Monday, May 18, 2009

Today’s Video: “Blackboard Jungle”

On Tuesday and Thursday nights all this month, Turner Classic Movies has shined its spotlight on the cinematic depiction of Latinos. Films on themes such as miscegenation (“Giant”) and life along the border (“Border Incident”) have been featured though a can’t-miss slate of movies will be shown over the next two weeks.

In honor of this special festival, this week’s video theme will briefly look at some of the films to be shown as part of the “RACE AND HOLLYWOOD: LATINO IMAGES IN FILM” series.

Tuesday night will focus on social problems and include flicks like 1955’s “Blackboard Jungle”. Starring Glenn Ford, Sidney Poitier, and Vic Morrow, the film is a moralistic tale of a teacher (played by Ford) trying to tame the students of an urban high school. These students (including several Latinos) are depicted as the quintessential 1950s-era juvenile delinquents though he finds a cloud with a silver lining in Poitier’s character.

Here’s the original trailer to “Blackboard Jungle”. Note the use of “Rock Around the Clock" as the film’s theme in an era when rock music was viewed by some adults as crude and uncivilized.

Online Sources- Turner Classic Movies, YouTube

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