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Film / Dirty Teacher

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Dirty Teacher is a 2013 Lifetime Movie of the Week Thriller, written by Barbara Kymlicka and directed by Doug Campbell.

Molly Matson (Josie Davis) is a substitute teacher who's been hired to fill in for a high school English teacher on maternity leave. She immediately becomes smitten with one of her students, school baseball star Danny Campbell (Cameron Deane Stewart), who's in a volatile relationship with his classmate Jamie Hall (Kelcie Stranahan). Molly manipulates her way into Danny's life, becoming his tutor and eventually seducing him, while doing her best to mess things up between Danny and Jamie. But Molly proves to be Not Good with Rejection when Danny asks to break things off. She kills him, and decides to Frame-Up Jamie for the murder, which proves successful when Detectives Peters (Lesli Kay) and Allen (Brennan Elliott) arrest Jamie after a less-than-thorough investigation. It's up to Jamie and her mom Lauren (Darlene Vogel) to Clear Her Name.


No relation to Bad Teacher, though it maybe could be considered a Played for Drama Mockbuster of it.

Dirty Teacher contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Or abusive foster parent in Molly's case. Flashbacks to her childhood show that her foster mother frequently called her ugly and that her dead biological mother didn't love her.
  • The Alibi: Molly fabricates one for the night of Danny's death by buying a ticket to an almost-finished showing of a movie, so she can have the stub handy.
  • Alliterative Name: Molly Matson
  • The Bard on Board: The subplot of Jamie and Danny being in love despite their Feuding Families is an obvious Romeo and Juliet nod, reinforced when the play gets mentioned in Molly's class.
  • Bitch Alert: From her very first appearance we know Molly is trouble. She's clad in a clingy blouse and skirt, puts on some lipstick before she gets out of her car, sports a constant Cheshire Cat Grin, casts lecherous glances at Danny as she watches him play baseball, and just generally behaves in a wildly inappropriate way for a teacher.
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  • Brainless Beauty: Danny is a hunky jock, but really easy for Molly to manipulate.
  • Broken Aesop: The movie wants to be a cautionary tale about predatory teachers, but it also seems to lay a lot of the blame on Jamie, suggesting that her refusal to sleep with Danny led him to such a bad level of sexual frustration that he became receptive to Molly's advances.
  • Car Fu: Molly uses her SUV to fatally mow down Danny in the park after he breaks up with her.
  • Continuity Nod: As with a whole bunch of Johnson Production Group movies for Lifetime, the fictional Whittendale College is part of the plot (Jamie wants to go there), and the movie for which Molly buys a ticket to secure an alibi for Danny's death is Blackberry Winter, previously a novel written by the protagonist of fellow Lifetime movie The Surrogate.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Johnson Production Group poster for the movie features a dead Danny, with Molly standing over him clutching a knife. While Molly does eventually wield a knife, she doesn't use it to kill Danny.
  • A Deadly Affair: Molly starts a relationship with her student Danny, but he feels guilty and asks to meet her in a park, where he breaks up with her. Unfortunately for him, Molly is a psychotic mess who's Not Good with Rejection, so she impulsively kills him with her SUV.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Zigzagged. Molly is clearly depicted as being an unhinged predator who seducing Danny. But upon finding out about it, Jamie angrily blasts Danny for "having sex with their teacher," seemingly more upset at Danny for cheating on her than at Molly for taking advantage of a student in an academic bind. The fact that Danny was the victim of grooming isn't really addressed.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Josie Davis (an Actors Studio alum) is a masterful Cold Ham, conveying Molly's deranged personality through facial expressions and changes in vocal tone, but she completely delivers when it comes time to have Molly freak out and throw a tantrum when she realizes that the truth about the murder is about to come out.
  • Evil Is Petty: Throughout her initial seduction of Danny, Molly gives Jamie a subpar grade on a paper—twice—just to spite her for being Danny's girlfriend.
  • Feuding Families: Danny's father was Jamie's father's boss, but Mr. Campbell fired Mr. Hall, and there's quite a bit of tension between them, not helped by the Danny/Jamie relationship. Naturally, the Campbells have no trouble believing that Jamie killed Danny.
