Review: ‘Up the Down Staircase’

Based on the novel of the same title by Bel Kaufman, Up the Down Staircase concerns troubles of a beginning teacher in a tough city high school. And it is very good, almost in spite of itself.

Based on the novel of the same title by Bel Kaufman, Up the Down Staircase concerns troubles of a beginning teacher in a tough city high school. And it is very good, almost in spite of itself.

With only one major star (Sandy Dennis) and virtually a single setting, this pic is nevertheless thoroughly cinematic and completely engrossing. This is mainly because it is well acted, carefully scripted and directed and finely photographed. Director Robert Mulligan has for the most part avoided sentimentalism and presents his story honestly and directly.

As pretty young Miss Barrett, fresh from a purely theoretical college training as an English teacher, Dennis is plopped into impersonal Calvin Coolidge High School, a multi-racial institution where most of the teachers feel they are successful if they manage to keep their classrooms fairly civilized. Though many of the characters are familiar stock ones their treatment is generally successful.

Up the Down Staircase

Production

Warner. Director Robert Mulligan; Producer Alan J. Pakula; Screenplay Tad Mosel; Camera Joseph Coffey; Editor Folmar Blangsted; Music Fred Karlin; Art Director George Jenkins

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 120 MIN.

With

Sandy Dennis Patrick Bedford Eileen Heckart Ruth White Jean Stapleton
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading