Up the Down Staircase

Documentary-style drama dealing with the problems that face an idealistic young schoolteacher when she is assigned to a rough school in a slum area. Some of the characters are very accurately drawn (by Sandy Dennis as the teacher, Ellen O'Mara as a lovesick schoolgirl); others are stereotypes. Some of the situations work (the plot is little more than a catalogue of events), others don't. It comes to precious few conclusions, but does at least provide a talking-point of sorts in its portrayal of a frighteningly unenlightened American educational system. DMcG.

Release details

Duration: 123 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Robert Mulligan
Screenwriter: Tad Mosel
Cast: Sandy Dennis
Patrick Bedford
Eileen Heckart
Ruth White
Jean Stapleton
Sorrell Booke
Roy Poole
Ellen O'Mara
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