Film: Renaissance Man

American film released in 1994 starring Danny Devito and Gregory Hines.

A down-on-his luck businessman named Bill Rago (Danny Devito) ends up applying for and being given a job as a teacher for the U.S. Army. He soon learns that he has to get his group of students to avoid flunking the class.


Tropes evident in Renaissance Man include:

  • Coming-of-Age Story: Arguably happens to several members of the class, in particular Tommy Lee Haywood (played by Mark Wahlberg).
  • Cool Teacher: Bill Rago eventually transitions to this role after completing the obstacle course to prove himself to his class.
  • Death Course: Not a literal example, however, given how Bill Rago looks and the shape he is in, the normal obstacle course may be enough of one.
  • Military School: The film treats the classroom as this kind of a set up.
  • Non-Giving-Up School Guy: Pretty much a staple of the movie as it came out in 1994, when many movies about teachers were reveling in this trope.
  • Rousing Speech: Done by both Bill Rago and the students. In-universe, the "St. Crispin's Day" speech from Henry V is quoted twice.
  • Save Our Students: Done more so as a 'save our Army students' variation.