7.6/10
1,497
33 user 13 critic

Up the Down Staircase (1967)

Approved | | Drama | 4 August 1967 (Finland)
The experiences of a young female English teacher in an inner-city New York high school.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Patrick Bedford ...
Paul Barringer
...
Henrietta Pastorfield
...
Beatrice Schacter
...
Sadie Finch
...
Dr. Bester
...
Mr. McHabe
...
Ella Friedenberg
Vinnette Carroll ...
The Mother
Janice Mars ...
Miss Gordon
Loretta Leversee ...
Social Studies Teacher
John Callahan
Denis Fay
Otto Lomax
Martha Greenhouse ...
Alberta Kagan
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Storyline

Sylvia Barrett is a rookie teacher at New York's inner-city Calvin Coolidge High: her lit classes are overcrowded, a window is broken, there's no chalk, books arrive late. The administration is concerned mainly with forms and rules (there's an up and a down staircase); bells ring at the wrong time. Nevertheless, she tries. How she handles the chaos and her despair in her first semester makes up the film: a promising student drops out, another sleeps through class, a girl with a crush on a male teacher gets suicidal, and a bright but troublesome student misunderstands Sylvia's reaching out. A discussion of Dickens, parents' night, and a mock trial highlight the term. Can she make it? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Simple words that could start a war. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

4 August 1967 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Apigorevmena skalopatia  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bel Kaufman, in the Preface to the 25th anniversary edition of the book, writes: "The movie was filmed in New York City, in and around Haaren High School, which had been emptied for the summer." See more »

Goofs

When GO President Kagan is talking to Miss Barrett, his tie keeps changing lengths. In the close-ups it is short, just above his belt. In the long shots is appears to be tucked into his belt. See more »

Quotes

[Frequently Over Intercom]
Mrs. Finch: Disregard all bells.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Replacements: Hollywoodn't (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best Teacher Film
26 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Rivals "To Sir, With Love" (released around the same time) as the best teacher film of all time. The difference: Sandy Dennis.

Dennis was one of those actors they don't make anymore (or at least don't showcase in Hollywood in 2007). She was strange, quirky, not conventionally pretty and she had that quality a lot of new female teachers have-that deer in the headlights look that makes the viewer root for her to make it "work" with those tough students.

The story is strong with some good subplots with the troubled students. It is dated but I would say the same issues facing Dennis here face contemporary teachers.

I take Dennis to Robin Williams in "Dead Poets Society" anyday.


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