English 225 – Introduction to Film
Mr. Ernest Littler
October 18, 2010
Lean On Me is a biographical-dram film released in 1989 by Michael Schiffer and directed by John G. Avildsen. The movie stars Morgan Freeman, the protagonist, as “Crazy” Joe Clark, the principal of Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey; Beverly Todd and Robert Guillaume, two of the foils, as Dr. Frank Napier and Ms. Levias, the school superintendent and the assistant principal, respectively; and Lynne Thigpin, as Ms. Barrett, the antagonist, a single parent of one of the children that was ejected from the school by Mr. Clark, and she despises Mr. Clark from her very first interaction with him at the school meeting following him kicking the group of students out of school. Dr. Napier sets out to turn Eastside High School around by getting someone in there to get the standardized test scores up to the state minimum so he could preempt the State of New Jersey from taking over the school to do the job which the teachers and administrators at the school has failed to do.
The movie is about a very well known teacher and administrator to the school system and to the community, his name is Joe Clark and to some he is known as “Crazy Joe”, he carried a bullhorn and a bat because he is known as the type of person to charge and get things done, Clark was a former drill instructor. Clark is asked by the superintendent to be the head principle at the inner city high school he once taught at years ago and now that the school has gone down he wants Clark to return to Eastside high school because the school filled with drug dealers that selling drugs to the students, test scores are low, and a high dropout rate, Eastside high is threatened to be shut down by the board of education if progress is not soon made although there are some devoted staff and students that truly wants to learn and succeed action must be taken immediately. Joe Clark mission is to...