Teachers Pets: Cool School Flicks

Last modified: 
Monday, January 25, 2021

The Blackboard Jungle (1955)

High school students in a gritty urban school move to the beat of Bill Haley’s "Rock Around the Clock" in what today seems a nostalgic look at urban youth. Glenn Ford stars as the teacher committed to his messy job. (Not Rated)

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Detention never seemed as much fun as it does in this Chicago suburban school, as John Hughes covers all the cliques that make up life in high school. (Rated R)

Election (1999)

The seeds of political mania are sown early on as seen in this shrewd look at the electoral process as practiced by maniacal student council wannabe Reese Witherspoon ("She Who Must Be Stopped") and countered by teacher Matthew Broderick. (Rated R)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Sean Penn is the uber-dude in a Southern California high school riding the crest of the drugs/sex/rock&roll era. If you can remember it all, you weren’t there. (Rated R)

Friday Night Lights (2004)

Nowhere (not even in Alabama) do they take football as seriously as they do in Texas, and Billy Bob Thornton is a perfect coach to make it all happen. (Rated PG-13)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

Hogwarts has to be factored into any ranking of schools these days. (Rated PG)

The History Boys (2006)

A multicultural horde of British students are exposed to education of various stripes in this entertaining and provocative updating of Goodbye Mr. Chips. (Rated R)

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

Knowledge is all well and good in its place, but a food fight is for the ages, especially as wielded by John Belushi. (Rated R)

What are your cool school flicks?


Bob Lunn, Manager Central AV Services, has worked for the Kansas City Public Library for the past 20 years. He has been told frequently that he has the "perfect" job: thinking about movies, being given money to buy them, and curating programs for the Central Library’s Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault. He tends to agree.

He has reviewed books, mostly mysteries, for Library Journal for a number of years, and enjoys collecting Edward Gorey ephemera and the works of several other authors. He enjoys big game hunting--but at a great distance.

See you at the movies!

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