Cooley High

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Overview

Michael Schultz's Cooley High comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a collectible booklet containing trivia and production notes. MGM/UA could have done a much better job with this title, but the inexpensive list price may keep some people interested.
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Overview

Michael Schultz's Cooley High comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. English and French soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a collectible booklet containing trivia and production notes. MGM/UA could have done a much better job with this title, but the inexpensive list price may keep some people interested.
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Special Features

4-page collectible booklet featuring Trivia and production notes
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Despite being poorly acted, poorly scripted, and just plain scattershot, Cooley High developed a fond following as one of the earliest "guys hanging out and getting in trouble" films for the urban community. Michael Schultz' film is also remembered for its signature song, Freddie Perren's "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," which the group Boyz II Men re-popularized in the 1990s on their album Cooleyhighharmony, indicating the enduring popularity of this film. The adventures of Preach Glynn Turman and Cochise Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs feel authentic -- good, rambunctious fun on the streets of lower-middle-class 1960s Chicago. These bits earn the film the good will that defies its faults. However, even though scripter Eric Monte wisely resists casting the characters strictly as saints or sinners, their frequently ignoble behavior ends up making them unsympathetic. Cochise is a handsome and generally affable jock, but he's such a seducer that he finds women utterly disposable, to the point that it's hard to root for him. And the bespectacled Preach fritters away his obvious intelligence he reads and writes poetry for fun by always acting the fool, undercutting the few strides he makes with outrageous blunders. The film's episodic nature cripples its fluidity, and when a concerned teacher played by Garrett Morris is introduced far too late in the narrative, it becomes clear that Cooley High isn't enough about high school to warrant being named after one. Viewers might also find the tonal shift at the end rather abrupt, given the loosey-goosey nature of the events leading up to it. The kind of film that's fun despite a litany of reasonable complaints, Cooley High remains a benchmark in early black cinema, and Schultz would follow it with a blaxploitation classic, Car Wash 1976.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/18/2000
  • UPC: 027616798923
  • Original Release: 1975
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Glynn Turman Preach
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs Cochise
Garrett Morris Mr. mason
Cynthia Davis Brenda
Corin Rogers Pooter
Maurice Leon Havis Willie
Joseph Carter Wilson Tyrone
Shermann Smith Stone
Norman Gibson Robert
Maurice Marshall Damon
Steven Williams Jimmy Lee
Jackie Taylor Johnny Mae
Christine Jones Sandra
Lynn Caridine Dorothy
Robert Townsend Uncredited
Technical Credits
Michael Schultz Director
Samuel Z. Arkoff Executive Producer
Frank Beetson Asst. Director
Paul Von Brack Cinematographer
William Fosser Art Director
Christopher Holmes Editor
Steve Krantz Producer
Eric Monte Screenwriter
Freddie Perren Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selections
1. Logos/Title/Credits [:09]
2. Sneaking Out [4:28]
3. Hotdogging On A Bus [1:54]
4. Monkeying Around [2:14]
5. A Little Hoops [2:06]
6. No Dice At Martha's [2:30]
7. How Far Will She Go? [4:27]
8. Good News [3:15]
9. Mixed Celebration [2:13]
10. Quarter Party [3:17]
11. Dancing In The Dark [4:11]
12. Poetry & Punches [3:26]
13. Hustling A John [4:35]
14. Street Singers/"Herb." [4:28]
15. Joy Ride [2:42]
16. False Arrest [5:16]
17. Mishap At The Movies [3:45]
18. Sibling Rivalry [4:11]
19. Her First Time [1:57]
20. "A Cheap Dollar Bet." [5:58]
21. "I Can Explain!" [2:30]
22. Class Test & Arrest [2:08]
23. Out Of The "Joint." [3:52]
24. "Get That Belt!" [3:15]
25. Frustrated Teacher [3:15]
26. Break Up & Make Up [4:00]
27. Caught In The Act [3:16]
28. Running For His Life [2:50]
29. "Later For Cochise!" [2:05]
30. "We Lived For Today." [3:24]
31. End Results/Credits [3:04]
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Menu

Side #1
   Play
   Languages
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ‘Cooley High’ is true-to-life film with a whole lot of heart.

    You'll go back to a time when school violence was a fist fight and have great fondness for your best friends in school. The closeness and brotherhood of Preach and Cochise is astounding and Glynn Turman and Laurence Hilton Jacobs are amazing in their roles. It depicts the exact experiences of that time period. It is also funny and of course extremely sad at the end. I know it is a true story but I don't know of whose life. At the surface this 32 year old film is a snappy ensemble comedy masquerading as a period piece (set in the early 60's, complete with a flawless Motown soundtrack). But there's so much more to this film. The cast of unknowns (at the time) is excellent, and it is notable as an all-black-cast film that doesn't fall into any Blaxploitation clichés - at times ‘Cooley High’ almost feels like an updated, urban neo-realist film, with lots of edgy humor added in. The tight budget of this film does show, but the constraints actually serve the film pretty well - there's a grit and honesty of emotion here that lends the film an immediacy lacking in most similar-minded films like Schultz' later ‘Car Wash’, which was more popular, but largely senseless. This film also marked the screen debut of Robert Townsend who only had two lines through out the entire story. ‘Cooly High’ is a feel good movie with an edge of angst and pain and realism--misconceptions, losing friends, and the decision in what to do in life. This might be one of the sleepers of the 70s - celebrated at the time, not many film lovers know about this one. If you do choose to watch "Cooley High", you will see that many films have duplicated various elements from it in order to strengthen their own. The biggest example of this is of course "Boyz N The Hood".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    ***A BREATHTAKING STORY***

    THIS MOVIE REALLY MAKES YOU THINK ABOUT WHO IS REALLY A TRUE FRIEND FROWING UP IN HIGHSCHOOL. A Movie THAT SHOULD BE SEEN WITH ALL OF YOUR CLOSE FRIENDS FROM GRADE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL.....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Love it!

    I absolutely love this move! it's hilarious and yet sad but it's a really good movie!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews