7.6/10
1,507
34 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.

Director:

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 ...
...
Henrietta Pastorfield
...
...
...
Dr. Bester
...
...
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

Taglines:

Actually filmed in the classrooms and on the sidewalks of New York! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

4 August 1967 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Apigorevmena skalopatia  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bel Kaufman, the author of the book on which this movie was based, appeared as an extra in the movie, and served as a technical advisor. 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

Sylvia Barrett: The theme of MacBeth is that too much ambition can lead to ruthless ambition, and end up in disaster. That's what words are for - to be used. Who can tell me what "ruthless" means? Joe?
[Gets no response, decides to ask... ]
Sylvia Barrett: Eddie?
Eddie Williams: Steps all over.
Sylvia Barrett: Use it in a sentence.
Eddie Williams: Steps all over, like white people. I know because I'm colored.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Great Drama
15 January 2003 | by See all my reviews

Reminds me of the wonderful movie "To Sir, with Love" starring Sidney Poitier, which came out one year earlier in 1966. Both have an academic setting and emphasize reaching difficult young adults through intellect and respect. The direction and the script on this one is somewhat darker, and scenes are allowed to build up suspense with realistic danger that comes very close to the edge. The film explores the spectrum of student characters and the delicate balance a teacher has with both students and faculty. A very hard to find film, I've seen it only once just after midnight and commercial free on a highly rated classic movie channel, Turner Classic Movies. I highly recommend at least one viewing of this great drama.


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