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A movie directed by Arthur Hiller

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Nolte certainly taught me a lot

  • May 27, 2000
Pros: .......

Cons: ..........

Nick Nolte is not one of my favorite actors but God knows he has been around since the beginning of time so sooner or later you are bound to run into him in movies. Not that I avoid his movies, in fact there are many I have enjoyed, but I have had a personal experience with Sick Nick so sometimes I think this shades my views of him.

As I mentioned in my review on my beautiful town, Columbus, Nolte, et al arrived here to make this movie. My company, which is a landscape company, often supplies the plant goods for the movies made in this area, as we did for this one. Hence, my brush with greatness (?) Nick Nolte.

Teachers is set on the premise of a principal with no backbone, a vice principal with too many scruples and too much backbone and a beleaguered teacher, stuck in a system that feeds upon itself.

With the idea of shuffling the students through school, learn or no learn, Nolte tries and sometimes succeeds in making a difference in his students lives. After one student leaves school as a graduate then turns the tables on them by suing them for his lack of education, the principal played by William Schallert gives no backing to Nolte. The vice principal, Judd Hirsch, just wants to shove the students through the system and get them out of his life with as little damage to the school and its' reputation as possible.

Although there are many memorable issues in this film, perhaps the most audacious point made is the ability one person, or one teacher, can make in a persons life. Not always the most understandable movie as it jumps between comedy and drama, never quite letting you know what outlook you are supposed to be taking on this situation.

Nolte gives a believable performance as a semi-burnt out teacher that has been in the system too long, seen too many aggravations, heard too many tales and no longer has faith in his superiors. In other words, he plays the part of the self styled hypocritical ass that he is in real life. Hirsch is the fanatical nose to the grindstone, don't do my school, and therefore me, wrong guy and Shallert stumbles through looking over his shoulder for someone to lay blame on.

Starring Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Judd Hirsch, Ralph Macchio, Lee Grant, Richard Mulligan, William Schallert, Laura Dern, and Morgan Freeman.

Going to dinner with some of these guys was great in particular Macchio and Williams but Nolte was rude, impolite and down right insulting to several of the people in our party. Sorry, I just had to throw that in, it aggravated me so.


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Susi Dawson ()
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Live your life with the goal to 'pay it forward' and do one good thing for someone else
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About this movie


The educational atmosphere at John F. Kennedy High School is far from ideal. One teacher has a desk that keeps disappearing, another is an escapee from a mental hospital, and a third is frequently bitten by his students. TEACHERS is highlighted by original music by ZZ Top and Joe Cocker.
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Director: Arthur Hiller
Release Date: 1984
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (August 28, 2007)
Runtime: 1hr 48min
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