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To Sir, With Love

To Sir, With Love

To Sir, With Love

A novice teacher faces a class of rowdy, undisciplined working-class punks in this classic film that reflected some of the problems and fears of teens in the 60s. Sidney Poitier gives one of his finest performances as Mark Thackeray, an out-of-work engineer who turns to teaching in London’s tough East End. The graduating class, led by Denham (Christian Roberts), Pamela (Judy Geeson) and Barbara (Lulu, who also sings the hit title song), sets out to destroy Thackeray as they did his predecessor b

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3 Responses to “To Sir, With Love”

  1. P Magnum says:
    59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Poitier Is Masterful, February 21, 2001
    By 
    P Magnum (NJ, USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: To Sir, With Love (DVD)
    1967 was an incredible year for Sidney Poitier. He starred in three magnificent films, the Academy Award winning films, In The Heat Of the Night & Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and this superb movie. Mr. Poitier stars as Mark Thackery who is an engineer, but in need of a job accepts a teaching position at a tough West End school. His class is made up of unruly ruffians and at first they rebel against him. It becomes obvious to Thackery that these kids don’t have an interest in learning normal academics and that none of them will pursue higher education so he decides to prepare them for live by giving them lessons on how to cope in the real world. He gives cooking lessons, make up lessons for the girls, takes them to museums and they develop a respect and love for each other. Judy Geeson is fabulous as Pamela Dare, a blond beauty who develops a crush on Thackery. Christian Roberts is Devin the leader of the group. He is a thug not use to rules and is constantly testing Thackery. Lulu is Babs Pegg and she does a credible acting job and supplies the film with its famous theme song. Michael Des Barres has a minor part as one of the students and he would go on to minor rock career and marry one of the most famous of all rock groupies Pamela Des Barres. Mr. Poitier is the glue that holds the film together and he is equally forceful and compassionate in his performance. To sir With Love is dated in some ways with regards to the fashions and slang language, but it’s story is timeless

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  2. Roger J. Buffington says:
    25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Powerful, sentimental, wonderfully done, June 4, 2005
    By 
    Roger J. Buffington (Huntington Beach, CA United States) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: To Sir, With Love (DVD)
    Somehow I just missed this one when it came out during my youth. I recently caught it on Satellite and immediately ordered the DVD. This is a wonderful, powerful film featuring a fabulous performance by Sidney Portier. I have caught Portier in a few other films, and he was excellent in all of them, but his performance in this film is quite simply magnificent. His class, intense intelligence, and talent all shine through in this moving story of a teacher who touches a classroom full of lower-class Brits and leaves them the better for it.

    The storyline is well-known, so I shan’t dwell on it in this review. Who among us has not had the good fortune of encountering, in our young years, a particularly gifted teacher who perhaps sets us on the right course despite ourselves? That is what this story is about. Portier (playing Mr. Thackary, to be addressed as “Sir!”) is assigned to teach a tough classroom of young working class Brits, who are about to graduate and enter the workforce. The pupils are poorly educated and thuggish. Thackary quickly realizes that their real problem is that they lack a moral and social compass, or any appreciation of the value of an education. He confronts the class, and inspires most of them to steer a more proper course in life. This is a fine story of teenage angst, growing up, and the important role that a gifted teacher can play in a young life. An underlying and inspiring theme, of course, is the fact that Portier plays a black man immersed in a nearly completely white school at a time when Western society had a long way to go as regards racial equality. He encounters prejudice, but transcends it by his talent, intelligence, and force of personality. Eventually the class comes to fully appreciate the extraordinary nature of their teacher. Similarly, Mr. Thackary, who originally had accepted the teaching post while searching for a job as an engineer, comes to know that his true calling and talent is teaching. It does not matter how hard-boiled the viewer, no one can fail to be touched by the ending of this superb film.

    This is a stylish flick set more or less in the Beatles age of the 1960s. The British nature of the film, the British setting, etc. has a special fascination to the American viewer, and of course when this film was released, the British pop “invasion” was in full swing. This, combined with Portier’s incomparable performance, the solid storyline of this film, and really good acting by an appealing British cast, made this low-budget film a smash hit. Of course, the theme song “To Sir With Love” by Lulu is a sentimental and touching component of the film, which became a top rock tune in the States.

    I purchased my DVD in May 2005. Some reviewers apparently received copies that erroneously had a Japanese monster movie on Side B. My copy did not have this error, so the publisher has evidently corrected the problem. The sound and colors on my copy are excellent; the remastering was well-done

    Too many films are rated 5 stars here on Amazon, but this is one for sure. One indicator of a truly fine film is how it stands the test of time, and whether the viewer returns to it repeatedly. This film passes these tests with flying colors (or should I say “colours”?).

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  3. Eric Huffstutler says:
    16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Classic with Poor DVD Transfer, April 18, 2009
    By 
    Eric Huffstutler (Richmond, VA United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: To Sir, With Love (DVD)
    Many have already praised the film itself and that is one of the major problems with Amazon – people talk about the film and rarely offer insight to the buyers who are here concerning the DVD quality itself.

    I noted that some made mention of a 2-sided version with an error. These are most likely the earlier pressings that have the COLUMBIA CLASSICS banner. The newer pressings from 2004 have the 3-1/2 star rating at the top and only the widescreen version on the disc. In either case they are currently out of print due to poor sales. I can cite one reason and that is the poor quality print transfer. It is faded, washed out, grainy, and suffers from compression artifacting especially played on newer High Definition televisions that came out within the past couple years. The print used may have looked great on a standard 300 line tube set but not on a 1080 HD flat screen one. It missed Sony’s re-mastering in High Definition and not quite sure why? And I don’t see a re-release on the near horizon as Sony’s management are not too keen on older catalog titles.

    One hint for bargain hunters – I picked up a brand new factory sealed copy at a local Big Lots for $3. Get them while you can before the gougers make a profit from you because once they are gone, that is it – no more stock. They were available during the week of April 12, 2009.

    Eric S. Huffstutler
    Richmond, VA

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