Edward James Olmos (Jaime Escalante), Lou
Diamond Phillips (Angel Guzman), Rosana de Soto (Fabiola Escalante), Andy Garcia (Ramirez), Ingrid Oliu (Lupe)
Based on a true story, the film, set at a violent Los
Angeles high school in a tough Hispanic neighbourhood where a school teacher inspires his stubborn pupils to learn and persuades them that education is a positive asset.
The filmmaking style is very rudimentary, almost like a
TV-movie-of-the-week, but what really shines through are the strength of the performances, particularly Edward James Olmos as the inspirational teacher and Lou Diamond Phillips as his most
Many duplications of the same story have emerged since,
even switching the gender of the teacher for 1995's Dangerous Minds, but none can quite emulate the gritty, raw and realistic feel of this film.