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Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Arthur Hiller
Produced by Aaron Russo
Written by W. R. McKinney
Starring Nick Nolte
JoBeth Williams
Ralph Macchio
Judd Hirsch
Richard Mulligan
Morgan Freeman
Laura Dern
Crispin Glover
Music by Bryan Adams
Ian Hunter
Freddie Mercury
Bob Seger
The Motels
.38 Special
Cinematography David M. Walsh
Editing by Don Zimmerman
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) October 5, 1984 (USA)
Running time 106 min.
Country  United States
Language English

Teachers is a 1984 comedy-drama film starring Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Ralph Macchio, and Judd Hirsch, written by W. R. McKinney and directed by Arthur Hiller. The movie was shot in Columbus, Ohio, mostly at the former Central High School. The building is now home to the COSI Columbus museum.



The film opens with a typical Monday morning at JFK High School, "typical" events including a fight between teachers, a student with a stab wound and talk of an upcoming lawsuit. We meet haggard Vice Principal Rubell (Hirsch) and clueless Principal Horn, as well as stuffy lawyer and former JFK alumna Lisa Hammond (Williams), who is in charge of taking depositions for the Calvin case, in which a recent graduate is suing the school for giving him a diploma despite his illiteracy.

Alex Jurel (played by Nick Nolte) is a veteran Social Studies teacher who takes his job lightly despite being one of the most popular teachers in school because of his ability to identify and connect with the students. Jurel has been worn down by years of being in-between the rowdy students and the demands of the administration (principal, vice principal, superintendent, and school board). He is assigned to temporarily take over the duties of the school psychologist (who started a fight in the office) and meets a young man named Eddie Pilikian (Macchio) to whom he becomes a mentor.

The major plotline centers on the Calvin lawsuit, with Superintendent Donna Burke (Lee Grant) and school lawyer Al Lewis (Morgan Freeman) attempting to avoid bad publicity associated with the case. To this end, they try to figure out which teachers will "rock the boat," or are critical of the school board policies. Intertwined with the major storyline are Jurel's efforts to reform Pilikian into a student who believes in himself and Jurel's growing moral conundrum that ultimately culminates in a showdown with Dr. Burke, who threatens to fire Jurel if he does not resign.

A number of minor plotlines deviate from the primary goings-on. These include Herbert Gower/Stuart Van Ark (Richard Mulligan), an outpatient from a mental institution who is accidentally put in charge of a U.S. History class and makes it fun and engaging; gym teacher Mr. Troy’s sexual relationship with a student that ends with Jurel taking the girl to an abortion clinic (a decision that later comes back to haunt him); and the death of Eddie Pilikian’s friend Danny (Crispin Glover), who is shot and killed by the police after he draws a gun from his locker during a drug search. A romance also begins between Jurel and the attorney Lisa Hammond (who at one point srips herself naked in the middle of a hallway). Lisa ultimately convinces Jurel that despite their many flaws, the students of JFKHS are worth risking reputation and career.


Soundtrack by various artists
Released 1984
Genre Rock, Hard Rock
Label Capital Records
Professional reviews
  1. "Teacher, Teacher" - 38 Special
  2. "Cheap Sunglasses" - ZZ Top
  3. "Foolin' Around" - Freddie Mercury
  4. "I Can't Stop the Fire" - Eric Martin
  5. "Edge of a Dream" - Joe Cocker
  6. "(I'm The) Teacher" - Ian Hunter
  7. "One Foot Back in Your Door" - Roman Holliday
  8. " In the Jungle" - The Motels
  9. "Understanding" - Bob Seger
  10. "Interstate Love Affair - Night Ranger


External links

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