Teachers is a 1984 American satirical comedy-drama film written by W. R. McKinney, directed by Arthur Hiller, and starring Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Ralph Macchio, and Judd Hirsch. It was shot in Columbus, Ohio, mostly at the former Central High School.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Arthur Hiller|
|Produced by||Art Levinson|
|Written by||W. R. McKinney|
|Cinematography||David M. Walsh|
|Edited by||Don Zimmerman|
|Distributed by||MGM/UA Entertainment Co.|
|Box office||$27,774,237 (US)|
On a typical Monday morning at John F. Kennedy High School in the inner city of Columbus, Ohio, there is conflict between teachers, a student with a stab wound, and a talk of an upcoming lawsuit. Vice Principal Roger Rubell, Principal Eugene Horn, and lawyer Lisa Hammond, who is in charge of taking depositions for the Calvin case, in which a recent graduate is suing the school for granting him a diploma despite his illiteracy.
Alex Jurel is a veteran Social Studies teacher who takes his job lightly, despite being one of the most popular teachers in school because of his ability to identify and connect with the students. Jurel has been worn down by years of being in-between the rowdy students and the demands of the administration. He is assigned to temporarily take over the duties of the school psychologist, and meets a young man named Eddie Pilikian, to whom he becomes a mentor. During this time, a romance also develops between Jurel and Hammond, his former student.
Other subplots include Herbert Gower, a wandering mental institution outpatient, mistaken for a substitute teacher and put in charge of a U.S. History class, whose brilliant history mind makes it fun, educational, and engaging; gym teacher Mr. Troy’s sexual relationship with a student that ends with Jurel taking her to an abortion clinic, and the death of Eddie's best friend Danny, a schizophrenic and kleptomaniac student who is shot and killed by the police after he draws a gun from his locker during a drug search.
Superintendent Donna Burke and school lawyer Al Lewis are attempting to avoid bad publicity associated with the Calvin lawsuit. To prove this, they try to figure out which teachers will potentially damage the school's reputation in their depositions.
The administration recognizes the threat Jurel poses to their social standing and forces him to resign before his deposition, ostensibly for helping the student obtain an abortion. After harsh criticism from Lisa, he finally stands up to Burke and Rubell, reminding them that the school exists for the students and not for the administration and protecting their jobs. He also threatens to sue and petition should he be fired. He proudly walks back into the school, with loud cheers from the school's students and Lisa looking on proudly.
- Nick Nolte as Alex Jurel
- JoBeth Williams as Lisa Hammond
- Judd Hirsch as Vice Principal Roger Rubell
- Ralph Macchio as Eddie Pilikian
- Allen Garfield as Carl Rosenberg
- Lee Grant as Dr. Donna Burke
- Richard Mulligan as Herbert Gower
- Royal Dano as Kenneth Stiles a.k.a. Ditto
- William Schallert as Principal Horn
- Art Metrano as Troy
- Laura Dern as Diane Warren
- Crispin Glover as Danny Reese
- Morgan Freeman as Alan Lewis
- Madeleine Sherwood as Grace Wensel
- Steven Hill as Sloan
- Zohra Lampert as Mrs. Pilikian
- Mary Alice as Linda Ganz
- Terrance Ellis as Tim Hahn (as Terry Ellis)
- Ronald Hunter as Mr. Pilikian
- Virginia Capers as landlady
- Ellen Crawford as Social Worker
- Vivian Bonnell as Nurse
- Anthony Heald as Narc
- Katharine Balfour as Theresa Bloom
- Jeff Ware as Malloy
- Richard Zobel as Propes
- George Dzundza as paramedic (uncredited)
- Kevin L. Stotts as attendant (uncredited)
The film opened to mixed reviews, with reviewers feeling it lacked the incisive touch of Paddy Chayefsky's satires (he had previously written Hiller's other dark satire, The Hospital). It holds a rating of 62% on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes based on 13 reviews.
|Soundtrack album by |
- "Teacher, Teacher" - 38 Special
- "One Foot Back in Your Door" - Roman Holliday
- "Edge of a Dream" - Joe Cocker
- "Interstate Love Affair" - Night Ranger
- "Foolin' Around" - Freddie Mercury
- "Cheap Sunglasses" - ZZ Top
- "Understanding" - Bob Seger
- "I Can't Stop the Fire" - Eric Martin & Friends
- "In the Jungle (Concrete Jungle)" - The Motels
- "(I'm the) Teacher" - Ian Hunter
The theme song by 38 Special was released as a single and reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Understanding by Bob Seger reached No. 17.
- Teachers (1984) - Box Office Mojo
- Kehr, Dave (2010-02-17). "Teachers". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- Variety Staff (1983-12-31). "Teachers". Variety. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- Ebert, Roger (1984-01-01). "Teachers Movie Review & Film Summary (1984)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
- "Teachers". Rotten Tomatoes. Missing or empty
- Stone, Doug. "Teachers Original Soundtrack". AllMusic.