Time Out says

Ritt's taste for significant subjects and some heavy underlining of his themes is confirmed by this tale of a white, hip, long-haired, anti-Vietnam war teacher who takes a backwoods assignment which lands him in a one-room black school where he confronts ignorance and deprivation of a depth he had never dreamed existed. Mercifully, the potentially dubious aspects of the subject are mostly exorcised, in part by a strong script (adapted from the book by real-life teacher Pat Conroy), but largely by the engaging and persuasive performance Ritt draws from Voight (equally convincingly backed by the mainly juvenile cast). Conrack treads a line perilously close to Sounder, but avoids that film's mawkish contrivance.


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