The Best High School Movies

Friday, September 28, 2012

It’s Friday, and usually at this time we take a few minutes to review the weekend’s big movie releases. But this week, in honor of our week-long series on education, we want to hear your favorite high-school-based movies. In the spirit of our series, we're going to stick with movies that take place at public schools.

From Grease, to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, to the Breakfast Club, high school has always figured prominently in Hollywood. But Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer, hosts of The Takeaway's Movie Date podcast, both prefer the inspirational brand of education movie. Kristen recommends To Sir, with Love, the classic film starring Sidney Poitier, and Rafer brings up Half Nelson with Ryan Gosling.

But why are there so many movies about teachers? Rafer Guzman, who is also the film critic for Newsday, thinks that it's because teaching is such a difficult profession. "You've got to try to connect with a whole range of kids," he says. "You have to be the disciplinarian, you have to be the nice guy, you have to be no nonsense, you have to be kind."

Kristen agrees that it's a tough gig, joking that if she had to do it, she'd be closer to Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher than Sidney Poitier. "Hats off to all the public school teachers out there!"


Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer

Produced by:

Maggie Penman

Comments [3]

Amy from Brooklyn

The films of John Hughes--Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, etc.-- best captured the general feel of my upper middle class suburban high school experience. Also amusing, but maybe too controversial to make today: "Heathers," where the main character's "teen angst bullshit has a body count."

Sep. 28 2012 03:34 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

My favorite High School movie is a surprising one for many people both that they didn't think of it themselves and that it is my choice: West Side Story. Everything melds well in this musical. The music, the dance, the story line (borrowed from Shakespeare of course) and the lyrics.
I used to even DJ songs from West Side Story during my punk- soul sets.

For example: We Are Sick

Dear kindly Judge, your Honor
My parents treat me rough
With all their marijuana
They won't give me a puff
They didn't wanna have me
But somehow I was had
Leapin' lizards, that's why I'm so bad

or Cool

Boy, boy, crazy boy
Get cool, boy
Got a rocket in your pocket
Keep coolie cool boy

Always a hit in the clubs when I dj'd these songs

The other High School Movies I love is Rushmore, Rebel Without A Cause, Carrie and special mention goes to "Rock And Roll High School" (with the Ramones)

Sep. 28 2012 09:59 AM
christina-joy from florence, sc

I have to say that the dead poets society had a huge impact on me, intellectually. Its the reason why I took on philosophy. Another movie would be the history boys. Both of these moves incorporate complicated philosophy and difficult poetry with the relativity of angst and daily life. I can honestly say I am one of those college grads who always quote a philosopher, poet, or a holy work and hopefully I empact people as much these movies have impacted me. Not to mention, many teachers and professors have facilitated this activity in and outside of school. These movies truly can create well rounded, influencing audiences.

Sep. 28 2012 09:52 AM

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