Up the Down Staircase (1967)


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2h 4min


Sandy Dennis
Sylvia Barrett
Patrick Bedford
Paul Barringer
Eileen Heckart
Henrietta Pastorfield
Ruth White
Beatrice Schacter
Jean Stapleton
Sadie Finch
Sorrell Booke
Dr. Bester
Roy Poole
Mr. McHabe
Florence Stanley
Ellen Friedenberg
Ellen O'Mara
Alice Blake
Jeff Howard
Joe Ferone
Frances Sternhagen
Charlotte Wolf, school librarian
Elena Karam
School nurse
Maria Landa
Carole Blanca
Candace Culkin
Linda Rosen
Lew Wallach
Lou Martin
Salvatore Rasa
Harry A. Kagan
Jose Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez
John Fantauzzi
Eddie Williams
Bud Cort


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 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?

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