To Sir, with Love. 1967. Great Britain. Written and directed by James Clavell. With Sidney Poitier, Judy Geeson, Christian Roberts. DCP. 105 min.
When novice teacher Mark Thackery arrives at a public high school in London’s East End, he faces students who are bigoted, unruly, illiterate—and going nowhere fast. Thackery begins to restore order in the classroom by insisting on formal address: he is “Sir.” Though he’s new to education, Thackery tosses out the failing curriculum to engage in meaningful dialogue with the teens, whose lives and experiences are limited. Lulu’s title song remained in the Billboard Hot 100’s number-one spot for five weeks in 1967.