The Blackboard Jungle (1955)

The Blackboard Jungle (1955)

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The Blackboard Jungle (1955) Overview

In this gritty urban drama, war veteran Richard Dadier (Glenn Ford) wants to begin his career as a teacher and is given an assignment at a boys high school in inner-city New York. However, he soon discovers the school is overrun by delinquents, led by Artie West (Vic Morrow), an insolent hood who likes to call Richard Mr. Daddy-O. Artie and his gang steal, destroy property, refuse to respect authority, and threaten the female teachers with rape. While most of the faculty have given up and meekly let the delinquents do what they want, Dadier is determined to bring order back to his classroom, even after Artie's thugs threaten Richard's pregnant wife. Keep your eyes peeled for a bit part by Jameel Farah, years before he would change his name to Jamie Farr. Blackboard Jungle was also the first major studio film to use rock & roll on the soundtrack; the film's success kick-started sales of Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley & His Comets, which helped to spark the rock & roll boom of the 1950s.