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To Sir, With Love
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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.
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A most excellent film, cast (and yes, even the music/soundtrack - evokes the 60's). I saw this in the late 60's and never, ever, forgot it!
Even though some consider it dated, times may change, but people never do...
Most recommended effort (and FIVE STARS)!!
To Sir, With Love.
Top international reviews
What an amazing cast – Scottish singer Lulu who plays the part of working class Londoner Barbara “Babs” Pegg, does with a very convincing London accent, and she also provides some of the music soundtrack of the film, other cast members include Judy Geeson, Adrienne Posta, Suzy Kendall, Geoffrey Bayldon, Patricia Routledge, Emmerdale's Christopher Chittell, and the star of the film, the very handsome Sidney Poitier, it has a solid if perhaps predictable story, that is told well, and it has some fantastic music.
Since I first saw “To Sir With Love” decades ago now, I've always loved the film but hadn't seen it for many years, and I thought I might be taking a risk in watching it again as there might be the possibility that my appreciation of the film could have changed in a negative way – but not a chance! It still is bleedin' fantastic. The music, some of which I suppose sounds somewhat dated in the twenty-first century is still one of the major appeals of the film for me. The first scene as the opening credits roll and drums and a bass-line are heard before Lulu sings “Those schoolgirl days ….” is just brilliant, the music throughout the films is great and the film's title song is one of the most memorable songs that can be heard in a film ever.
There are topics that are covered in the film that are just as relevant today as they were in the mid 'sixties – courtesy and respect for everyone else in society, aspirations for individuals, and rebellion (but channelled in the right way). I can only guess how a young cinema audience today would view “To Sir With Love” today, but given that I think the film still has relevance today, I would hope they would view it favourably.
But for me, dated or not, and even with its imperfections it's still bleedin' brilliant!
On the DVD (ASIN: B00004D37N) you get
“To Sir With Love” (1 hour 41 minutes)
Audio Options: Language: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Optional Subtitles: English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Danish
U.S. Theatrical Trailer
Talent Profiles (text only): Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, and director James Clavell
Not much needs to be said about this film that other reviews haven't touched on. With the premise being of an unwitting communications engineer ( Sidney Poitier) turning teacher to bridge an unemployment gap. Here he meets a class of rebellious kids in an East London school unwilling to participate in society.
The 1080p picture transfer is absolutely superb, giving the iconic scenes and imagery a fantastic pin sharp depth. Where the grain is visible on the film, it only adds a more atmospheric feel.
For those who have not seen this film, never be afraid to give this true classic of 1967 a try.
About the struggle of an inexperienced teacher reaching out to the minds of youth and giving them the power to grow into adults, this film deals in facing disappointment, having dignity and gaining self-respect. Of rising above what is expected, broadening expectations and achieving full potential.
Sidney Poitier gives an excellent portrayal of an out of work engineer who takes a job teaching whilst he hunts for 'real' work. Totally out of his depth he struggles to maintain order in a class of undisciplined, 'no hope' school leavers. Turning away from the standard curriculum he proceeds to take his students down a broader journey into acquiring the skills and life experiences they will need to face adulthood.
Whilst sentimentally touching this film actually has a great depth, like life itself, dealing as it does in teenage angst, forbidden love, brutality, minority groups, race relations and poverty. A slice of sixties social idealism it would not be out of place as support material on any teacher training course.
My teacher used to throw the chalk remover at us. Wish we had sir. Lol