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Film / Heaven Help Us

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A 1985 American drama directed by Michael Dinner that follows a group of misfit teenagers (Andrew McCarthy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kevin Dillon, Malcolm Danare, Patrick Dempsey, and Stephen Geoffreys) and teachers (Jay Patterson, Wallace Shawn, John Heard, and Donald Sutherland) at a school where the children come of age.

It was released on February 8, 1985.

Tropes for the film:

  • Confessional: The film, set at a Catholic high school, has The Bully advising the other boys on how to cut down on their penance by reducing the number of sins they confess to manageable but still believable levels, and then adding one lie to the list.
  • Corporal Punishment: At a Catholic prep school, Constance uses a wooden board to beat the protagonist's hands in the middle of class. Later he uses a leather belt on a small group one at a time bent over a bench. Upset that one of them presents a written and valid exemption to this form of punishment, Constance then starts beating him in the face with the belt. Michael then chases Constance across the campus where they crash a school assembly. The teacher attempts to beat him right there on the stage and gets punched out to the roar of the entire student body.
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  • Self-Abuse: the movie features a compulsive masturbator who's also pallid, twitchy, and socially awkward.
  • Standing in the Hall: The movie has Catholic-school students who have to kneel on the floor with their arms out, balancing heavy books.

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