An arrogant and unorthodox teacher returns as principal to the idyllic high school from which he had earlier been fired to find it a den of drug abuse, gang violence, and urban despair. Eventually his successful but unorthodox methods lead to a clash with city officials that threatens to undo all his efforts. Based on a true story. Written by
Keith Loh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the graduation ceremony during the credits, Thomas Sams joins the rest of the seniors. In reality, he would've graduated from Eastside as a member of the Class of 1991. See more »
Maria's hair between shots when Clark is somewhat berating Mrs. Powers over the way she taught the school song to the "song birds". See more »
[Clark's roof-top pep-talk to Thomas Sams]
Now let me tell you something: The trouble with being a teenager is you don't know nothing. The problem with teenagers is you think you're smarter than people who already been down the road you're traveling. You know what I'm tryin' to say to you, boy? DO YOU?
Did you tell your father I threw out of school?
[Sams, with his head down, doesn't answer]
[picks Sams' head up; yells]
Look at me DAMNIT!
Why not? No guts, huh? Afraid of ...
[...] See more »
Morgan Freeman's performance is the real reason to see this film. He's helped by a solid supporting cast, leading to some truly memorable scenes as principal Joe Clark (Freeman) battles teachers, parents, and administrators who are outraged by his controversial methods.
But this film deserved a grittier treatment than what it was given. The script is an awkward blend of inner-city drama with feel-good heroics. The subplot about the basic skills test should have been scrapped. First of all, it never happened in real life. But more importantly, it changed the entire tone of the film. Clark's story was about how he disciplined a school, not how he educated it. The softened approach leaves LEAN ON ME at odds with itself - it tries to be like STAND AND DELIVER, when it should have been like THE PRINCIPAL.
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