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To Sir, With Love

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  • To Sir, With Love

    Just heard Lulu's excellent song To Sir With Love on the radio when I was in the bath, and it made me think about the great 1967 film that it accompanied, and Friends Reunited. Well, almost...

    I have mentioned before about Sidney Poitier and his role as what Please Sir! or Grange Hill would be regarded as the John Alderton or Michael Percival part - one had to feel sorry that he had to teach some wayward mid to late 1960s pupils (almost in their 20s, Hollyoaks style), and not a school uniform in sight for this was the age of liberation. Lulu was herself one, and she was yet to reach the age of 20 at the time. A very British film where Please Sir! was a heavy inspiration, and certainly the film in which many people confused TSWL with, was also an inspiration.

    It is very British with stereotypical Tower Bridge landmarks in London seen in the opening titles and during their day excursion. The first scene featuring Poitier travelling on a London bus next to a middle-aged woman who wasn't afraid to speak her mind, no matter who was sitting next to her on a bus - someone who would be more suited for a Nora Batty or Hilda Ogden role.

    Scenes such as a PE lesson involving basketball; a day trip where we hear Lulu's dulcet tones once more; and staff room scenes a la Roll On Four O'clock but without the conservativism or northernism for that matter.

    Apart from a 1970s Sunday showing on BBC 1, the film spent the latter half of the 1980s moving around the different ITV regions as if they were doing a UK tour of a musical, going from theatre to theatre, mostly in the post-News at One slots on Mondays or Fridays, quite often mentioned in the Regional Variations column of TV guides; never in one's own region. Caught it myself on Channel 5 not long after they had launched in 1997.

    They did a remake or a sequel only a few years ago, did they not? - I always recommend the originals in any case.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  • #2
    Re: To Sir, With Love

    I liked the film, it had a slice of life aspect though still a moralist drama. The theme song was quite famous and I learned later Lulu had some more rocking numbers and a great voice for that too! I did see some Please Sir programs, a lot of John Alderton shows seemed to make it over here, he and Pauline Collins must've had accents Americans can understand?

    Another school set film of the '60s I can remember well was Up The Down Staircase. There was also a U.S. series titled Room 222 which had a Sidney Poitier style character.
    My virtual jigsaws: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/beccabear67/Original-photo-puzzles

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    • #3
      Re: To Sir, With Love

      Loved that film from 1967 Sidney Poitier has always been a brilliant actor

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      • #4
        Re: To Sir, With Love

        Here’s a nice update of him ..

        His two gorgeous daughters are also actresses ..

        One starred in Death Proof a fabulous thriller and the other was in Swordfish .


        https://youtu.be/kw-2lRYK1Kc


        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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        • #5
          Re: To Sir, With Love

          Thanks for the link he does have 2 beautiful daughters

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          • #6
            Re: To Sir, With Love

            Yep superb film and one to watch over again.

            I can't say I cared much for Screwlu's voice which always grated on me a bit, but that end song is well done.

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            • #7
              Re: To Sir, With Love

              I thought Lulu could be really good on bluesy or rock n' roll numbers. It was when they included her in that Blues documentary series with people like Van Morrison that I was surprised she had that quality.
              My virtual jigsaws: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/beccabear67/Original-photo-puzzles

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