To Sir, With Love Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
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.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
½ February 22, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
January 28, 2008
I loved this movie when I saw it almost 40 years ago. Not too many movies you can remember for 40 years.
Super Reviewer
August 3, 2007
A wonderful movie. Each scene sparkles. You really see the teens going from unruly punks to responsible adults by the end. The Lulu theme song is awesome.
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2006
Sidney Poitier does his finest performance as an out of work engineer who turns to teaching in London's tough East End.
Super Reviewer
August 24, 2006
I love this film...
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2007
The montage of the class field trip is psychedelic and kind of laughable today. However, I love the theme of the idealistic teacher trying to reach out to troubled kids. Poitier again gives a strong, intelligent performance. He can dance and have a good time to the beats of the British pop scene, but he doesn't feel the kids are hopeless. He encourages them to pay attention to what's going on around them, have respect for themselves and others, and take responsibility for their lives!
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2010
James Clavell's good humored, touching story concerning a black, idealistic out-of-work engineer named Mark Thackery, played magnificently by Sidney Poitier, in one of the finest performances of his distinguished career, who turns to teaching at a high school at London's tough East End slum. The novice teacher faces a class full of disruptive, rambunctious undisciplined, working-class students who set out to destroy him just as they had his predecessor, by breaking his spirit. But Thackeray, no stranger to racism and hostility, meets the challenge by treating the students as young adults who will soon be entering the workplace. Frustrated by his pupil's lack of manners, he disposes of conventional teaching methods, puts away the textbooks, in favour of conversing with his students on varying subjects using his own real-life experiences. His students eventually learn to respect and even appreciate him; referring to him as only 'Sir,' as the teacher-student bond develops one blonde toughie, Pamela, played beautifully by Judy Geeson, acquires a crush on him, the almost-love scene between them is nicely handed. The film is based on the novel by E.R. Brathwaite and skillfully directed by Clavell, who also wrote the engaging screenplay. Terrific supporting performances by Christian Roberts, Suzy Kendall, Lulu, Geoffrey Bayldon, Patricia Routledge, Ann Bell, Michael Des Barres, and Rita Webb. But it's Sidney Poitier's earnest, intelligent turn that dominates this fine film. Lulu's breakout title song for the film became a world-wide hit. A classic groundbreaking classroom drama. Highly Recommended.
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2009
Sidney Poitier is masterful as the titular character, Mark Thackeray, assigned to teach a classroom full of delinquent London teens. Mark comes up with a revolutionary method of teaching which he hopes can be used to bring about a change in the spoiled bunch of kids. The message is obvious: regardless of race, creed, color, or even gender or social position, every person is deserving of the same level of respect.

My favorite scene is when the actress Lulu sings the title song "To Sir, With Love!" and the most emotional scene is when Poitier realizes that it is his purpose in life to help kids transform into men and the scene where he tears up his appointment letter as a radio engineer sums up the message of the movie effectively.

This movie may be dated and in all fairness, the sentiments and messages of the film may have been radical at the time but I say that the film perfectly reflects the culture, society, prejudices and morality of that era. It's touching to think that a teacher might care as deeply about his students as Poitier's character does in this film. ... I'll like to think that one person can affect many people by being persistent and patient and you don't even have to be rich or famous to do it.

Simply magnificent!
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2010
A wonderful movie! Sidney Poitier is endearing as the sensitive teacher that helps change the ways of thinking in his rebellious students in a 1960's London High School. Great song also by Lulu who sings the title "To Sir, With Love" Thumbs up! :)
Super Reviewer
½ December 22, 2007
Like Dangerous Minds only a lot better. Poitier is excellent and the teenagers are not only likeable but you feel for them. In fact I'll go so far as to say that it's the best film I've ever seen that stars Poitier as a teacher of unruly youngsters. Ever.
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2008
Charming film with a good soundtrack (provided by The Mindbenders and Lulu). Great peformance by Sidney Poitier.

And another thing, look out for Reardon Street (if your a Morrissey fan you will know what I'm talking about)
February 22, 2010
One of those movies that I wanted to like more than I actually did. It is not as engaging as you would hope. The one highlight that you will remember is the title song by Lulu, which is quite lovely. (First and only viewing - 3/11/2010)
½ May 30, 2011
"How Do You Thank Someone For Taking You From Pigtails to Perfume?, It Isn't Easy But I'll Trrryyyyy" ~ 1st line from the Title Song from this Movie(Just sang recently on the TV Show Glee)
I believe this was the Beginning of the Love Affair for Films about Teachers That Change the Course of the Lives of Troubled Students.This Movie Still Holds Up against the New,Fabulous, & Frequent ones produced in recent History.I Can't help but think of this one as one of the best.I get THAT Song stuck in my Head Every Time I think of this Movie, it brings back a curiosity for this Movie again
July 1, 2011
Dangerous minds is my favorite movie when it comes to Teacher/Student movies. This one was very interesting. Sidney Poitier was not playing with those kids.
May 29, 2011
my favorite of all-time!!!! late father looked just like sidney at this time!!!, but the movie has had a affect on me for 40-years!!!!!/ classic!
½ January 23, 2007
Before The Substitute (1996), Dangerous Minds (1995), and Freedom Writers (2007) there was Sidney Poitier in To Sir, With Love (1967).
Great movie!
January 5, 2010
The entire cast is terrific, particularly Sidney Poitier and Judy Geeson. It is an always interesting film throughout, moving and inspirational, one of those films you can watch multiple times and enjoy it each time. Catchy title song too.
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