Watch This: Before commanding Galactica, Edward James Olmos taunted kids into success

Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: The forthcoming release of Ethan Hawke’s Seymour: An Introduction—and the recent release of the excellent Approaching The Elephant—has us thinking back on other movies about teaching.

Stand And Deliver (1988)

Films about teachers have an unfortunate habit of falling back on empty platitudes that cheapen the frustrating work of attempting to reach a group of diverse human beings. One is often encouraged to “follow their dreams” in such a film, with little detail proffered as to how such a notion might be achieved. The students subsequently become worshipful cherubs of the teacher, usually over the course of a montage or two. Stand And Deliver is not without these clichés, particularly in terms of how quickly the barrio students of Garfield High, written off by the school as unteachable, come …

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