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To Sir, With Love (1967)

tomatometer

92

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 2

While it's a bit dated and overly schmaltzy, To Sir, With Love remains compelling because of Sidney Poitier's outstanding performance -- and the catchy theme song is a classic.

60

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

While it's a bit dated and overly schmaltzy, To Sir, With Love remains compelling because of Sidney Poitier's outstanding performance -- and the catchy theme song is a classic.

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 19,892

My Rating

Movie Info

Sidney Poitier, who in 1955 played a student in a tough inner-city high school, portrays a teacher assigned to a similar institution in To Sir, With Love. Unable to find work as an engineer, Poitier accepts a teaching post in London's East End slums. To reach his sullen, rebellious students, Poitier throws away his textbooks and endeavors to reach them as human beings--and as the adults they're going to become. It's an uphill climb, but gradually the students are won over. They begin referring

Unrated,

Drama, Classics

Feb 1, 2000

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (2) | DVD (7)

Even the weak moments are saved by Poitier, who invests his role with a subtle warmth.

August 24, 2010 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sidney Poitier stars in an excellent performance.

December 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Incessant Cockney street market vignettes and shots of London buses seem to suggest that it was all primarily intended for American consumption anyway.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A cozy, good-humored and unbelievable little tale.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Well-meaning tripe.

June 24, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sydney Poitier at his best; teens and up.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

One factor in the picture's popularity and its sustaining charm is the tuneful title song, which was a top hit for Lulu and is heard throughout the film.

August 24, 2010 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Sidney Poitier is a beleaguered English teacher in this multi-cultural Mr. Chips

November 20, 2003
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

Generally effective comedy drama with standout performances.

September 11, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The film has gone in and out of fashion, but it's old enough now to return to it with a clear eye, and see the strength beneath the kooky sentimentality.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Good performances elevate the material.

March 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Poitier is good, but the film is memorable mostly for the song.

March 2, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

The charisma of Poitier and the energetic performances of a groovy-looking cast of high school hellcats (some of whom look like they've repeated year 12 at least 5 times) compensate for the shortcomings.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for To Sir, With Love

It's interesting to see this movie after having seen Blackboard Jungle where Poitier plays the student, and now in this movie he's the teacher. The story is pretty good, but it's overly sentimental in the end if you ask me. It's an alright movie, though.
December 11, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Sidney Poitier can go over the top (in the grand tradition of live theater, see "A Raisin in the Sun") or he can give a subtle delivery, as he does here, in To Sir With Love. It's not a terribly revolutionary film, but it's not pretending to be. It's a simple, well-thought out tale of a teacher who comes to a rough, inner city school and attempts to reach the kids by relating to them as adults rather than children. It's certainly not easy, as the kids have their own prejudices, against blacks, against authority figures, and against adults in general. An engineer by profession, Poitier takes the teaching assignment as a means of making a living while looking for work in his chosen field. It's a job that's not likely to be in high demand anyway, teaching kids in a tough east end London school. His first day, he's greeted in the faculty lounge by one of his cynical co-workers, who tells him to let the little monsters wither on the vine, as education isn't necessary in their lives. He has other ideas though, and seeks a way in which to break through to the students. Much like Poitier's earlier effort, "Lilies of the Field", it's a subtle, understated, yet totally dominating performance he delivers. So many actors (of any color) would be unable to play this role without infusing it with a certain level of martyrdom, but Poitier plays his character not as a saint, but as an intelligent and controlled man. The film is a relaxed, slow-moving, character-driven story that's never dull. In fact, it's actually quite sweet and charming.
February 22, 2010
Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Although the music may seem a bit dated, To Sir, with Love is not. A timeless tale about coming of age, and one of the best in the "How I stumbled into teaching" genre. Sidney Poitier is excellent as the supremely sensitive teacher of students who are in great need a sensitive teacher. I was just watching a program that dealt with, among other things, teaching Nathaniel Hawthorne to today's generation. One thing I kept thinking is that you actually have to love a piece of literature in order to teach it. If you do not love it, your students surely never will. Good teachers are born, not made. No amount of education, no bag of tricks, can make a good teacher out of someone who is not passionate about teaching. Judy Geeson should have had a bigger career.
January 4, 2009
binky013

Super Reviewer

I loved this movie when I saw it almost 40 years ago. Not too many movies you can remember for 40 years.
January 28, 2008
Redlats

Super Reviewer

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