I love this picture.I watched it about 35 years ago a couple of times.Then I watched it again last night on TV. This is a black and white movie made in 1967 by Pinewood Studios, London England and filmed in East end London. I still loved the real human angle of black teacher Mark Thackery played by Sydney Poitier. He is so good looking and is such a true gentleman.
He has trained as an engineer but cannot find employment, so as a last resort has accepted the job as school teacher in an inner city school that the students have both racial and social issues.
This film was based on the novel of the same name by E R Braithwaite.James Clavell directed and wrote this wonderful film screenplay.
The song is the same as the title "To Sir with Love" and sung by Lulu.It made number one pop single in 1967 also reaching number one on the United States pop charts.
This teacher (Mark Thackery) travels on the bus from his home and is amused by the sellers in the markets on his way to his meeting with the other teachers, he soon realizes that the teaches do not really have the students interest at heart.
He is surprised when confronted with the troubled teenagers that he is expected to teach from a variety of backgrounds.As a black teacher in a class of predominantly white students he also had his own issues to deal with.These students were not only disruptive and insolent but had no idea of the meaning of respect.
He floundered for a week or so virtually at a loss as to how to reach them.Then they pushed him too far and he completely lost control.He blew a fuse, and loses his temper; as a result of this it actually gave him the solution on how to handle the students.He decided to treat them as adults making them realize that it was up to them in the end. He taught them the meaning of respect realizing that they had never been shown any themselves so had no idea how to react.
Now he was at last getting through to them, and promised them a visit to the museum.They learnt so much from that trip and started to appreciate where he was coming from.Although there was one real tough guy, the ringleader Denham (Christian Roberts) who could not accept him.
Like with many teaching positions, the student Pamela (Judy Gleeson) becomes infatuated with Mark Thackery.He finally convinces her that she is destined for better things and it finishes with the pair of them dancing together while surrounded by his now doting students.
He is finally offered the engineering position he has dreamed of at the end of term.He is thrilled but at the same time is sad to be leaving.His students tell him they have a surprise for him, and Lulu sings the traditional song "To Sir with Love".This makes
His decision harder still for him.
Like all movies the ending is the best part of all, so if you haven't seen it then even though it is an old black and white movie, I can thoroughly recommend that you make the effort to watch it.
Some other actors in this brilliant movie are: