I have decided to post about some of my favorite movies. The ones I have seen over and over and over again and can sit down and watch it today as if I have never watched it before.
Many of these movies include Tom Cruise :)
But today's feature is on my all-time favorite movie. This is the first "grown up" movie I remember seeing. I was quite young and watched it at my Grandma and Grandpa Mims house during Spring Break if I recall correctly.
It is a 1967 movie that deals with racial & social issues in an inner-city East-End London school. Mark Thackeray (played by the handsome Sidney Poitier) is a black, unemployed, single engineer who takes the job as a teacher since it is the only job he can find at the time. He teaches a senior class of students who don't come from the best homes and tend to be the troubled kids. They give him a rough time and he has a difficult time teaching them until he realizes they need to learn LIFE lessons more than they need to learn BOOK lessons - he tosses the books, teaches them how to cook, groom, look for jobs, take care of themselves, have respect for themselves and helps them become proper ladies and gents.
Mr. Thackeray insisted the students called him Mr
And here is the movie poster:
Notice...there is not a "RATING" - but I love how it says "Not Suitable for Children" The MPAA rating system didn't start until November 1968, which was almost a year and a half after "To Sir, With Love" was released (June 14, 1967). If you were to rank it today, it would probably be rated PG-13.
There are so many reasons why I love this movie. Besides being the first "grown up" movie I remember seeing, I loved the music !! Oh my goodness - that great music from the late 1960s (I have the soundtrack by the way - on LP). I love the clothing, I love the accents, I love the scenery, I love the characters and I love the story. This is about as perfect as a movie can be - has all the elements that adore !!
There are several students but I immediately had a HUGE crush on Bert Denham (Christian Roberts). I didn't realize until after my 10th viewing or so that his first name was Bert - since they always refer to him as "Denham". He was the bad boy of the group and stirred up most of the trouble. I use to always say if I ever had a son, I would name him Denham and I would have too!
While she was female, I can't say I had a "crush" on her but I wanted to be like Pamela (Judy Geeson) - she was so glamorous to me. Her character had a bit of a crush on Sir. I loved her pink lipstick (which you can't see in this B & W photo) but trust me, it is there. Don't you love her crochet dress too??
Another major character was Pegg (sometimes referred to as "Babs"). She is very important because she is played by Lulu, and she sings the title song. I liked her red hair and sassy modern cut - it set her apart (it looks kind of brown in this photo though).
During the museum scene, the title song plays, while the students discover art.
The funeral scene is very special...Seales is the only black student and his mother dies. The students take up a collection to get flowers but Sir overhears them say they will have the flowers "sent around" - he asks why they don't take the flowers themselves and Pegg states it isn't proper, what with him being colored and all. Sir is disappointed.
But later, when Sir shows up - there all the kids are, dressed up and with the flowers. Makes me choke up every time.
Near the end of the movie, the students have a dance, with lots of "groovy" music and they even manage to get Sir to dance. They give him a gift, sing a song for him and he really gets choked up and can't even thank them entirely so he leaves the party and goes back to the classroom.
He has received an acceptance letter for an engineering job and has decided to take it until....students he will have next year come in and he sees the are just like his other students were at the beginning of the year. What will he do ?
I have seen this movie so many times, I have lost count. If you have never seen it, WATCH IT !!! Yes, it is dated but that is part of its charm.