31 March 2002 | jeffhill1
Before there was "Saturday Night Fever," there was "City Across the River"
I can't remember exactly when I saw "City Across the River" but it was an awfully long time ago on television. But when "Saturday Night Fever" came out with its good guy-bad guy bands of friends who were sometimes dancing and sometimes raiding other gangs and it's last scene on the bridge, I thought, "This is a remake of 'City Across the River.'" We see the main characters of "City Across the River" as high students in a Brooklyn high school taking an industrial arts class. When they get a bit rowdy, the frustrated "shop" teacher yells, "I want it quiet!" One of the students sarcastically calls out in his Brooklyn accent, "Hey! Teach wants it quiet!" Another joins in, "Yeah! Teach wants it quiet!" Within a few seconds each in the entire classroom of students is banging on his shop project with a tool while chanting, "And a one and a two and a Teach wants it quiet. And a one and a two and a Teach wants it quiet!" as they march/dance in a circle around the shop tables. The high school principal arrives, demands the identity of the two ring leaders of this riot, and suspends them. Neither is to return without a parent. The two culprits approach the shop teacher after school and try to effect a reconciliation. "Come on. Gimme a break, would ya? My faddah's in jail and my muddah's gotta woik!" "Yeah, mine too. Give us a break, would ya?" When the shop teacher says it is out of his hands, the two students pull out a zip gun to threaten him. The zip gun goes off and Teach is dead. This is just one of a collection of problems Our Gang has as they are Staying Alive in Brooklyn. And the dance party hasn't even started yet.