To Sir, With Love Reviews

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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.
July 3, 2015
I saw Judy Geeson on the Gilmore Girls. Fun. Great movie.
April 28, 2015
An out of work Engineer take a temporary job as a school teacher but struggles to impact the lives of his students. Well defined and understated performance by Poitier highlights this sometimes dated view of racial and generational clash.
March 9, 2015
Though visibly and conceptually dated by today's standards, this film has aged very well, if mainly due to the incomparable performances of its cast (especially those of Sidney Poitier). At first glance, this film might seem like any other British school drama made in the 1960's, with each one having claimed to deal with social issues. This film, I feel, is more realistic than most of those films because it at least tries to offer multiple perspectives. In fact, Sidney Poitier's performance gives a sense of reality to the situation shown in the film, and that's more than could be said about any other film of its kind. The film also presents itself with a degree of realism and grit that, I feel, matched the then-contemporary setting. For me, the drama was compelling because it was more human. The whole film has an earthy, forthright quality to it that many films today lack, and that's what made it so good to watch.
December 25, 2014
A bit not fit to present day term, To Sir, With Love nevertheless succeeds at being touching without being too shmaltzy, and boasts what might be Sidney Poitier's finest performance.
September 23, 2014
What a classic film. A 'must see' and for me another 'tear jerker'. I remember it from more than 40 years ago. And it's still an excellent watch. What a shame that they didn't teach me these social values in my school ! Every school teacher needs to watch this film, and learn. A fantastic theme tune by Lulu too.
December 17, 2012
Brilliant acting by Sidney.
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)
April 30, 2014
Had some poignant advice for young adults that's should be retaught nowadays...
½ December 8, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

(1967) To Sir, With Love

Although, actor Sidney Poiter was in the previous film similar to this one that also deals with troubled youths in schools, he used to play one in the 1955 film called "Blackboard Jungle", which his role was only a minor one. And even though, "Blackboard Jungle" was the first film to address the problem of troubled teenagers, "To Sir With Love" is probably the solution to that problem. And this time, Poiter returns as a teacher named "Mr. Thackeray", or his students address him as "Sir", who's adapting to a particular class with the students intentions was to drive him crazy enough to leave the school altogether. He was able to understand the students, which would eventually lead the class in accepting him instead. It is a concept that can still hold today, even with all the technology that has come to play. To introduce all of life's values into classroom's before their final year had not always been used, but should be in some instances which works well with this film just like in real life. The song "To Sir With Love" sung by actress and singer Lulu was also an instant hit.

3.5 out of 4 stars
March 8, 2014
I enjoy this one. It dated for sure, but Poitier's performance is so strong, it makes it captivating all the way through. I enjoyed watching it again and highly recommend it!
October 16, 2013
Between 2.5 and 3. I do not like all the resources of this teacher, but...
March 3, 2011
Great movie. Interesting, thought-provoking and emotional plot. A bit idealistic though. Also has some dead end sub-plots. Ending is a bit abrupt and could have done with some polishing. Still the original teacher-gets-through-to-some-unteachable-kids movie though.

Superb performance by Sidney Poitier in the lead role. Good support from a cast of mostly unknowns.

The theme song (by Lulu, who also stars in the movie) is excellent too. (The cover version, live, by 10,000 Maniacs and Michael Stipe is even better)
August 30, 2013
Great Classic movie and story about teacher student respect for one another
½ July 17, 2013
A classic - teachers the way we wish they had been.
June 28, 2013
Poltier is impressive and so is this film for the year that it was made.
March 23, 2013
perfect in every way.
February 26, 2013
A great story. Emotional and touching. Great song too.
½ February 16, 2013
Idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End.
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