 discs?
NOTHING MAJOR THIS VERSION CONTAINS THE MOVIE + THE SDTK ON THE 2ND DISC & THE COVER IS DIFFERENT (THAT'S ALL)!
Mar 25, 2007 by MS JERSEY |  See all 2 posts
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