Stand & Deliver

D: Ramon Menendez
Warner Bros./American Playhouse (Tom Musca)
US 1988
104 mins


W: Ramon Menendez & Tom Musca
DP: Tom Richmond
Ed: Nancy Richardson 
Mus: Craig Safan

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 belligerent student.
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.

Edward James Olmos in Stand & Deliver
Edward James Olmos in Stand & Deliver