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YMMV / Blackboard Jungle

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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Sidney Poitier plays Gregory Miller, a disadvantaged black student helped by his white teacher Mr. Dadier. Later on, in To Sir, with Love, he would play Thackeray, a teacher who helps his disadvantaged working-class students... who are mostly white.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The film is remembered (among other things) as the film that launched the Rock and Roll Era thanks to the use of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" as the theme song. Stories are legion of teenagers flocking to see the movie specifically to hear the song, with little interest in the rest of the picture.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • Klinger stars as one of the students, using his original name Jameel Farah.
    • A somewhat ironic example comes in the form of Sidney Poitier, who plays a student in this film before going on to play a teacher at an inner city school in To Sir, with Love.
    • "Rock Around the Clock". When the movie came out some theaters cut the opening because they thought the song was evil and inspired delinquency. Nineteen years later it would be used as the theme song for Happy Days to evoke a simpler, happier time.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Today the movie comes off as a very standard Save Our Students plot: privileged white person goes to inner city school and connects with the troubled minority students through the use of more empathetic teaching techniques. It's hard to hear Mr. Dadier lament that he needs some way to reach his kids without thinking it sounds cliche. But at the time, it was amazing to show that high schools, an American institution no less, was flawed.
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  • Values Dissonance: Dadier uses several racial slurs in one scene, up to and including the n-word. While he was actually condemning racism in said scene, today a white person using those words in any context is simply not done (unless said person is purposefully being racist.) Although Dadier's job is later threatened over it until he explains himself, it's likely today a teacher doing this would be fired regardless.
  • Values Resonance: Over fifty years later and inner city schools still have the exact same problems.

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