To Sir with Cats

We watched To Sir with Love last night on PBS, starring Sidney Poitier, a movie released in 1967, maybe the first of the "bad student. good teacher" film trope developed over the years with movies like Dead Poet's Society and that one with Michelle Pfeiffer where a gorgeous white teacher wins the respect of hardened street toughs (Dangerous Minds). I forget how she does this--through dancing or Kung Fu or something like that.

It was interesting that race didn't play a huge, huge role in the film--maybe because it was set in London and so race relations were perhaps better there--some scenes of bias, but mostly, Sir was just this very proper man who got through to the class by treating them with dignity (except in this one scene where he punched a kid in the stomach, but he totally deserved it). As is the way now, I was able to watch the film while simultaneously looking up Poiteir's full biography on my iPhone to see that he was the first African American to win an Academy Award and the President Obama gave him some other honor in 2009. He also directed Stir Crazy, starring Richard Prior, but I think it's best of focus on his earlier acting work.