Blackboard Jungle

1955 film directed by Richard Brooks

Blackboard Jungle is a 1955 film about a new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school who is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Directed and written by Richard Brooks, based on the 1954 novel by Evan Hunter.
The sensational on the screen!  taglines

Richard Dadier

  • Yeah, I've been beaten up, but I'm not beaten. I'm not beaten, and I'm not quittin'.
  • Say now, that wasn't true, what you said about teachers. Some of us do care, you know?


Richard Dadier: Got any tips for a rookie?
Jim Murdock: Two - don't be a hero, and never turn your back on the class.

Richard Dadier: [catches some kids smoking in the restroom] What is this? The officers' club or something? I don't wanna catch you smoking in here again, you understand? Now get out! Come on, you heard what I said. Get out!
[3 kids leave, 2 remain]
Richard Dadier: What's the matter? You two guys privileged or something?
Gregory W. Miller: We only just got here, chief.
Richard Dadier: You did huh? Well, now just get out.
Gregory W. Miller: Can't a man wash his hands, chief?
Richard Dadier: Wash them and get out.
Gregory W. Miller: Sure, chief. You gonna watch me?
Emmanuel Stoker: Maybe he'd like to wash them for us.
Richard Dadier: What's your name? You, I'm talking to you!
Emmanuel Stoker: Me?
Richard Dadier: Yes, you!
Emmanuel Stoker: Emmanuel.
Richard Dadier: Emmanuel what?
Gregory W. Miller: Emmanuel Trades. Don't you know, man? This boy here got the school named after him.
Richard Dadier: What's your name, wise guy?
Gregory W. Miller: Me? Miller. Gregory Miller. You want me to spell it out for you so you won't forget it?
Richard Dadier: You don't have to do that. I'll remember, Miller.
Gregory W. Miller: Sure, chief. You do that.
Richard Dadier: Or maybe you would like to take a walk down to the principal's office with me right now. Is that what you want?
Gregory W. Miller: You're holding all the cards, chief. You wanna take me to see Mr. Warneke, you'll do just that.
Richard Dadier: Who's your home-period teacher?
Gregory W. Miller: You are, chief.
Richard Dadier: Well, why aren't you with the rest of the class?
Gregory W. Miller: Already told you. Came in to wash up, chief.
Richard Dadier: All right, then wash up. Just cut out that "chief" routine, understand?
Gregory W. Miller: Sure, "chief". That's what I been doing all the time. Okay for us to drift now, "chief"?

Richard Dadier: The name is Dadier. Mr. Dadier. Pronunciation is very important in English. I would hate to fail anyone who couldn't pronounce my name.
Artie West: Me too, teach?
Richard Dadier: Mr. Dadier.
Artie West: Yeah, sure.
Richard Dadier: Say it. And take your hat off in this classroom.
Artie West: You ever try to fight 35 guys at one time, teach?
Richard Dadier: [approaches West and West stands up to challenge him] Take your hat off, boy, before I knock it off.

Richard Dadier: Now, pretty soon, you're gonna be reading in the newspapers want ads for jobs, apartments, something to buy. Advertising space is expensive so abbreviations are used. Now, write out the complete words to all the abbreviations in these problem ads. All right, get started.
[Dadier notices Belazi coping answers from Morales paper]
Richard Dadier: Belazi. Let's keep your eyes on your paper.
Belazi: Me?
Richard Dadier: Cheating won't help you learn those abbreviations, you know.
Artie West: He won't look for no job. His old man owns a store.
Belazi: Yeah, and I'm not gonna buy me me no Cadillac either.
Artie West: No, It's cheaper to steal one. That's arithmetic for ya, teach.
Richard Dadier: All right, Belazi. Bring me your paper up here.
[Belazi gets up and hands over his paper to Dadier]
Belazi: Five points off. What for?
Richard Dadier: For having loose eyes. [notices that West is cheating also] West!
Artie West: You talking to me, teach?
Richard Dadier: Bring your paper up here West.
Artie West: What for?
Richard Dadier: I said bring your paper up here.
Artie West: And I said , what for?
Gregory W. Miller: Come on, Artie. Bring him the paper.
Artie West: Now, look, you keep your rotten mouth out of this, black boy.
[Miller stands up ready to pounce on West]
Richard Dadier: Miller!... Hold it... All right. All right, Miller. It's all right. Now, bring your paper up here, West.
[West crumbles the paper and throws it on the floor]
Richard Dadier: All right, we're going down to see the principal.
Artie West: We are? You gonna make me, Daddy-O? How'd you like to go to hell?
Belazi: What's the matter, Daddy-O?
Artie West: Yeah, how about it, teach? You got a big mouth. Tell me to do this, do that. Are you big enough to take me to the principal's office? Because that's what you're gonna have to do. Take me. So, come on! Take me! Come on!
[Dadier approaches West and West pulls out a switchblade. This stops Dadier in his tracks and the rest of the class gets up and out of the way]
Artie West: Come on. For a bright boy, you didn't learn nothing. Well, take me down. Come on. Step right up and taste a little of this , Daddy-O.
Richard Dadier: Give me that knife, West.
Artie West: Where do you want it? You want it in the belly? Or how about in the face, huh? Here it is. All you gotta do is take it. Come on, take it! Come on!
Gregory W. Miller: Take it easy, chief. He's crazy, he's high, he's floating on Sneaky Pete wine.
Pete V. Morales: He's gonna kill him.

Artie West: All you gotta do is take it. Come on take it.
[Belazi sneaks behind Dadier]
Richard Dadier: That's just what I'm gonna do, big shot.
[Belazi tries to attack Dadier from behind but Miller intercepts him]
Richard Dadier: [West strikes at Dadier and cuts him in the hand] Come on, West. Come on... come on... Where you going, boy? Come on.
Artie West: [starts backing up from Dadier and calling for help from his gang, but none get involved] Belazi!... Morales!... Stoker!
Gregory W. Miller: [challenges Stoker] You wanna gang fight? You wanna start a rumble? Come on, boy, just make a move.
Artie West: All right, you guys. Bascillo, Rock, move, both!
Richard Dadier: What's the matter, West? You need help? Come on. You're holding the handle of that knife. Come on, you're the leader. You're the tough guy. You can't cut alone, huh, West? You're not so tough without a gang, but you were tough that night in the alley, weren't you? Seven to two. That's about your odds, isn't it?
Artie West: This time you get cut up!
Richard Dadier: Yeah, the gang-up didn't work. You went to the principal with a story about race prejudice. You couldn't get rid of me that way. Then you started sending those foul letters to my wife. Didn't you? Didn't you, West? End of the line boy!

Pete V. Morales: [talking into a recorder in front of the class] I get up at 7:30, go wash. But my stinking sister, she's still in the bathroom, so I can't get in.
Richard Dadier: That's fine, boy. keep on talking.
Pete V. Morales: So then I go to the stinking bathroom. I wash my stinking face. Then I eat some stinking sausages.
Artie West: Louder, come on!
Emmanuel Stoker: We can't hear you in the balcony.
Pete V. Morales: So then I go down the stinking street with my stinking books, and then I meet this stink-face who lives near me. And he says: "You go to school, Pete?" I say, "You stinking right, boy!" So we walked to the stinking El, and wait for the stinking train. What do you think? The stinking train is late. So I gotta get into the stinking crowd. And that's why I'm stinking late to school, teach. How was I? Okay?
De Lica: You sure stunk up that record, boy!
[whole class applauds and laughs]
Richard Dadier: That'll be enough for the day.
Artie West: You gonna play it?
Richard Dadier: No. Thanks for picking Morales. I'm sure you're his "friend".
Gregory W. Miller: Sure enough, chief. Too bad you can't say the same.
Richard Dadier: And just what does that mean?
Artie West: Morales is a spic, that's what it means. Maybe you don't like spics.
Richard Dadier: That will be enough of that, West.
Pete V. Morales: What did I do, anyhow?
Artie West: All right, sit down... spic.
Belazi: You heard him, greaseball.
Pete V. Morales: At least I'm no Irish Mick!
[Belazi throws a magazine at Morales]
Richard Dadier: I said, that will be enough! Now, you pick up that magazine, Belazi. Pick it up! I wanna get one thing very clear in this classroom.There's not gonna be any name calling here. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Now you understand that? All of ya!
Pete V. Morales: I was just kidding.
Richard Dadier: Yeah, I know you're just kidding. That's how things start. Like a street fight. Somebody pushes somebody in fun. Somebody pushes back, and soon you got a street fight with no kidding. That's the same way with name-calling. All right, West, look. You're of Irish descent. So is Murphy over there. You call him a Mick. He calls you a Mick. Suppose Miller called you a Mick. Is that all right? Then you call him a nigger.
Pete V. Morales: I was just kidding.
Richard Dadier: Well, stop kidding!
Artie West: Sure, sure. Come on, Morales. Tell me all about your stinking sister!
[whole class laughs and the bell rings]

Richard Dadier: They can't all be bad kids.
Jim Murdock: Why not?

Richard Dadier: There will be no calling out. You have any questions to ask, just raise your hand. You hear that, Miller?
Gregory W. Miller: Sure, teach. You coming in strong. I can't tune you out.
Artie West: His name ain't "teach".
Belazi: It's "Daddy-O!"
Artie West: Hey, don't you know his name, jerk?
Belazi: Excuse me, Mr. Jerk.
Richard Dadier: All right, West, since you're so cooperative, suppose you stay after class and help me out.
Artie West: I'm busy.
Belazi: Oh, go on, Artie. Help him out.
Emmanuel Stoker: Then you could be together, "alone".
Pete V. Morales: [in a effeminate manner] Oh, "Daddy-O!"
[the whole class laughs]
Richard Dadier: All right, all right, fine. We had a few laughs. In a minute, the bell's gonna ring out there. That means you go to your civics class. Tomorrow morning when you come into this class...
Artie West: [interrupts Dadier] Hey, teach, you're coming back here tomorrow?
Richard Dadier: Sure, I'm coming back tomorrow.You know why? Because I'll "miss" you, West.
[the whole class laughs]

Joshua Y. Edwards: They don't even know their multiplication tables.
Jim Murdock: Of course not. All they can multiply is themselves.
Joshua Y. Edwards: Well, how will they ever graduate?
Jim Murdock: Graduate? They just get to be 18. Then they throw them out to make room for more of the same kind.

Richard Dadier: I'm scared, Anne. I'm really scared. What if the baby doesn't live?
Anne Dadier: He will. I know he will.
Richard Dadier: Yeah, but what if he doesn't? You know, I wanted that baby. I needed that baby, just as much as you did. And all my life, I wanted to teach kids. And my son was gonna- He was gonna kinda help me with that. Through him, maybe I'd learn to understand.
Anne Dadier: Rick.
Richard Dadier: Hmmm?
Anne Dadier: No matter what happens, I love you. I was silly and vain and selfish, so I doubted you. I was like one of the bad kids in your class. Somebody told me a lie, and I believed that lie. One's as bad as the other.
Richard Dadier: I wanna tell you...
Anne Dadier: I was wrong about something else too. I wanted you to quit teaching in that school. I understand now why you wanted to keep trying.
Richard Dadier: Please.
Anne Dadier: I'm glad you didn't quit.
Richard Dadier: Now, wait a minute.
Anne Dadier: Honey, kids are people. And most people are worthwhile. We all need the same thing. Patience, understanding... love. You've got that to give them, darling. And that's why you'll get through to them.
[knock on door]
Dr. Bradley: Your son's out of danger. He's gonna make it. [turns radio on] Happy new year, Mr. and Mrs. Dadier.

Gregory W. Miller: There's talk you quitting this school, going some place where there's nice little obedient boys and girls.
Richard Dadier: Well what do you think?
Gregory W. Miller: Aww, I figured it's just talk.
Richard Dadier: Why?
Gregory W. Miller: Well, you know the ropes around here pretty good now, it would be a shame to waste all that... I guess everybody learns something in school, even teachers.
Richard Dadier: Yes, I guess so...
Gregory W. Miller: Besides, it would be kinda rough breaking in somebody new. Well, see you tomorrow Mr Dadier?
Richard Dadier: I thought you were quitting. Is that right?
Gregory W. Miller: Well, we have a pact... you wouldn't want to break that?
Richard Dadier: No, I guess we wouldn't.


  • The sensational on the screen!
  • Is The Most Startling Picture Of The Year!
  • A shock story of today's high school hoodlums!



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