Happy HUMP day, Everyone! We hope you’re enjoying Sidney Poitier week with 3 Chics.
To Sir, With Love
To Sir, with Love is a 1967 British drama film, starring Sidney Poitier, that deals with social and racial issues in an inner-city school. James Clavell directed and wrote the film’s screenplay, based on E. R. Braithwaite’s semi-autobiographical novel To Sir, With Love (1959).
The film’s title song “To Sir With Love”, sung by Lulu, reached number one on the U.S. pop charts for five weeks in the autumn of 1967 and ultimately was Billboard magazine’s No. 1 pop single for that year. The movie ranked number 27 on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 50 Best High School Movies.
A made-for-television sequel, To Sir, with Love II (1996), was released nearly three decades later, with Poitier reprising his starring role.
Mark Thackeray (Poitier), an unemployed engineer, applies for a teaching position at the North Quay Secondary School in the tough East End of London. He comes from British Guyana via California.
Thackeray learns from the staff of North Quay that most of the pupils have been rejected from other schools, and their antics drove their last teacher to resign. The pupils live up to their reputation. Led by Bert Denham (Christian Roberts) and Pamela Dare (Judy Geeson), their antics progress from disruptive behaviour to distasteful pranks. Thackeray retains his calm manner but a turning point comes one morning when he discovers one of the female pupils has mischievously left a used sanitary towel burning in the classroom grate. He loses his temper, then informs them that from now on they will be treated as adults and allowed to discuss issues of their own choosing for the remainder of the term.
Thackeray wins the class over, except for Denham, who continues to bait him. Thackeray suggests a class outing to a museum, which turns out to be a success. He loses some of this new-found support when he defuses a potentially violent situation between Potter (Chris Chittell) and a gym teacher, Mr Bell. In class, he demands that Potter apologise directly to Bell for the incident even if he believes Bell was wrong. The group refuse to invite Thackeray to the class dance, and when Seales’ (Anthony Villaroel, the only black pupil in the class) mother dies, the class takes up a collection for a wreath but refuses to accept Thackeray’s donation. At this point, the headmaster advises him that he feels “the adult approach” has failed; future class outings are cancelled, and Thackeray is to take over the boys’ gym classes. Meanwhile Thackeray receives an engineer job offer in the mail.
He starts to win the pupils back after he beats Denham in a boxing match, but tells him that he has genuine boxing ability and suggests that Denham teach boxing to the younger pupils next year. Denham expresses his admiration for Thackeray to his fellow pupils, Thackeray wins back their respect and is invited to the class dance.
At the dance Barbara Pegg (Lulu) announces a “ladies’ choice” dance and Pamela singles out Thackeray as her partner. The class present him with a gift, while Lulu sings the film theme. Thackeray is too moved for words and retires to his classroom.
Two youths rush into the classroom, and upon seeing Thackeray they begin mocking his gift and joking that they will be in his class next year. Thackeray realises that he has a job to do and he tears up the job offer letter, signifying that he is going to stay on at the school. He realises how affectionate he feels towards the children and understands he can never part from them.
To Sir, With Love