Up the Down Staircase

Watch Up the Down Staircase

"Simple words that start a war: "Good morning. My name is Miss Barrett. I am your Home Room teacher...""
  • Approved
  • 1967
  • 2 hr 4 min
  • 7.3  (2,457)

Up the Down Staircase is a 1967 drama film directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Sandy Dennis, Patrick Bedford, and Eileen Heckart. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Bel Kaufman and tells the story of a young teacher's struggles in a large New York City high school. The story revolves around a young teacher named Sylvia Barrett, who has just landed her first job as an English teacher at Calvin Coolidge High School in Manhattan. Sylvia is excited about her new job, but soon realizes that Coolidge is a difficult school with disinterested students, bureaucratic red tape, and a lack of resources. In addition, the school's principal, Dr. Barringer, is more concerned with paperwork than with the well-being of his students and teachers.

Despite the challenges, Sylvia is determined to make a difference in the lives of her students. She tries various methods to engage her students and encourage them to learn, including using art and music to teach literature. However, she faces resistance from some of her colleagues, who accuse her of being too idealistic and naive.

Sylvia's personal life is also complicated. She is engaged to a lawyer named James, but their relationship is strained by her dedication to her job and his busy schedule. Sylvia is also dealing with her family, especially her mother, who constantly pressures her to get married and have children. Sylvia is torn between her desire to be a good teacher and her personal life, and as the pressure mounts, she begins to question whether she has made the right choice in becoming a teacher.

The movie is a thoughtful and emotional portrayal of the challenges faced by teachers, especially those working in underfunded and understaffed schools. The film highlights the need for more resources, better support, and higher pay for teachers. Also, it portrays the challenges teachers face in their personal lives and the need for work-life balance.

Sandy Dennis gives a fantastic performance as Sylvia, perfectly capturing the character's passion, dedication, and vulnerability. Patrick Bedford is also excellent as James, bringing warmth and depth to a potentially one-dimensional character. Eileen Heckart is a standout as Bea Schacter, an experienced teacher who befriends Sylvia and supports her through her struggles.

The film's direction by Robert Mulligan is masterful, resulting in a poignant and insightful movie that has stood the test of time. Mulligan expertly balances the film's serious themes with moments of humor, creating a movie that is both thought-provoking and entertaining.

In conclusion, Up the Down Staircase is an exceptional drama that shines a light on the challenges faced by teachers, both professional and personal, and the need for better support and resources. The movie features great performances, especially by Sandy Dennis, and masterful direction by Robert Mulligan. Anyone interested in education or looking for a thought-provoking drama would find this movie worth watching.

Up the Down Staircase is a 1967 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.

Up the Down Staircase
Where to Watch Up the Down Staircase
Up the Down Staircase is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Up the Down Staircase for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 4 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (2,457)