Teaching Mrs. Tingle

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Overview

After the success of Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and television's Dawson's Creek, screenwriter Kevin Williamson made his directorial debut with this screwball thriller in which an honor roll student and two friends kidnap their witchy teacher. Although her single mom Lesley Ann Warren, a waitress, struggles to make ends meet, aspiring writer Leigh Ann Watson Katie Holmes works hard, avoids sexual temptation, and focuses on her studies. She hopes to make valedictorian and earn a scholarship to college...
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Overview

After the success of Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and television's Dawson's Creek, screenwriter Kevin Williamson made his directorial debut with this screwball thriller in which an honor roll student and two friends kidnap their witchy teacher. Although her single mom Lesley Ann Warren, a waitress, struggles to make ends meet, aspiring writer Leigh Ann Watson Katie Holmes works hard, avoids sexual temptation, and focuses on her studies. She hopes to make valedictorian and earn a scholarship to college -- and get away from her dead-end hometown. As her senior year draws to a close, however, she's dogged by harsh grades from her vituperative history instructor, Mrs. Tingle Helen Mirren. On the same day she finds out that she's still in second place behind fellow valedictory candidate Mary Beth Carter Liz Stauber, Leigh Ann must endure Mrs. Tingle's fierce criticism of the final project into which she's poured her heart. After commiserating with her best friend, aspiring actress Jo Lynn Jordan Marisa Coughlan, and hunky stoner Luke Churner Barry Watson, Leigh Ann runs even further afoul of Mrs. Tingle; Luke stashes an advance copy of the teacher's final exam in Leigh Ann's backpack and Tingle discovers it, promising to turn Leigh Ann in for cheating and ruin her chances of a better life. When the three teens turn up at Tingle's house to try to reason with her, Luke and Jo Lynn manage to accidentally kidnap Mrs. Tingle. Soon the three students are keeping their teacher a prisoner, trying to figure out how to blackmail her into silence while maintaining the illusion that nothing strange is going on. Teaching Mrs. Tingle was filmed under the name "Killing Mrs. Tingle," but the title was changed after a rash of real-life high school killing sprees made the headlines.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although its poor box-office performance took the luster off Kevin Williamson's storied career, the big-name screenwriter's directorial debut is actually a highly watchable piece of teen exploitation -- that is, until it runs out of ideas at its climax. Like all Williamson projects, Teaching Mrs. Tingle wears its influences on its sleeve -- plot straight out of Nine to Five, teen dynamics from the John Hughes playbook -- but that doesn't make it any less entertaining. The casting's great, although with the exception of Jeffrey Tambor, the supporting cast gets short shrift in the editing room; Lesley Ann Warren and Vivica A. Fox have almost nothing to do, while Hughes vet Molly Ringwald gets only a few wickedly funny throwaway lines. Still, Katie Holmes and Marisa Coughlan, both participants in Williamson's TV projects, make an appealing combo as the best friends who kidnap their teacher; Holmes gets top billing as the sweet, determined, underprivileged Leigh Ann, while Coughlan gets the best scenes as Jo Lynn, the aspiring actress who does Linda Blair impressions in her spare time. Barry Watson, another TV vet, seems like he wants to play edgy Judd Nelson to Holmes' wholesome Ringwald and Coughlan's oddball Ally Sheedy, but his pretty-boy character's really only there to provoke sexual rivalry. In fact, the potential of sex to destroy people's dreams is the film's major theme, and Helen Mirren does an exquisite job of embodying the curdled expectations of promising youth left to rot in a stew of romantic disillusion. As the titular teacher, Mirren spews venom and pretension like many a real-life victim of Sinclair Lewis' "village virus." She's the bitter person we've all left behind on our way out of nowhere, and it's Williamson's canny exploration of her character that provides the script with its bite. It's too bad, then, that things fall apart at the end, for until its soggy climax, Teaching Mrs. Tingle has laughs and subtext aplenty.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/11/2000
  • UPC: 786936115925
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: Walt Disney Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Helen Mirren Mrs. Eve Tingle
Katie Holmes Leigh Ann Watson
Jeffrey Tambor Gym Coach
Barry Watson Luke Churner
Marisa Coughlan Jo Lynn Jordan
Liz Stauber Mary Beth Carter
Michael McKean Principal Potter
Molly Ringwald Substitute Teacher
Vivica A. Fox Guidance Counselor
John Patrick White Brian Perry
Brian Klugman
Lesley Ann Warren Mrs. Prescott
Pete Anthony Conductor
Technical Credits
Kevin Williamson Director, Screenwriter
Lisa Beach Casting
David Boyd Camera Operator
Lisa Campbell Asst. Director
Lauren Cory Set Decoration/Design
Susie de Santo Costumes/Costume Designer
Jared S. Eddo Stunts
Ted Field Executive Producer
Michael Finnell Executive Producer
Gina Fortunato Associate Producer
John Frizzell Score Composer
Howell Gibbens Sound Editor
Cary Granat Executive Producer
Paul Hellerman Co-producer
Leigh Hennessy Stunts
Erica Huggins Executive Producer
Cinda-Lin James Stunts
Andrew Kinney Musical Arrangement
Cathy Konrad Producer
Adam Kopald Sound Editor
Scott Kroopf Executive Producer
Michele Kuznetsky Musical Direction/Supervision
John Kwiatkowski Sound Editor
David S. Lazan Art Director
Diana Lupo Stunts
Nicholas Mastandrea Asst. Director
Daniel May Set Decoration/Design
Richard Merryman Camera Operator
Piero Mura Sound Editor
Scott P. Murphy Set Decoration/Design
Debra Neil-Fisher Editor
Tricia Peters Stunts
Brett Peters Camera Operator
Julie Plec Associate Producer
Mary Ramos Musical Direction/Supervision
Troy Robinson Stunts
Patrick Romano Stunts
Philip Shanahan Camera Operator
Duncan Sheik Songwriter
Naomi Shohan Production Designer
Rea Ann Silva Makeup
Jim Stuebe Sound/Sound Designer
Christopher J. Tuck Stunts
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer
Eileen Weisinger Stunts
Jerzy Zielinski Cinematographer
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted November 15, 2008

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