User Reviews (9)

Add a Review

  • One of many films in the early 1970s dealing with race relations and social changes. You have a predominately African-American high school being integrated by white teens. There are also teachers and their trials and tribulations with knucklehead students. I believe this is one of the earliest films Jeff Bridges starred in as an adult (he was one of the students).
  • Having seen this years ago on late-night TV, I have sought this one out for many years. I finally came across the uncut theatrical version, and "Halls of Anger" definitely stands up as a strong picture with a harsh look at race relations.

    Calvin Lockhart, a black ex-basketball star now a teacher, teaches in a "good" school who is offered a job as Vice Principal in a bad "black school" full of violence, and because whites are to be bussed in there, with the hope that he can stop any trouble before it starts. The kids love him, but he is soon faced with the dilemma of being called an "Uncle Tom" because he sides with the whites sometimes, if they are in the right. but he is protective of the blacks, especially from the "man" being any school administration.

    Jeff Bridges stars as the main white kid, and he is just fantastic. Rob Reiner is a secondary character, but it is very odd seeing "meathead" use the word "nigger" and being against the blacks, as opposed to his very liberal character on "All In The Family" that we all know him by. The blacks throughout the film as shown as the troublemakers; they simply will not accept white kids in their school, and constantly give the whites a very hard time. When the white girl gets off the school bus, one black guy says he wants to "lick vanilla ice cream" and she hasn't even stepped in the school for the first time yet. One black kid in particular, "J.T.," leads the school in the revolt against the whites. he seems to be the only intelligent black kid in the school - the rest seemingly cannot read or understand simply words unless they are "black" in usage. This portrayal of blacks would definitely not fly with today's audiences.

    There are some troubling scenes in the movie, mainly showing the black's racism, and in the last amazing twenty minutes, there is a particularly brutal scene in the girl's locker room that was severely cut for television. This scene seems to stand on its own as there is no mention or repercussion of it anywhere else in the film.

    "Halls of Anger" is definitely worth a viewing especially if you can get a hold of the uncut version. The music and atmosphere take you right back to some very troubling times.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Halls of Anger,1970 debut film regarding Bussing in California in the late 60's early 70's.

    The main Character, sent to the school to teach, arrives as several Caucasion Students are bussed into the all Africian American student body.

    The movie pretty much lives up to what happened not only in California but also in the South. It shows how prejudice can be overcome when people decide to learn about one another and their culture, their background.

    I am a child of the South, and I lived it personally. In the schools, beyond adult prejudice's and the factions that marched in protest on both sides, to keep students from being bussed. In the school rooms, when students decided that everyone was there and not going anywhere; truces began, small at first then the bridges were built and friendships began. This movie is much like "Remember the Titans"(IMDb 2000), it shows that there was prejudice on all sides, not just one race or creed but everyone had trepidations and pause, fear at the future.

    But I learned one thing. "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself." Good movie, true to the time line it portrays.
  • Truly a product of the times!I saw this movie in April,1970 at a time when there was much racial turbulence in the schools.It seemed pretty real to me at the time and altho the infamous scene where the white chick going with the "brother"got a righteous beatdown by five "sisters"in the girl's restroom was pretty shocking that kind of incident DID happen on occasion back then. I remember thinking that the hell the white students were catching in the film was just as bad as what black students experienced all over the South during the integration of schools in the Fifties.The funny thing is that in 2003 most of those scenes of racial unrest seem rather passe.As a sub teacher in the public school system on and off for almost thirty years I can attest to the fact that racial slurs are extremely rare now and that a white kid going to a Halls of Anger type school would probably be more like Eminem and be more or less accepted by black kids. I am going to try to find this movie and show it myself at certain high schools so the students can grasp the tenor of those often crisis filled times.I recommend the movie more than thirty years later.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The film is woefully cliché with some interesting points made.

    Racism is alive and functioning quite well at a Los Angeles school in the 1970s. When Caucasian students are summarily transferred there, the situation becomes much more intense.

    A black athlete and white teacher in a predominantly white area is brought to this school as an assistant principal and teacher. Nice to see that he is assigned classes. In the real world of education, assistant principals never teach and therefore lose reality with what is really going on in the classroom.

    The film makes note that older methodologies just don't work and Helen Kleeb, who played in the Walton's, is a perfect example of a teacher with bigoted ideas, who should have long retired. Ditto for the principal as well as local school board members.

    The whites are given the worst treatment possible by the black students and tempers flare. A young black teacher, teaching for 4 years, can't take much more and is leaving by the end of the year.

    The ending is a bit too much to take. Students rampage, the police are called and our assistant principal has it out with the principal. We are left to believe that things have to get better as the black people take charge of the school. In one respect, the ending was a good one, there are just no answers to these urban educational problems, but we must keep working at it.

