Up the Down Staircase (1967)
Original Lobby Cards
11" x 14"
Condition: Near Mint, Very Fine, Never Folded
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Sylvia Barrett is a rookie teacher at New York’s inner-city Calvin Coolidge High: her lit classes are overcrowded, a window is broken, there’s no chalk, books arrive late. The administration is concerned mainly with forms and rules (there’s an up and and a down staircase); bells ring at the wrong time. Nevertheless, she tries. How she handles the chaos and her despair in her first semester makes up the film: a promising student drops out, another sleeps through class, a girl with a crush on a male teacher gets suicidal, and a bright but troublesome student misunderstands Sylvia’s reaching out. A discussion of Dickens, parents’ night, and a mock trial highlight the term. Can she make it? Up the Down Staircase, the 1967 Robert Mulligan inner-city school teaching teacher melodrama (‘Simple words that start a war: ‘Good morning. My name is Miss Barrett. I am your Home Room teacher…”; ‘The year’s #1 best seller picks you up and never lets you down.’; ‘The first mistake the pretty young teacher made was to get off the bus. The second was to walk into Coolidge High School for the first time. The third was to fall in love with it.’; ‘Based on the novel by Bel Kaufman’) starring Sandy Dennis (billed as ‘Academy Award winner Sandy Dennis’), Eileen Heckart, Ruth White, Jean Stapleton, Sorrell Booke, Roy Poole, and Patrick Bedford. Note that there is a large credit on the one-sheet poster that reads, ‘Sandy Dennis’ makeup by Warner Bros. Cosmetics’! I wonder what that is all about!