School Ties

1992

School Ties (1992)

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Movie Info

An assemblage of young Hollywood actors poised for stardom marked this tale of anti-Semitism at a 1950s prep school. Brendan Fraser stars as David Greene, a working-class Jewish quarterback from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who is offered a senior year scholarship to a prestigious New England academy. It's David's ticket to an Ivy League education and a way out of his Rust Belt hometown, but there's one condition: the school's elders ask him to be discreet about his religion. At first willing to do so, David struggles with his silence about his faith as his popularity grows. David strikes up a friendship with his roommate Chris Reece (Chris O'Donnell) and a possible romance with Sally Wheeler (Amy Locane), a student at a nearby girls' school. When jealous classmate Charlie Dillon (Matt Damon) learns David's secret at an alumni party, he exposes the school's new gridiron hero, and David faces the full force of religious intolerance from the prejudiced WASP institution. Also featuring early performances from Ben Affleck, Anthony Rapp, and Cole Hauser, School Ties was loosely based on the real-life experiences of producer Dick Wolf, creator of TV's popular series Law & Order. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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Cast

Brendan Fraser
as David Greene
Matt Damon
as Charlie Dillon
Chris O'Donnell
as Chris Reece
Randall Batinkoff
as Rip Van Kelt
Andrew Lowery
as 'Mack' McGivern
Cole Hauser
as Jack Connors
Amy Locane
as Sally Wheeler
Zeljko Ivanek
as Mr. Cleary
Ben Affleck
as Chesty Smith
Anthony Rapp
as Richard 'McGoo' Collins
Peter Donat
as Headmaster Dr. Bartram
Kevin Tighe
as Coach McDevitt
Michael Higgins
as Mr. Gierasch
Ed Lauter
as Allan Greene
John Cunningham
as Grayson Dillon
Elizabeth Franz
as Jane Dillon
Matt Hofherr
as Gray Dillon
Dan Desmond
as Mr. Wheeler
Claudia Everest
as Mrs. Wheeler
Leon B. Stevens
as Tom Keating
Sean Kent
as Keller
James Quinn
as 1st Boy
Will Lyman
as Swanson
William Meisle
as Winchester Headmaster
Susan Johnston
as Mary Ellen
Gregory Chase
as Cal Reynolds
Alice Duffy
as Chaperone
Thomas Rhett Kee
as Boy in Shower
Jane Nichols
as Swimming Coach
Colin F. Lydon
as Boy in Dining Room
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Critic Reviews for School Ties

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9)

This is a bewildering mixture of fairly accomplished storytelling, awkward contrivances in the script, and lies in the overall conception so egregious they undercut any pretensions the film might have to social seriousness.

Oct 15, 2007 | Full Review…

More notable perhaps for a roster of future stars and Oscar winners than for its unexceptional plot, this well executed film nevertheless has its charms.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

School Ties has a leafy, genteel look that is somehow less than convincing, perhaps because the hairdos are too tidy and the resemblances to other prep-school stories too clear.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5

Good intentions go for naught as director Robert Mandel (F/X) pounds home every contrivance in the script by Darryl Ponicsan (Taps).

May 12, 2001

Director Robert Mandel, best known for the flashy techno-thriller F/X, brings a surprisingly sensitive touch to this earnest story of intolerance.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

There's a dramatic imbalance to Dick Wolf and Darryl Ponicsan's screenplay.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for School Ties

½

an interesting coming of age film featuring a host of up and comers since turned big stars. the film deals well with the theme of prejudice, and walks the line well in portraying the pressure that many "privileged" kids are under. some of the sympathies that the writers tried to portray fell fairly flat, and the logic behind david greene doesnt hold up well enough upon scrutiny, but the major point was made effectively and the story was very engaging.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

½

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Chris O'Donnell, Matt Damon, Randall Batinkoff, Ben Affleck, Amy Locane, Cole Hauser, Andrew Lowery, Anthony Rapp, Zeljko Ivanek, Peter Donat, Kevin Tighe, Michael Higgins, Ed Lauter, Peter McRobbie Director: Robert Mandel Summary: David Greene (Brendan Fraser), a working-class Jewish teen, receives a football scholarship to a prestigious prep school in the 1950s. But in favor of fitting in, he chooses to hide his religion from his wealthy, prejudiced classmates. Greene soon becomes the team's star player and wins the attention of a beautiful debutante (Amy Locane). But when his heritage is revealed, his schoolmates' deep-seated hatred rises to the surface. My Thoughts: "This film is a good example of how people label other people and put them into certain categories whether it be of religion, skin color, sexuality, or their nationality. This film focuses on a Jewish boy, but it speaks for everything I listed. You cannot, as they say, judge a book by it's cover. That is brilliantly shown in this film. With David withholding his religious beliefs, he is welcomed in as one of their own. But once he is outed by a fellow 'friend'(I use that term loosely), he is shunned by them all (well almost all). So instead of him being that person they had come to know him as, he was now in that labeled box of ignorance. You cannot judge a person or persons by a religion, race, nationality, sexuality, or by their appearance. They do not make up for that one person at fault. This film has great acting by all the well known actors of today. Great to go back and see them before they were such big stars. This has to be my favorite performance from Brendan Fraser. Great job by the entire cast. If you haven't seen it, then you should."

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♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

The Sad thing is that there is still that hate against Jews going around. Outstanding peformance by Brendan Fraser

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

In "School Ties," Brendan Fraser plays as David Greene, a Jewish football star who is attending a preparatory boarding school on a football scholarship. The majority of the people take a keen liking to him; he makes a lot of friends and falls in love with a certain girl, so his life is pretty much going along without hitting any bumps in the road. That is, until some people find out that he's Jewish and start turning against him, mainly Charlie Dillon (Matt Damon). David's life could completely fall apart, or something could happen and he could gain back respect and get back to where he was. "School Ties" was a movie that jumpstarted the careers of a few actors who are now big stars, such as Matt Damon and Brendan Fraser. The movie is interesting and it has a lot of upbeat, suspenseful drama, both good and bad during the whole movie. It's one of the best movies of its kind that I've seen, no doubt. It's a realistic movie about prejudice and it's a classic one at that. While "School Ties" has a great script, plot, and everything else it needs to succeed, what really pushes it to be the great movie that it is, is Brendan Fraser's superb acting. He does one of his best, if not his best acting job of all time in "School Ties." I really want to give this movie five stars, but I can't. The reason for that is because when the movie ends, it just leaves certain question unanswered. Other than that, this movie is top notch. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

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