Richard Dadier (Glenn Ford) is a teacher at North Manual High School, an inner-city school where many of the pupils, led by student Gregory Miller (Sidney Poitier), frequently engage in anti-social behavior. Dadier makes various attempts to engage the students’ interest in education, challenging both the school staff and the pupils. He is subjected to violence as well as duplicitous schemes; he first suspects Miller, but later realizes that Artie West (Vic Morrow) is the perpetrator, and challenges him in a classroom showdown.
The film has also been credited with sparking the rock and roll revolution by featuring Bill Haley & His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock”, initially a B-side, over the film’s opening credits, as well as in the first scene, in an instrumental version in the middle of the film, and at the close of the movie, establishing that song as an instant classic. —Wikipeida
After attending Philadelphia’s Temple University, Richard Brooks (1912-1992) labored away as a sports reporter for the Atlantic City Press Union, the Philadelphia Record and the New York World-Telegram. Brooks joined New York radio station WNEW as a staff writer in the late 1930s, then moved on to the NBC network writing pool. After a season as director of New York’s Mill Pond Theatre, Brooks headed to Los Angeles, where he did some more radio writing and broke into films as a scripter of “B” pictures, Maria Montez epics and serials. Following two years’ wartime service with the Marines, Brooks published his first novel, an anti-intolerance effort titled The Brick Foxhole. Brooks was contractually unable to work on the screenplay adaptation of Brick Foxhole (released in 1947 as Crossfire), but found time to pen a brace of additional novels; he also co-wrote Brute Force (1947) and Key Largo (1948). In 1950, Brooks made his directorial debut with MGM’s Crisis, an offbeat political melodrama… read more