Movie Monday: To Sir, With Love 1967
Sidney Poitier's dynamic on screen presence is enough to turn any movie into a must-see. I will admit, I'm not really one to delve into those inspiring teacher-conquers-wily-students movies, but my love for Poitier motivated me to finally watch To Sir, With Love. My secondary love for Lulu was a motivating factor as well. I was a bit curious to see the film for which one of my favorite childhoos songs was written. (click below to listen: To Sir, With Love by Lulu)
I've mentioned before that my husband, Phil, is a school teacher. He student-taught rural children in Northeast Kentucky, so when he accepted a year-long position at a inner city school in Canton, it was a trying experience that really stretched him (and our marriage) a couple of years ago. That being said, I could somewhat relate to Portier's character as an outsider who, as a last resort in search of any paying job, comes into a somewhat rough-and-tumble 1960s British school to be a teacher.
The film deals with the spread of counter-culture ideology into the lives of act-before-you-think high school students who really expect to go nowhere in life. Poitier's character surprises the students by teaching them self respect and life skills he learned from his impoverished life he led while becoming the man he wanted to be. Despite his race relegating him to outsider status in this inner city neighborhood, the students (and even teachers) begin to learn from "Sir" and even develop an affection for him that went beyond social norms of the day.
To Sir, With Love is a great back to school movie that offers a great look into 1960s British culture as well as explores personalities and relationships that any character-developing movie lover will enjoy.