Blackboard Jungle (1955)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Blackboard Jungle Videos

Blackboard Jungle Photos

Movie Info

This gritty, unflinching film centers on Richard Dadier, a war vet who gets a job teaching in a tough inner-city school. An idealist, he honestly believes he can make a difference with the kids, but unfortunately, he gets no support from the rest of the faculty.
Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment

Watch it now


Glenn Ford
as Richard Dadier
Anne Francis
as Anne Dadier
Louis Calhern
as Jim Murdock
Margaret Hayes
as Lois Judby Hammond
John Hoyt
as Mr. Warneke
Richard Kiley
as Joshua Y. Edwards
Maggie Hayes
as Lois Judby Hammond
Emile G. Meyer
as Mr. Halloran
Warner Anderson
as Dr. Bradley
Basil Ruysdael
as Prof. A.R. Kraal
Vic Morrow
as Artie West
Dan Terranova
as Belazi
Rafael Campos
as Pete V. Morales
Paul Mazursky
as Emmanuel Stoker
Horace MacMahon
as Detective
Horace McMahon
as Detective
Jameel Farah
as Santini
Danny Dennis
as DeLiea
Richard Deacon
as Mr. Stanley
Dorothy Neumann
as Miss Panucci
Virginia Pherrin
as Teacher in Lounge
Henny Backus
as Miss Brady
David Alpert
as Lou Savoldi
Peter Miller
as Joe Murray
Robert Foulk
as Mr. Katz
Yoski Tomita
as Tomita
Tom McKee
as Manners
Jamie Farr
as Santini
Maggie Hayes
as Lois Judby Hammond
Paul Hoffman
as Mr. Lefkowitz
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Blackboard Jungle

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (4)

Glenn Ford, Morrow and Poitier are so real in their performances under the probing direction by Brooks that the picture alternatingly has the viewer pleading, indignant and frightened before the conclusion.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Top Critic

The studied pseudo-documentary atmosphere never quite convinces.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It gives a blood-curdling, nightmarish picture or monstrous disorder in a public school. And it leaves one wondering wildly whether such out-of-hand horrors can be.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Writer-director Richard Brooks had a flair for sensationalism, and his adaptation of Evan Hunter's novel is loads of fun as a consequence, but don't expect much analysis or insight.

Full Review… | September 26, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Originating the genre of 'dedicated teacher reaches troubled kids in a ghetto school', this is still affecting although heavy-handed.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
Empire Magazine

This searing if somewhat overrated condemnation of juvenile delinquency brought attention to some of the problems afflicting urban high schools.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for Blackboard Jungle

Glenn Ford pioneers the teacher-drama film. It's well-made and intense. (First and only viewing - 2/19/2016)

Adam R
Adam R

One of the earliest if not the earliest school/teacher drama out there that deals with issues of violence, drugs, crime (attempted rape) etc. You got give the filmmakers credits for taking this bold step and Glenn Ford holds his own as tight-teethed teacher fighting against the odds. Of course, the depiciton of the kids is very one-sided and follow (or should I say established) the typical formula that is still being used today. Evil leader, good leader and the teacher who tries to win over the other while getting rid of the bad seed. Yes, the whole pro-America, hard-working man take is slightly annoying but then again, the film is from 1955 and that is probably what one has to expect. Apart from being one of the first of its kind, a solid lead performance and the charisma of Poitier, I don't see a lot of merit in her that warrants a rating above 2.5.

Henrik Schunk
Henrik Schunk

Super Reviewer

A provocative and powerful drama about a teacher, Glenn Ford in a superb performance and his harrowing experiences in a New York City high school in the mid 1950s. Where gang violence, racial and sexual tensions are out of control, from the scenes that show the painful inability of the teacher to control his class to incidents of straight assaults by some juvenile hoodlums this a hard-hitting entertainment. A first-rate cast with Vic Morrow as the leader of teen misfits and Sidney Poitier in star-making performance as a troubled youth. This was the first film to feature rock music-"Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley is played over the opening and closing credits. One of the most controversial films in cinematic history.

Danny Rovira
Danny Rovira

Super Reviewer

Blackboard Jungle Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Blackboard Jungle on our Movie forum!

News & Features