Lean On Me

  • 1989
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Drama

Based on the story of controversial high-school principal Joe Clark, LEAN ON ME begins in the 1960s, as Clark (Morgan Freeman) conducts an energetic class at Eastside High in Paterson, New Jersey. The class--an early indication of the bravura style for which Clark will later become famous--is interrupted when Clark is informed that the school board is fed...read more

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Based on the story of controversial high-school principal Joe Clark, LEAN ON ME begins in the 1960s, as Clark (Morgan Freeman) conducts an energetic class at Eastside High in Paterson, New Jersey. The class--an early indication of the bravura style for which Clark will later become

famous--is interrupted when Clark is informed that the school board is fed up with his abrasive approach and is transferring him. The film then flashes forward 20 years to Eastside High in the 1980s, a graffiti-scrawled haven for drug dealers and unrepentant juvenile delinquents. The school

superintendent (Robert Guillaume) lobbies to make his friend Clark the new Eastside principal. Under pressure, Paterson's mayor agrees. If Eastside's mean score on the basic skills test doesn't rise above a certain level, however, the state will take over the school. As in ROCKY and THE KARATE

KID, director John Avildsen manipulates his audience skillfully, exploiting the real-life Clark's crusading, anti-bureaucratic image to the hilt and justifying the principal's means through an effective and galvanizing, if formulaic, presentation of his ends. But LEAN ON ME's manipulations justify

Clark's drastic methods only superficially, by trivializing legitimate questions regarding Clark's actions.

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  • Released: 1989
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Based on the story of controversial high-school principal Joe Clark, LEAN ON ME begins in the 1960s, as Clark (Morgan Freeman) conducts an energetic class at Eastside High in Paterson, New Jersey. The class--an early indication of the bravura style for whi… (more)

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