Lean on Me
  • Lean on Me
  • Lean on Me

Lean on Me

5.0 4
Director: John G. Avildsen

Cast: John G. Avildsen, Morgan Freeman, Robert Guillaume, Beverly Todd

     
 

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After earning rave notices for powerful supporting turns as a pimp in Street Smart (1987) and an alcohol abuse counselor in Clean and Sober (1988), actor Morgan Freeman began his ascent to stardom with this, his first lead role in a major motion picture. Freeman is real-life high school principal Joe Clark, a tough, harsh educator and administrator whoSee more details below

Overview

After earning rave notices for powerful supporting turns as a pimp in Street Smart (1987) and an alcohol abuse counselor in Clean and Sober (1988), actor Morgan Freeman began his ascent to stardom with this, his first lead role in a major motion picture. Freeman is real-life high school principal Joe Clark, a tough, harsh educator and administrator who in 1987 is given a nearly impossible task by his old friend, school superintendent Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume). Clark is asked to reform inner city Eastside High School in Paterson, NJ, a hotbed of delinquent kids and drug dealers. Considered the worst school in New Jersey, the state is threatening to take control of Eastside away from the local school board. If Clark can straighten out Eastside in time to get the school's basic-skills test scores up, he can have the job permanently. Although Clark's tyrannical approach and hard-line policies alienate many members of the staff and the community, his uncompromising campaign gets results and even makes him famous, much to the chagrin of his powerful enemies.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Morgan Freeman's first big starring role as real-life no-nonsense principal Joe Clark, a man who revitalized a Paterson, New Jersey, school of miscreants, seemed tailor-made for the veteran actor. A tightly woven, uplifting story that tugs at the heartstrings Lean on Me is powered by Freeman's tour de force performance. Director John Avildsen does a nice job of capturing a sense of urban decay by giving the picture a dark, gritty feel, and the film is further strengthened by its young cast, many of whom would go on to bigger and better projects (Michael Imperioli, for example, enjoyed later success in HBO's The Sopranos). Freeman, however, is truly the heart and soul of this picture, and his work in it would serve to open all of Hollywood's eyes to his often under-appreciated talents. While Lean on Me is a pleasant human interest story and well-made film, it will largely be remembered as the picture that helped to herald Freeman's arrival as a major player on the big screen.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/02/2010
UPC:
0883929104789
Original Release:
1989
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
4,826

Special Features

Closed Caption

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Morgan Freeman Joe Clark
Robert Guillaume Dr. Frank Napier
Beverly Todd Ms. Levias
Lynne Thigpen Leona Barrett
Jermaine Hopkins Thomas Sams
Karen Malina White Kaneesha Carter
Ivonne Coll Actor
Alan North Mayor Don Bottman
Robin Bartlett Mrs. Elliott
Michael Beach Mr. Carnell
Ethan Phillips Mr. Rosenberg
Sandra Reaves-Phillips Mrs. Powers
Sloane Shelton Mrs. Hamilton
Karina Arroyave Maria
Regina Taylor Mrs. Carter
Michael P. Moran Mr. O'Malley
John Ring Fire Chief Gaines
Tyrone Jackson Clarence
Alex Romaguera Kid Ray
Tony Todd Mr. Wright
Mike Starr Mr. Zirella
Yvette Hawkins Mrs. Arthur
Michael Joseph Brian Banes
Richard Grusin Mr. Danley
Jim Moody Mr. Lott
Marina Durrell Miss Ruiz
Todd Alexander Derrick
Michael Imperioli George
Marcella Lowery Mrs. Richards
Jennifer McComb Ellen
Knowl Johnson Tommy
Pat McNamara Police Officer
Harry Madsen Teacher in Cafeteria
Heather Rose Dominic Stacey
Bruce Malmuth Burger Joint Manager

Technical Credits
John G. Avildsen Director,Editor,Executive Producer
John Carter Editor
Bill Conti Score Composer
Tim Galvin Art Director
Victor Hammer Cinematographer
Caryl Heller Set Decoration/Design
Alec Hirschfeld Camera Operator
Doug Kraner Production Designer
Jennifer Von Mayrhauser Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Schiffer Screenwriter
Norman Twain Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Lean on Me
1. 1967 Prologue [5:04]
2. Credits (Welcome to the Jungle) [5:02]
3. What Are They Doing Down There? [1:52]
4. Some Truth [1:53]
5. "My Word Is Law" [4:04]
6. "Yuo Are All Expurgated" [5:16]
7. The New Eastside High [2:40]
8. God's Words to Joe [3:29]
9. Thomas Sam's Plea [3:59]
10. Cafeteria Chaos [4:26]
11. Discordant Music [2:19]
12. The Way He Likes It [2:01]
13. A Lockup (I Ain't Makin' It) [3:28]
14. Keneesha's Problem [5:49]
15. Clark and Napier Square off [3:51]
16. Cal Me Batman [1:33]
17. Kid Ray Moves on [1:14]
18. Songbirds in the Boys Room [5:58]
19. Talking Tough to the Faculty [3:10]
20. Tooling for the Test [3:54]
21. Paterson Politics [3:05]
22. At the Ready [3:28]
23. Levias Confronts Clark [2:37]
24. Not Inferior [3:44]
25. Lean on Me #1 [3:17]
26. Lean on Me #2 [:49]
27. Keneesha's Setback [2:38]
28. Under Arrest [3:28]
29. In an Uproar [3:44]
30. Like a Father [2:22]
31. The Test Scores [4:22]
32. Graduation End Credits (Lean on Me) [3:36]

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