An urban school is being sued by the parents of a kid who
graduated without the ability to read or write. The board,
administration and teachers union are trying their best to keep the
teachers from giving honest testimony. Nick Nolte plays one of the
few teachers who still care. He finds himself face-to-face with a
former student, in the person of JoBeth Williams, who worshiped him,
and is now the attorney for the parents.
Teachers is an
Arthur Hiller comedy that tries to tackle serious subjects through
humor. Some have criticized the film for mixing lowbrow humor with
serious issues, but that's one of the things I particularly like
about it. This is a serious and memorable indictment of our high
schools that is possibly more true now then it was in 1984, and it
makes all of its points clearly, but entertains in the process. In
that respect, the tone reminds me very much of Hiller's classic,
Hospital, starring George C. Scott.
Hiller assembled a killer cast here, including Nick Nolte, Ralph
Macchio, Laura Dern, JoBeth Williams, Judd Hirsch, Lee Grant, Morgan
Freeman and Crispin Glover. Macchio and Dern are particularly
convincing as students.
I enjoy every minute of this film.
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: