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Lean On Me

4.7 out of 5 stars 404 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Rated: PG

  • Format: DVD

Product Details

  • Format: DVD
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: WAR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (404 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0030GCZOU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,937 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
`Lean On Me' has become one of my favorite inspirational movies involving real people and events, despite the simplified and sometimes sappy-sickly-sweet Hollywood `feel-good' treatment it's been given, along with a happy ending that ties everything up a bit too neat and nice. The forces trying to stop Joe Clark's straightforward efforts to turn Eastside High School around has been simplified for the movie, basically involving just a disgruntled parent and the city mayor. Even the many heated arguments between Clark and his faculty & superiors are less than sophisticated in wording and tone. None the less, I've always loved Morgan Freeman's performance of Clark.
Clark's expulsion of the most delinquent students was a pretty neat scene, and was something of a surprise when I first saw it. Anyone who'd attempt that nowadays would probably get sued penniless. And the rooftop scene where he tells expelled crackhead student Thomas Sams to just jump off the roof of the school and kill himself swiftly rather than slowly by smoking crack is one of my fave film moments, and the best 'tough love' moment in movie history: "It kills your brain cells, son, it kills your brain cells!"
And as the school improves, Clark does as well. In the movie you see him learning and adapting alongside the students & faculty. Even with his best efforts, he discovers that can't turn things around by himself. At first, his gruff behavior and strongarm approaches to solving problems makes most of the teachers reluctant to help him out. But they learn to adapt to Clark, and he learns to soften his methods a bit, and even gains a sense of humor.
Sadly, the real Joe Clark, to a small degree, has `gone Hollywood'. His big gig nowadays is working the lecture circuit, as a motivational speaker.
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Format: DVD
Paul Newman once said 'Give an actor a good script and he'll move the world'. Well thats what Morgan Freeman did. His portrayl of principal Joe Clark is astonishing. He obviously studied Clark very very closely....its a commmand performance.

So if you want to see Freeman in one of his best movies, well this is it. A must see!!!
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Format: DVD
The movie, Lean On Me, focuses on the vigorous efforts of one man, Joe Clark, to clean up Eastside High School and make it a safe enviroment conducive to learning. The Joe Clark, portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the movie, began his task with a domineering, aggressive manner that held the ideal that the positive outweighs the negative. With a transactional leadership quality, Clark immediately gains control of the schoolthrough "challenging the process" as he reprimands the school's faculty for the current state of the school. His next step was to expell students deemed as undesirable trouble makers. Altogether, 300 students were told that they were no longer welcome at Eastside High School. The antagonist in the movie is a mother of one of the expelled students who immediately begins plotting Clark's demise, and continues to do so throughout the movie. While reforming the school and working to raise student test scores, Joe Clark not only transforms the school for the better, but also goes through a personal reformation as he learns to show appreciation for those working with him to accomplish a shared vision.
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Format: VHS Tape
There's much to learn hear about leadership, management, and discipline. All of which seem to be in short supply in many of our public schools. But that may be more of a result of lethargic school boards rather than faculty. Morgan Freeman is transformed into Joe Clark, the brash, hard nosed, take no prisoners principal of the all too real East Side High. His principles are straight forward. 1) Discipline. No cigarettes, weapons, mouthing off, grafitti, drugs, tardiness. 2) Personal responsibility for both teacher and student alike 3) Pride in yourself, your race, your community, and your institution. 4) Hard work. And perhaps most importantly 5) the value of an education to affect your opportunities in life.
Joe Clark listens, encourages, chastises, and directs students and faculty. And perhaps most importantly he is accessible. Walking the hallways, attending classes. Although his measures may have been at times extreme and not in keeping with popular sentiment you could not argue with his results.
The film works and I definitely rate it as a purchase just not necessarily a classic.
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By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
If you are a Morgan Freeman fan, this is a great movie. As always Morgan Freeman is excellent in the role of Joe Clark. Based on a true story of a man who was willing to do whatever it takes to make something great happen.
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Format: DVD
Morgan Freeman does an excellent job depicting Joe Clark, former principal of inner-city Eastside High in Paterson, N.J. Clark previously had been an Army drill instructor, elementary school teacher and then principal in one of the city's worst neighborhoods. Ninety percent of that school's 1,000 students, mostly poor blacks and Latinos, read below grade level when Clark took over; by 1982 the school was so much better that Clark was hailed s a miracle man and sent to Eastside High. Freeman shows Clark as primarily an autocratic disciplinarian who encouraged school pride and good behavior. There he stayed for seven years.

In 1979 the county prosecutor's office labeled Eastside 'a caldron of terror and violence.' Drug deals were made in the open, and principals and teachers routine assaulted. One hundred fifty teachers out of two hundred departed during his first five years. Clark admits he encourages them to leave by routinely bawling them out in front of their classes.

Unfortunately, other sources report that education scores did not substantially improve, resulting in Eastside High being taken over by the state one year after Clark's departure in 1991. Others criticized Clark's expelling large numbers of delinquent students to improve test scores as 'simply moving the problems from the school onto the street.' And the film exaggerated his students' test scores, as well as the graffiti on the walls prior to his arrival.

Another distortion - the film depicted Clark as keeping fire inspectors out as a by-product of his chaining doors to keep out drug dealers. Reality - it was a state monitoring team that Clark kept out. Further, the reason the school board threatened to fire him - ' unbecoming conduct' and 'insubordination.
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