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Lean on Me (1989) - movie overview

Lean on Me (1989)

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Plot Description

Release Date
Mar 3, 1989 (USA)
DVD Release Date
 R1: Feb 24, 2004

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 44 minutes

Country USA

Studio Warner Brothers

More info on

Other Titles
• Lean on Me
• Der Knallharte Prinzipal (1989)

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Genre: Drama, School / Campus, True Story, Urban, Police, Political, Biography

Tagline: A true story about a real hero.

Plot: Based on actual events, director John G. Avildsen's LEAN ON ME tells the story of Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman), a tough and radical disciplinarian hired to save the worst school in Paterson, New Jersey. Eastside High School is in trouble--the once exemplary school is now failing miserably. Graffitti lines the halls, gangs and drugs rule the school, and teachers and students live in perpetual fear. In one school year, Clark is challenged to turn the snake pit of a school into a halfway civilized place of learning, populated by decent students. To make sure his students pass a basic proficiency exam, Clark resorts to what some believe to be questionable methods--including wandering the halls threateningly with a baseball bat--to restore order to his school. Clark's extreme tactics also include firing teachers for talking back, forcing students to sing the school song on demand, and locking out students known to be drug dealers. Freeman delivers an astonishing performance as the tough-as-nails principal who became a national hero and symbol for tough-love education.

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 Directed by
John G. Avildsen
Rocky, The Karate Kid, Rocky V
 Written by
Michael Schiffer
Crimson Tide, The Four Feathers, Colors
Morgan Freeman
The Shawshank Redemption, Se7en, Batman Begins
Lynne Thigpen
The Insider, Anger Management, Shaft
Michael Beach
The Abyss, Internal Affairs, One False Move
Tony Todd
The Rock, Platoon, Final Destination
Beverly Todd
Baby Boom, Moving, Clara's Heart
Robert Guillaume
Big Fish, The Lion King, Spy Hard
Alan North
Glory, Highlander, The Long Kiss Goodnight
 Music By
Bill Conti
Rocky, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Right Stuff

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