Dangerous Minds (1995)
A teacher, Lou Anne Johnson (Michel Pfeiffer), accepts a job at Parkmont High School and soon realizes that she is on the wrong side of an open war with her students. Moreover, her predecessors all had to leave the same position by dismissal or by direct referral to an assylum. The way she handles the situation is not exactly according the school‘s rules, but the result is not long in coming.
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
This is a movie set in the fifties, when the main mission of most girls was still to marry and have a family before further education or independent thinking. Here comes a new art teacher, Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts), to Wellesley College and tries to break the old habits and introduce some new, fresh air. Surprisingly, the local outdated way of thinking isn’t confined just to the teachers, but also to some of her students. Among these you’ll find many rising new stars, to name few: Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Hair, by Miloš Forman, seems contemporary and real even decades after it first appeared. Forman endowed the movie with great choreography, thought-provoking lyrics, and more, opposing the Vietnam War and the apathy of many people in the face of the tragedy of the unnecesary conflict and also against conservatism. The music in Hair included great songs, some of which became legendary.
Stand and Deliver (1988)
This is another movie from the genre of school and the relationship between the new teacher and his students, this time in the environment of a Los Angeles high school. The movie was inspired by a true story and was nominated on an Oscar for best main character. Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) teaches math, and he truly puts real energy into figuring out the essential characteristics of his students, their problems, and also the local gangs and the wider problem of alienation. Not judging, but understanding and friendship make a big difference after all.
Rebel without a Cause (1955)
The much-idolized James Dean and his tragic life story read like a copy of the movie’s screenplay. Dean himself was revolting against all the authorities in real life. In Rebel without a Cause he plays the role of a young, sensitive teenager, Jim Stark, who is going through a difficult growing up and suffers from the emotional numbness of hidebound parents who have no ability to step out of their box and listen to their child. Jim’s story really reflects the general problems of the youth of his time, and the movie was really the first one to focus on the problems assicuated with growing up in a world where there is no understanding. The film became a cult movie.