  • Frame-Up: Molly tries to frame Jamie for Danny's death by planting evidence, including blood stains, in Jamie's car.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Jamie, the blonde, virginal Ingenue who gets wrongly-blamed for her boyfriend's death.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: With Danny's death, the movie changes from a steamy Teen Drama to a Police Procedural.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Molly and Jamie both do some impressive scenery chewing in the final confrontation scene.
  • Here We Go Again!: The ending, with Molly in prison watching a news story about her case, including an interview with a student who says he would've gladly slept with her if she was his teacher, which leads Molly to start crushing on him.
  • How We Got Here: The movie starts with Jamie getting arrested for Danny's murder, then goes back a month to tell the story.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Danny ends things with Molly. It ends up costing him his life.
  • The Ingenue: While bright enough to have a shot at getting accepted to Whittendale, Jamie is incredibly naïve, which makes her easy pickings for a devious Sociopath like Molly.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Jamie, who's spent most of the movie being passive and pouty (her default expression whenever something bad happens is Dull Surprise), totally takes charge when she goes to confront Molly, having apparently Took a Level in Badass. She gives her a "Reason You Suck" Speech, and even threatens her with a gun when one becomes available.
  • Lying to the Perp: Jamie's gambit in her final confrontation with Molly, claiming that the chop shop didn't destroy the damaged grill from Molly's SUV.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: When she was a child, Molly murdered her diabetic foster mother by shooting her up with insulin, which was written off by investigators as an accidental overdose.
  • Mama Bear: Jamie's mother Lauren works to help her daughter prove her innocence, even having a brief but tense confrontation with Molly.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Jamie wants to lose her virginity to Danny, and they make out quite a bit, but when things get serious she suddenly refuses to go further.
  • Monochrome Past: Molly's childhood flashbacks are in black-and-white, and also have a bit of an Art Shift, looking like an old Hollywood Melodrama.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Middle-aged Molly pursues 18-year-old Danny, and it's discovered that she's done this with other boys at other schools.
  • Police Are Useless: Detectives Peters and Allen may be the most incompetent investigators in Lifetime history. They completely accept Molly's movie alibi based on nothing more than the ticket stub she gives them. Never do they think to actually go to the theater to confirm that she was there, or what time she bought her ticket. They also don't bother to check the GPS in Molly's SUV. And simple forensic analysis would've shown that the point of impact on Danny's body was inconsistent with Jamie's small car, and would've uncovered the blood on Jamie's car having been smeared there.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Molly is around 40 but is a Cloudcuckoolander with a mental age of 14 or so. She obsesses over Danny like a giddy schoolgirl, and feels petty jealousy toward Jamie.
  • Sextra Credit: Essentially what's happening between Molly and Danny, except he's not really aware of it.
  • Stepford Smiler: Molly comes across as calm and serene, but there's obviously something way off with her, stemming from a bad childhood incident.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: The focus of the film, with Molly initiating a sexual relationship with her student Danny.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Danny for some reason walks in the middle of the road on the way back to his car after rejecting Molly at the park, when he was parked just a few spaces down from her Grand Cherokee. And he easily would've heard her slam the door, rev the SUV up, and squeal out as she raced toward him, with plenty of time to look behind and move over.
  • Troubled Backstory Flashback: Whenever Molly looks in a mirror, she's reminded of her rotten childhood, when she was constantly called "ugly" by her mean foster mother.
  • We Used to Be Friends: While drunkenly confronting Danny's father for firing him, Jamie's father hints that they used to be friends and co-workers before Danny's father went up in the company and left him without a job. From the way he talks to him presently, Danny's father obviously couldn't care less about their past friendship.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Danny. Part of why he falls victim to Molly's advances is because he feels pressured to get better grades by his parents in order to get into the exclusive university they want him to.