    Having some difficult black students create their own mural will not solve everything. The scenes showing the black students poor vocabulary and reading performance as compared to their Caucasian counterparts are sad to view. Why has this come about?

    A better title for this film would have been "No Way Out!" The film is nearly 40 years old and we face the same problems today.
  • Having attended a Tennessee high school during the seventies, I can attest to the fairly realistic portrayal of race relations during that time. Actually, I witnessed incidents that were more violent than those portrayed in this film. The anger that the blacks displayed in the movie was very close to the emotions that I witnessed first hand. I did not appreciate at the time how difficult it was for the faculty to deal with the volatile atmosphere from day to day but as an adult watching this film, I realize how hard that job was. I agree that the non PC slant of this film keeps it a product of it's time. Regardless of this, I think that this film represents a small time capsule of realism from a time that has luckily long passed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A hot-button topic of the day, this conflict-filled drama concerns the effects of imposed busing of white students into an all-black school in order to diversify the enrollment. Lockhart plays a former basketball great who has escaped the ghetto to become a well-regarded teacher at a white school. One day, he is coerced into transferring to Lafayette High School, a black school downtown into which 200 white students are to be deposited. Alarmed parents use connections or other means to avoid this, meaning that only 60 of the white kids actually appear there on the first day of school. They are barely off the bus before reverse discrimination takes place and they are taunted and mocked. Resentments continue to build, thanks especially to one ringleader (Watson) who feels threatened by the presence of the new students and takes pains to make life difficult for them. Lockhart refuses to give up on Watson, despite his deplorable behavior and, for a time, is able to start to break through to him. However, Watson's anger over a friend's suspension and his dislike of Bridges, who wants to play basketball on the team, cause him to reignite his negativity. Lockhart gives a solid, smooth, amiable performance. He's idealistic, but not unbelievably so, and handles the material well. MacLachlan plays a fellow teacher who wants out of the almost prison-like school, but who warms to his line of thinking. Bridges does a fine job as a persecuted student. His final scene displays a remarkably fit physique. Watson seems to be bringing some degree of dimension to an outright villainous role. Other notable performances include Asner as the school's P.E. teacher, Reiner as a trouble-causing white student and Kleeb as a well meaning, but ineffectual teacher. While the script certainly points to the black kids as making a difficult situation worse, there are various good and bad folks on both sides. The situations presented do not tend to be outside of the realm of possibility (with the possible exception of a highly invasive act performed by some female students at the climax, though even that could taken place.) As is to be expected, there are many episodes and vignettes depicting the differences and problems of these kids, but often they are handled in a disarming, even amusing way, such as when Lockhart tries a new way to get illiterate youths interested in reading. The red tape and political machinations of the situation do not get ignored and the film doesn't try to pretend that there are any easy answers. Rather, it tries to show that everyone has to give a bit in order for everyone to get along. It also promotes the value of getting an education. A different take on the somewhat similar "To Sir With Love" in which black Sidney Poitier tried to make headway in a lower class, predominantly white school. Here, black Lockhart faces hostility from members of his own race who feel that he has sold out. Recent TCM airings have a curiously censored version, which sometimes removes the word "honky" and sometimes doesn't, along with varied allowance of the "n" word while some, but not all, cursing is dubbed out as well. The scene in the girls' locker room may have been pared down, too.
  • While there is nothing really bad about how anything in the movie is executed, just about any viewer will repeatedly think "I've seen this before" several times before the end credits. Still, you do get to see a young Bridges and Reiner, and there are some good moments, like the interesting way the chief character gets his students interested in reading. The ending is also more realistic for a refreshing change.

    More interesting is the movie makes the gutsy non-P.C. decision to show many of these urban black students in a negative light, from their almost constant abuse of the white students to showing how many of them are poor at reading and studying. In fact, even though the white students are shown to have their own negative characteristics, they overall come across better than their black classmates.
  • preppy-35 August 2002
    White students are being bused into an inner city all black school. The students aren't happy with it...will violence erupt?

    This movie dealt with a very hot topic in 1970 that doesn't really exist anymore. The plot (and characters) and the the racism angle are played very broadly and simplistically. There's also a needless and very ugly sequence in which five black girls attack and tear all the clothes off a white girl. Aside from that scene and some mild profanity this plays like a made-for-TV movie--a BAD one! The confrontations, dialogue and resolutions are all too obvious. ALMOST worth seeing for a very young Jeff Bridges and Rob Reiner.

    Trivia: This movie was banned from Boston TV stations in the early 70s. Opposition to busing was very violent in the city and officials were afraid the movie might incite riots.