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Stand and Deliver (1988)

Edward James Olmos , Estelle Harris , Ramón Menéndez  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)

Price: $5.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan, Virginia Paris, Eliot
  • Directors: Ramón Menéndez
  • Writers: Ramón Menéndez, Tom Musca
  • Producers: Iya Labunka, Lindsay Law, Tom Musca
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 10, 1998
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305161917
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,115 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Stand and Deliver" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Edward James Olmos's Oscar-nominated performance energizes this true-life story of a Los Angeles high school teacher who drives his students on to excellence at calculus.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 100 people found the following review helpful
Stand and deliver is one of my favorite movies. It's the story of a man who begins teaching at a high school in the slums of Los Angeles, expecting to teach Computer Science. When he arrives what he instead finds is that there is not computer department, and he's stuck teaching basic math to a bunch of social misfits. The beginning of this movie sets the stage wonderfully by showing us the kind of people who inhabit the city as he drives through it on the way to the first day of school. When he arrives at the school we see the students in their natural environment (and a rough one it is). What is a teacher to do?

The protagonist of this awe-inspiring story (Jaime Escalante) is a wonderful example of what can happen when a person chooses to adapt to certain environments and NOT adapt to others. When he's given the task of educating a group of kids that includes some scary gang-member type looking kids, instead of acting like a teacher he acts tough right back (reminding them that they're in HIS domain). Yet, when he's brought into a room with the other teachers and school staff, he goes against the grain. When the school's head advisor tells the principle that everyone is doing their best, he immediately says that he's not. And when she tells the principle that Escalante is asking too much of his students, he boldly tells her that the students will rise to the expectations of their teacher.

This alone makes the movie interesting. But what adds even more drama to situation is the fact that each and every student in the class Escalante teaches has their own peer pressures to deal with. Some students have unsavory friends who would laugh at their taking a class seriously. Some of the students have boyfriends or girlfriends who don't understand their sudden interest in school.
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars compellingly entertaining December 21, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Stand and Deliver, directed by Ramón Menéndez and starring Edward James Olmos, is an entertaining dramatic retelling of a true story about what one man can accomplish when he dedicates his life to serving others.
The film contrasts the results of an educational system where no one cares enough to do anything more than to emptily, heartlessly "go through the motions," with what can be achieved through the labors of a single teacher who cares enough to demand more. The film argues for this more caring kind of educator. Each contrast suggests the inherent superiority of educators putting more than just their time into teaching their students; they must put in their hearts and souls as well.
The story is told from a several perspectives. The primary perspective is that of Jaime Escalante, a man who leaves the private sector to teach public High School in Eastern Los Angeles. There are a couple of secondary perspectives told concurrently with that of Escalante.
One is that of Angel, a troubled youth who is Escalante's most challenging student. Another is the ongoing romance between two of Escalante's other students: Lupe and Pedro. These differing perspectives serve as a narrative device in the film. The shifting back and forth between these story lines helps to break up the film into comprehensible segments within the linear whole. These alternate perspectives help build the viewer's affection for and interest in the students portrayed; while at the same time building the dramatic tension of the plot.
All in all, Stand and Deliver is successful in its aims (namely advancing the argument that there are no "uneducatable" students) while remaining compellingly entertaining.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
STAND AND DELIVER is one of the best movies to show to high school kids, whether you're a parent or a teacher. Real life math teacher Jaime Escalante, protrayed by Edward James Olmos, teaches his students more than adding and subracting fractions in the cruel setting of East Los Angeles. He shows them how to stretch beyond their limited lives and to rise to their dreams, and he teaches them how to stand up after the world tries to crush their hopes. I show this movie every year to my 8th grade math students, and when the ending credits are rolling, they are always stunned silent, unable to speak. They love STAND AND DELIVER!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Idea, altered for Artistic Purposes June 22, 2005
This is a great "feel good" movie, but Hollywood altered the story for theatricality. In the film, a group of students who are having difficulties with simple fractions are brought up, in one year, to become calculus winners.

There is a good backgroud article at:


that describes how the process took ten years, so that the original group of future-burger-flipping students were not the ones who passed the AP calculus exam. Jaime Escalante (played by Edward James Olmos of "Miami Vice" fame) actually built up the system of excellence one grade at a time, reaching back to the junior high school that fed Garfield High.

The way that the movie was done, however, allows the viewers to see some of the decision-making processes that the students went through in understanding that they could achieve and did have a chance in life to be more than others around them, especially their parents.

Remarkably, at one point there were as many as 400 students enrolled in math enrichment classes under Escalante's leadership. That's 400 fewer future employees for KFC and MacDonald's. (As Escalante said in one of his taunts to a reluctant student, "So tough guys don't do math - tough guys deep fry chicken for a living?")

Eventually, it appears that the Education Establishment won out, driving the brilliant teacher out, and sending the kids back to a guaranteed failed future.

The idea is great, that no student should be regarded as hopeless, and that all should be encouraged to try, but obviously there is a lot more work involved in that goal than this movie shows.
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