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.