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To Sir, With Love

385 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A novice teacher faces a class of rowdy, undisciplined working-class punks in this classic film that reflected some of the problems and fears of teens in the 60s. Sidney Poitier gives one of his finest performances as Mark Thackeray, an out-of-work engineer who turns to teaching in London's tough East End. The graduating class, led by Denham (Christian Roberts), Pamela (Judy Geeson) and Barbara (Lulu, who also sings the hit title song), sets out to destroy Thackeray as they did his predecessor by breaking his spirit. But Thackeray, no stranger to hostility, meets the challenge by treating the students as young adults who will soon enter a work force where they must stand or fall on their own. When offered an engineering job, Thackeray must decide if he wants to stay.

Special Features

  • Bonus Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Judy Geeson, Sidney Poitier, Adrienne Posta, Christian Roberts
  • Directors: James Clavell
  • Producers: James Clavell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 1, 2000
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (385 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003L9C1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,899 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "To Sir, With Love" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 21, 2001
Format: DVD
1967 was an incredible year for Sidney Poitier. He starred in three magnificent films, the Academy Award winning films, In The Heat Of the Night & Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and this superb movie. Mr. Poitier stars as Mark Thackery who is an engineer, but in need of a job accepts a teaching position at a tough West End school. His class is made up of unruly ruffians and at first they rebel against him. It becomes obvious to Thackery that these kids don't have an interest in learning normal academics and that none of them will pursue higher education so he decides to prepare them for live by giving them lessons on how to cope in the real world. He gives cooking lessons, make up lessons for the girls, takes them to museums and they develop a respect and love for each other. Judy Geeson is fabulous as Pamela Dare, a blond beauty who develops a crush on Thackery. Christian Roberts is Devin the leader of the group. He is a thug not use to rules and is constantly testing Thackery. Lulu is Babs Pegg and she does a credible acting job and supplies the film with its famous theme song. Michael Des Barres has a minor part as one of the students and he would go on to minor rock career and marry one of the most famous of all rock groupies Pamela Des Barres. Mr. Poitier is the glue that holds the film together and he is equally forceful and compassionate in his performance. To sir With Love is dated in some ways with regards to the fashions and slang language, but it's story is timeless
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 4, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Somehow I just missed this one when it came out during my youth. I recently caught it on Satellite and immediately ordered the DVD. This is a wonderful, powerful film featuring a fabulous performance by Sidney Portier. I have caught Portier in a few other films, and he was excellent in all of them, but his performance in this film is quite simply magnificent. His class, intense intelligence, and talent all shine through in this moving story of a teacher who touches a classroom full of lower-class Brits and leaves them the better for it.

The storyline is well-known, so I shan't dwell on it in this review. Who among us has not had the good fortune of encountering, in our young years, a particularly gifted teacher who perhaps sets us on the right course despite ourselves? That is what this story is about. Portier (playing Mr. Thackary, to be addressed as "Sir!") is assigned to teach a tough classroom of young working class Brits, who are about to graduate and enter the workforce. The pupils are poorly educated and thuggish. Thackary quickly realizes that their real problem is that they lack a moral and social compass, or any appreciation of the value of an education. He confronts the class, and inspires most of them to steer a more proper course in life. This is a fine story of teenage angst, growing up, and the important role that a gifted teacher can play in a young life. An underlying and inspiring theme, of course, is the fact that Portier plays a black man immersed in a nearly completely white school at a time when Western society had a long way to go as regards racial equality. He encounters prejudice, but transcends it by his talent, intelligence, and force of personality. Eventually the class comes to fully appreciate the extraordinary nature of their teacher.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Eric Huffstutler on April 18, 2009
Format: DVD
Many have already praised the film itself and that is one of the major problems with Amazon - people talk about the film and rarely offer insight to the buyers who are here concerning the DVD quality itself.

I noted that some made mention of a 2-sided version with an error. These are most likely the earlier pressings that have the COLUMBIA CLASSICS banner. The newer pressings from 2004 have the 3-1/2 star rating at the top and only the widescreen version on the disc. In either case they are currently out of print due to poor sales. I can cite one reason and that is the poor quality print transfer. It is faded, washed out, grainy, and suffers from compression artifacting especially played on newer High Definition televisions that came out within the past couple years. The print used may have looked great on a standard 300 line tube set but not on a 1080 HD flat screen one. It missed Sony's re-mastering in High Definition and not quite sure why? And I don't see a re-release on the near horizon as Sony's management are not too keen on older catalog titles.

One hint for bargain hunters - I picked up a brand new factory sealed copy at a local Big Lots for $3. Get them while you can before the gougers make a profit from you because once they are gone, that is it - no more stock. They were available during the week of April 12, 2009.

Eric S. Huffstutler
Richmond, VA
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By talkytina on October 1, 2000
Format: DVD
Once again, Sidney Poitier transcends racial stereotypes, and provides us an important lesson in life. This time, he emerges as simply a good man who earns the love and respect of his students. 1967 was a memorable year for Poitier who starred in three, countem' three, box office hits. Perhaps the most penetrating line ever uttered in Poitier's distinguished career was in the same year: "They call me Mr. Tibbs!", he said, with a flare that is still haunting. "To Sir With Love" provides this truly sophisticated actor a much different setting to showcase his wisdom. Here, Poitier displays his natual gift for teaching as he politely but firmly tames a classroom full of London's most obnoxious bongholes. The situation intensifies when the quietly determined, novice school teacher insists that the potential hoodlums (who he is trying to rescue from the difficulties of being teenagers) change their self destructive behavior. Things get worse before they get better, and a powerful drama (and some fine acting) unfolds in the process. Audiences in 1967 gasped when Poitier showed up with his fiance at the dinner table of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Likewise, "To Sir With Love" audiences exhaled a collective sigh of relief when Poitier put aside his romantic interest in a favorite fair skinned pupil. Many of today's audiences are not enthusiastic about inter-racial dating and marriages either, but content of character (in such awkward situations) is certainly more of an overall consideration. Poitier's influence on American culture and its expanded capacity for tolerance cannot be underestimated. His presence on the big screen was the first time many people had experienced an Afro American who so modestly but effectively demanded treatment with dignity.Read more ›
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40th Anniversary Edition DVD???
Thanks msc for posting this question. I would like to know the same thing. My wife would like to have a copy and I was surprised to see on Amazon that it has been discontinued by the manufacturer. The only copies that appear to be available for purchase would be through Amazon marketplace at a... Read More
Jul 27, 2009 by Wally Cox |  See all 2 posts
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