Film Review: To Sir, With Love

This afternoon as I decided to turn on the T.V I came across the film: To Sir, With Love and I knew about it but and hadn’t ever seen it…

When Mum and I decided to watch “The Audrey Hepburn Story” with Jennifer Love Hewitt – which came out about 10 years ago, it started my mission to watch Audrey Hepburn movies – because even though it someone else posing as her – I felt that I must see her films… The first was Roman Holiday and from then on I was hooked…

One day from the video shop (yes I know techniquely they’re dvds…) Mum brought home a bunch of films all in black and white and all woderful…

Films just aren’t the same today – no matter what anyone else says and yes they have advanced in other ways, but honestly I don’t really want to spend $2 on a pair of plastic glasses that allows me to see “It flying right into your face!!!” (Besides that technology isn’t really that new anyway…)

I want to see it for the people in the story, a story that we can relate to, acting that makes me believe, cinematography that takes into the story, etc…

I really don’t care if the leaves falling from the sky feel as though they’re about to land on my face!

Plus actors that can really act…

Like Sidney Poitier who stars in “To Sir, With Love” although it may not be in black in white it still comes under my classification of ‘old films’…

His character is a hopeful engineer who in the meantime takes up a job as a teacher. The students that he teaches are rough and rebellious and his challenge is to get through them on any level – not just to teach…

He decides to first create strict rules in his classroom that gives them their first lesson in respect and what follows is a series of lesson on the subject of ‘life’ as he puts it.

Women’s rights and race issues come to the surface in his classroom – even when this image of ‘family’ has been created.

Throughout the film his character is put to the choice of becoming an engineer or choosing his classroom…

The way that this teacher is depicted by Sidney Poitier allows you to believe that what is one screen is actually real-life and we are soon swept up into what is wonderful about Mr. Poitier – he is truly magnificent… and the story is powerful and up-lifting…

The students in the classroom have had their lives changed and we start to feel their emotion… shown through the scene where they get to the museum – Poitier walks into a classroom of completely silent and tearful students and in this moment you realise the impact of this teacher…simply because they get to go to a museum.

I’ve been going to museums, art galleries, the zoo, etc for as long as I remember, these kids don’t have the time or the resources to do so, plus most the teachers before hand never would have taken them there and now here was someone willing to do so. He trusted these kids because he wanted to enrich their lives.

Being the 60s too – there were so many things e.g women expected to do all the house-work that has now changed most likely because of these people… he was also trying to show them that their lives weren’t limited to the stereotyped boxes they were placed in

In another scene they were being taught how to make a salad and one of the kids exclaimed “ah but that’s women’s work”, Poitier responded simply by noting that in a short time they would be out in the world and would have to know how to survive and that making this salad would save them even when they were poorer than poor. The students were completely immersed into the lesson and soon learnt how to make salad while forgetting who’s ‘job’ it was…

There is another scene which breaks through what gossip can do to do people when it concerns their reputation – but for those who haven’t seen it I won’t give it away. The point is, these students learn these most amazing lessons – which aren’t to do with what’s placed in a textbook and come out of it so grateful and genuinely good people which is amazing…

All this film has done is taken away hype and shown people what is a believable story which we the viewers might find teary but evidently up-lifting!

I rate this 8 apples out 10

(it’s about a teacher and I’m doing teaching so I’m going to be corny and rate out of apples)

The best bit was that I didn’t consider it procrastination because it’s about teaching – yeah I’m trying to justify why I wasn’t doing my homework, when I have a bucket load… 😉

If you haven’t seen a Sidney Poitier film, then you need to add it to your list:

Other films he is in and are recommended Raisin in the Sun and Guess Who is Coming to Dinner-

Don’t forget films with Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Natalie Wood, Sophia Loren and the list is never-ending really…

Watch older films – you won’t regret it!

Or if you don’t get much of a chance to rent DVDs then at least:

  • Casablanca
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • House Boat
  • To Kill A Mockingbird…
  • Anything else that is worthy… 😛

No – just start taking the train to work/school/uni because with the technology we have today we can watch films while travelling… we need to find the time to watch films, read books and enjoy food… not eat cos you eat to survive…like when you eat a nut-bar during a lecture that is draining your life – that’s possibly boredom too though…

Also not what I’m writing about….

Lesson of today:

Films are worth the time it takes to watch them especially when they’re good… where you learn something from them and continue to talk about them for years to come… I told Mum that I watched this – she said “oh that’s such a great film, did you like it… it’s something you’d love!”

Sing a long to the song that is played throughout and at the end – it really helps you feel like you’re in the story.

Signing off so I can finish my cocoa and marshmallows before hitting the hay!

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