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To Sir, With Love

To Sir, With Love
To Sir, With Love
To Sir, With Love
  • NR
  • 1h 45m
  • 1967
Common Sense Media Iconage 13+
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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 by breaking his spirit. But Thackeray, no stranger to hostility, meets the challenge by treating the students as young adults who will soon enter a work force where they must stand or fall on their own. When offered an engineering job, Thackeray must decide if he wants to stay.
© 1966 , renewed 1994 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 13+
Common Sense Says
Sidney Poitier at his best; teens and up.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that To Sir, with Love is a 1960s English drama about a teacher named Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier). Viewers will see students behaving rudely toward their teacher, including a one-on-one boxing match where the teacher takes punches to the face and the student is incapacitated with a gut punch. A bloody cut on a hand is briefly seen, as is the suggestion of a naked woman on a magazine centerfold. A student crushes on a teacher, but the story is handled appropriately by filmmakers. Issues of racism and classism come up and are explored with sensitivity, if never directly challenged. The way women are portrayed and spoken about feels extremely outdated; when Thackeray's female students misbehave, he angrily chides, "No man likes a slut." Language also includes terms like "bastard," "damn," "moron," and "f--gots" (used to convey its original meaning, "a bundle" of something). Racist overtones are repeatedly found in conversation by another teacher, who's never held accountable. The film offers a window into London's East End and its working-class residents.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Drama
  • Release Date:June 14, 1967
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
  • Screen Pass Eligible:Yes
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