Spare the Rod

67
  • Genre(s): Drama
  • Release year: 1961
  • Running time: 93 min
Spare the Rod is a 1961 British social drama, directed by Leslie Norman and starring Max Bygraves, Geoffrey Keen, Donald Pleasence and Richard O'Sullivan. The film was based on a novel by Michael Croft and deals with an idealistic schoolteacher coming... read more

Spare the Rod is a 1961 British social drama, directed by Leslie Norman and starring Max Bygraves, Geoffrey Keen, Donald Pleasence and Richard O'Sullivan. The film was based on a novel by Michael Croft and deals with an idealistic schoolteacher coming to a tough area of East London to teach in a secondary modern school at a time when such establishments were largely starved of attention and resources from education authorities and were widely regarded as dumping grounds with sub-par teaching standards, for the containment of non-academically inclined children until they reached the school-leaving age. Spare the Rod was likened on its release to a British Blackboard Jungle, and later as a precursor in theme to the better-known To Sir, with Love (1967). A contemporary reviewer described the film as "a courageous portrayal of the unhappier side of British education...an honest, honourable piece, which recognises that there are good teachers, discouraged teachers and some that are not fit for the job." This was Bygraves' last feature film before he made the decision to channel his career towards light entertainment rather than acting. O'Sullivan's role as a wayward but promising pupil is a counterpoint to his similar role two years earlier in the comedy Carry On Teacher.

Original Release

06/18/1961

Cast

Max Bygraves John Saunders
Geoffrey Keen Arthur Gregory
Donald Pleasence Mr. Jenkins
Betty McDowall Ann Collins
Peter Reynolds Alec Murray
Jean Anderson Mrs. Pond
Eleanor Summerfield Mrs. Harkness
Mary Merrall Miss Fogg
Richard O'Sullivan Fred Harkness
Claire Marshall Margaret
(see additional cast & crew)

Directors

Leslie Norman

Writers

John Cresswell, Michael Croft

Cast

Producers

Jock Jacobsen Executive Producer
Victor Lyndon Producer

Editors

Gordon Stone

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