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Lean on Me

By Tom Keogh

Rocky director John Avildsen championed the briefly famous New Jersey high school principal Joe Clark in this upbeat 1989 drama. Morgan Freeman plays the tough-love educator who wields a baseball bat and bullhorn to keep discipline in his hallways and to motivate underachieving students to keep their acts together. After establishing Clark's controversial methods and showing him giving some punks the boot, Avildsen relies on the usual school-drama clichés to fill out the rest of the movie, including a challenge to Clark's philosophy from timid authorities. Freeman makes a strong impact as Clark, his dignity and integrity a sometimes awesome thing. Avildsen, however, is going for a Rocky-esque emotional crescendo.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: John G. Avildsen

Stars: Morgan Freeman, Beverly Todd

Released: March 3, 1989

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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