What School Movies Have Affected Your Life?

17 10 2009

Which ones are personally most memorable, for good or ill or just as powerful story-telling?

After posting that video clip from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie the other day, I was stunned that Lynn has never seen it thus doesn’t have it in her frame of reference as we talk about School Ideas — what an impact that movie had on me as a schooled girl, seeing it in the theatre in 1969! [shudder]

School stories in both book and movie form have always stuck in my mind. (We can do just books later if you want.)

Harry Potter obviously, and Maggie Smith is a teacher in those school movies too, 40 years after she was in her Prime, eerie huh?

Sidney Poitier’s To Sir With Love was another high-impact, early-influence school film for me. Later there was Robin Williams’ Dead Poets Society.

And for no easily explained reason I remember the power over my thinking of an obscure late-night movie about high schoolers who got pregnant before abortion was legal, called Blue Denim. I think it was an impossibly young and blonde-ponytailed Carol Lynley, never saw the film again anywhere but it’s definitely loomed large in my frame of reference ever since.

How about you and school movies that really affected you and stayed with you? And what about your kids?

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21 responses

17 10 2009
JJ

I looked it up.
Yep, it was Carol Lynley: Blue Denim

17 10 2009
Daryl P Cobranchi

“Weird Science”?

17 10 2009
NanceConfer

No movies about school that I can remember.

But that one about the dangers of smoking still creeps me out.

Nance

17 10 2009
JJ

Oh, yes, Weird Science but along that same line except actually happening AT school, what about Real Genius?

17 10 2009
Crimson Wife

I haven’t seen The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie either. I did enjoy watching To Sir, With Love.

I like all those kinds of feel-good “success against the odds” type movies. Some that come to mind are Stand and Deliver, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Dangerous Minds with Michelle Pfeiffer, Freedom Writers with Hilary Swank, and The Hobart Shakespeareans about Rafe Esquith. I guess they appeal to my belief that people can overcome obstacles with enough hard work and succeed despite their circumstances.

17 10 2009
COD

Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Ferris Bueller. You didn’t think my bad attitude was totally original did you 😉

Actually, I think I saw Ferris when I was in college.

17 10 2009
JJ

Oh, you guys are good! I forgot the feel-good Mr. Holland’s Opus and I go all the way back to Goodbye Mr. Chips , too.

But how could I miss Ferris and Fast Times? Seems to me I was just writing about Sean Penn and Mr. Hand a couple of weeks ago, in fact. Where was that, hmmm . . .
“If I’m here, and you’re here, then isn’t this OUR time, Mr. Hand??”

17 10 2009
JJ

Favorite Daughter read the Freedom Writers book, CW, but we never got to see the movie. Worth it?

17 10 2009
JJ

So Chris probably liked Revenge of the Nerds and Animal House? 😉

17 10 2009
COD

My frat at college pretty much was Animal House. We had the old dilapidated house, the bad grades, and the out of control parties. The good ole days…

17 10 2009
JJ

I asked which movies AFFected your life, not REFlected your life!
😀

18 10 2009
Not June Cleaver

LOL! I’m laughing at COD’s contributions.

I’ve always thought that Good Will Hunting is an interesting tribute to a brilliant mind that didn’t fit into the school structure.

18 10 2009
JJ

Oh, that movie haunts me. You’re right, Not JC.

18 10 2009
sam

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure anyone?

18 10 2009
JJ

First one so far that I haven’t seen. Tell me more about why it affected you?

18 10 2009
Crimson Wife

Freedom Writers is a bit on the cliched side, but if you don’t mind that, it’s worth watching IMHO.

All those old ’80’s teen comedies are great but I don’t really consider them “school” movies. The setting may be at a school, but that’s not really what the movies are about. Heathers falls into this category as well. That came out when I was in junior high and undergoing a lot of angst because I was too brainy and not into the whole party scene to fit in. I could definitely relate to Winona Ryder’s character wanting to get rid of the “mean girls” and dumb jocks…

18 10 2009
COD

If I’m going to answer honestly here and stop making jokes…the only movie that I can think of that had any real effect on my life as a teen was War Games. Not really a school movie, but it did inspire my interest in computers.

18 10 2009
JJ

I watched War Games several times. And CW makes me remember Mean Girls, how could I leave that out!

10 09 2010
JJ

The Best Back-to-School Movies

Ahem. Many school movies that left their mark on us above, are on this list of ten, including everything from Miss Jean Brodie and Mr. Chips to Animal House. 😉

14 09 2010
To Live the Good Life? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] an elite school movie not really about school or wealth as the good life, yet definitely about CLASS, Sara stands up against her […]

15 10 2011
JJ

Our Favorite Professors From Movies (cock of the snook to my new IRL education friend Rachel)

Damn, I’m good! Minerva McGonagall and Dead Poets Society are right up there . . .

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