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Front of the Class (Hallmark Hall of Fame: Gold Crown Collector's Edition)

4.9 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Starring Jimmy Wolk, Treat Williams, and Patricia Heaton, Front of the Class is the triumphant life story of Brad Cohen, a man who overcomes incredible obstacles to become a gifted teacher. When he was growing up, Brad started making funny noises - all the time. Only Brad - and his supportive mother - knew he couldn't control it. He was teased, misunderstood and punished for disrupting class. By the time he is diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome, Brad had learned to hate school. When an understanding school principal offers encouragement, amazingly Brad decides to become a teacher - the teacher he never had. But who in their right mind would put someone with Tourette's in front of the class? After 24 schools turned him down, Brad refused to give up. Discover what happens when one school finally gives him a chance. Brad Cohen's resilience and determination changed his life. His story may change yours.

Product Details

  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Hallmark
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026S2TU8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,567 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Front of the Class" may be one of the first to explain the curious trauma of Tourette Syndrome. Years ago I saw a crime drama on TV (I forget which one) about a teenager who loved movies, but his uncontrollable yelps, etc., ruined the movie for a bunch of bullies, who subsequently beat him to death. Ignorance and confusion will always affect those with Tourettes, as well as those who encounter such people.I have always been plagued by Tourettes, in a very mild form. I've always been a confident person, ready to handle most things, including performing on-stage. My college days, my early 20's, somehow brought out the worst of it, with the twitches and yelps. (This was back in the early 70's). People can be so cruel. "Front of the Class" must be the penultimate film ever to not only reveal the torment of Tourettes, but to explain the differences between the many varying forms of this "syndrome". My own problem has somewhat dissipated, with rare, minor re-occurances. Still, I can't forget the cruelty to which I was subjected, and other people's comments about those with Tourettes who shout random obscenities, and scream, etc. "Front of the Class" explains that those are "forms" of Tourettes that do not affect all "victims". Kudos to Hallmark and the amazing actor, Jimmy Wolk, for a courageous, all-out performance of commitment and sensitivity. The film is unforgettable in its sincerity, honesty and life-affirming message. Recommended to ALL.

UPDATE: Unknown to me, Jimmy Wolk does NOT have TS, a testament to his acting talent; reminiscent of di Caprio in "Gilbert Grape".
I'm impressed...
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Format: DVD
Brad Cohen had TS since he was a child. At school, he would make a noise, and the teacher would think he did it intentionally to disrupt the class. When in junior high, Cohen had poor peer relations.

As an adult, Cohen wanted very much to be a teacher. But no administrator would hire him. After much, much trying, traveling all over creation, Cohen was finally hired as a second-grade teacher. But that was only half the battle. Some kids made fun of him, and one parent pulled her child out of his class because she wanted a "normal" teacher for her child. Cohen had to lay down the law. While friendly with children, he had to prove that he was an authority figure, not a buddy.

In time, Cohen more than exceeded expectations. First the children, and then everybody else, loved him. As a teacher with TS myself, I found this movie (and book) quite inspiring. Never let anything stop your dreams. The challenge of dealing with a disability can be surpassed by the challenge of dealing with how others treat you because of their perceptions of your disability, and the challenge of convincing adults that your disability doesn't define you can be more difficult than convincing children of the same.
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Format: DVD
This movie is one of the few that are worth showing to prospective teachers. It is inspiring to those with "disabilities", those who deal with training kids, and those who wish to become teachers.
As a teacher involved with the Teachers for Tomorrow program, I can't wait to show this to my students. It really shows that students can overcome their disabilities and become whatever they have the drive to be. I am also planning to show it to my Psychology students as a way of looking at abnormal psych and how it should (and should not) be addressed.

As for the movie itself, it is done extremely well. It doesn't condescend or preach, but it does deliver a message. The acting was very good. I really couldn't find any fault with it. Patricia Heaton does a terrific job of portraying his mother (for those of us that only know her from Everybody Loves Raymond - who knew she could do a lead drama??)

I can heartily recommend this movie without reservations. Hallmark definitely hit a homerun with this movie.
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Format: DVD
A dear friend told me two days ago that this movie was going to be on TV tonight (6 Feb 10), so I knew that I had to watch it--and I'm very glad that I did. A few times, I cried because I have been plagued with Tourette Syndrome (TS) since about 1953, when I was eight years old. Perhaps many people will be able to gain some understanding about TS from this extremely well done movie. We are not freaks; we just have a disability over which we have no control, and for which medical science has not yet been able to develop a cure. I greatly admire Mr. Cohen for his optimism and perseverance, despite all the obstacles he had to face over the years. Many people would likely have just given up. Yet he turned what may seem to have been a liability into a powerful tool to help him become an overcomer and, more importantly, a super achiever.

Interestingly, I wanted to be a teacher myself from the time I was about 15, so I finally had an opportunity to be one in the Air Force for two years (1980-1982). Regrettably, there is no doubt in my mind that TS had an adverse impact on my performance. It wasn't until about 1981 or 1982 that I even became aware that there was a name for what I had. While that in and of itself did not help alleviate my condition, I at least knew something about it and came to realize that I wasn't alone.

If you have TS or know someone who does, this movie should have a very profound and positive impact on you. Even if you do not or do not know anyone with TS and have a chance to see it, I urge you to do so. It is well worth the time--as, I should add, is true with all Hallmark movies. ><>
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