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  • Why is this movie depressing? It's a true story about a high school teacher who managed to motivate a group of struggling students to attempt one of the greatest academic challenges a high school student can undertake. It's the true story of the underdogs sticking it to the system. It's the true story of a teacher fighting the system and winning...

    Or did he? Despite the success portrayed in the movie, 1987 was the high water mark for the Garfield High School AP Calculus program. In 1987, the principal who had supported Escalante with his AP program went on sabbatical and was replaced by an administrator with a different academic focus. The teachers' union complained about Escalante's class sizes and teaching assignments, and petty rivalries and jealousies abounded, eventually forcing Escalante and his partner teacher out of the school. Unable to find support for his unorthodox methods, in 2001, Escalante moved back to his native Bolivia, where he teaches calculus at a local university.

    As much as I love this movie, every time I watch it, I become depressed all over again. It's been over 25 years since Escalante began the AP Calculus program at Garfield High, and one would think that the educational system would learn from him--not only from his example as a teacher, but also the factors that forced him to leave the school, but ultimately the country.

    It's not just Garfield High School, and it's not just advanced mathematics. I hear the same words that the naysayer teachers and administrators spoke in the movie spoken on a daily and weekly basis on the public high school campus where I teach. I see the same objections and doubts and obstacles thrown up by the administration and teachers' union in the movie thrown up by administrations and unions today. I work every day with the same underprivileged yet eager to be educated students as Escalante had, students who just need someone to challenge them and believe in them. And I see my students battle against the same low expectations and prejudices as the students in the movie faced.

    Which leaves me with the question--what has really changed in 25 years? If this is such an outstanding, motivational movie, why has it not produced a systemic change? Why are underprivileged yet bright students routinely passed over and allowed to fail? Why are creative, energetic, passionate teachers forced out of their schools and even their professions by school systems unwilling to embrace unorthodox methods, even if those methods are proved to promote student success? Escalante poured everything he had into his job. Teaching was his life, his passion--not only a vocation, but an avocation. He was willing to sacrifice his personal relationships and his own health for the sake of the students in which he believed... For what? Nothing has changed. 25+ years later, nothing has changed.

    Yes, he made a difference in the lives of those students, and of students for more years than just those portrayed in the movie, but once he left, the program essentially left with him. Despite all of his passion and sacrifice, he effected no systemic change.

    And it's that knowledge that, to me, makes this such a depressing film.
  • There are many films about teachers breaking through to tough students. Many are trite, sappy and formula-written. This is one of the few truly powerful films in this genre. Every member of the cast gives an incredible performance. This is particularly true of the students. Adult writers in this genre usually fail to write convincing adolescent dialogue, but the students in this film talked and acted quite convincingly. The role of the teacher was not glorified, but treated as a regular human being who was doing his best to do something good, sometimes in the right way and sometimes in the wrong way. The race subplot was powerful, but not too preachy. In short, this was an excellent and inspiring story of teachers and students overcoming their shortcomings and being the best that they could be. A stunning and vastly underrated film.
  • Back when I was the age of these kids that Jaime Escalante taught I wish I had a math teacher who could have made it as interesting and challenging as he did for the barrio kids he taught in East Los Angeles's Garfield High School.

    Stand and Deliver is one of the best films of the Eighties and one of the most inspiring I've ever seen. Anyone who could get kids fired up about algebra and calculus as Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante did has my undying respect.

    Olmos is one of those rare teachers whose very presence in the lives of his students makes them change. So many I had back in the day were just time serving bureaucrats, little better than clerks who took attendance. Of course I had some good ones too, but not in mathematics, I was kind of hopeless in that subject.

    But something that I didn't realize about math then, but that Olmos says and Stand and Deliver emphasizes is that math is the great equalizer. There's no cultural bias in math, no interpretative spins on it, you either know it and do it or you don't. It does help to develop the gray cells, no doubt about it.

    The Mexican-American kids he teaches in Garfield High School have it in their minds they'll be filling station attendants, fast food cooks, or day laborers, striving for better is not something they think about. More than teaching them math skills, we are shown how Olmos makes them believe in themselves and their potential. It's certainly a better life lesson than anything else. I doubt any of Escalante's kids at parties do quadratic equations for entertainment.

    Lou Diamond Phillips has a supporting role in this film which was made earlier than his breakout role in La Bamba, but released later. Of course his billing was adjusted as befit his new star status. He's very good as the kid who makes a deal with Olmos for three textbooks, one for home, one for class, and one for his locker just so his image among his home boys is kept secure. After all as Olmos says, we wouldn't want anyone to get the idea you're really smart.

    Rosanna DeSoto who was LDP's mother in La Bamba is Olmos's wife in Stand and Deliver, loyal and supportive. Other good performances are from Carmen Argenziano as Olmos's supportive school principal and of the kids besides Phillips, you will love young Vanessa Marquez.

    Andy Garcia and Rif Hutton play a couple of educators from the Educational Testing Service, read Standardized Aptitude Test (SAT) who can't quite believe what Olmos has accomplished with these barrio kids. Has to be something wrong here. You have to see the film to see what comes out of their questioning Olmos's competence and integrity.

    Edward James Olmos was nominated for Best Actor in 1988. Unfortunately he was up against a singularly unique performance by Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. The real Jaime Escalante no longer teaches in the USA. A few years ago Escalante went back to Bolivia to give back a little to the people from where he came. That's entirely in keeping with the character of this man that Stand and Deliver tells the story of.

    One of the most inspirational films ever made, don't ever miss it when broadcast.
  • Stand and Deliver has several messages and Edward James Olmos delivers an outstanding performance. Every time I watch it, it leaves me with a good feeling of achievement. I think Mr. Jaime Escalante deserves all the recognition for proving that all kids will rise to whatever level of expectation they are put on. If we lower the levels to the least common denominator, that's as far as they will get. But if we raise it, they can accomplish anything. All they need is GANAS or desire to succeed and a good teacher to motivate them. This should be required material for every school teacher. We need more constructive movies like this instead of the trash that Hollywood is producing lately
  • supermang786 January 2004
    This film is excellent. It details the struggles of inner city Latinos and their pursuit of excellence. The movie is based on a true story and is about a teacher, Jaime Escalante, and his class of high school math students in a predominantly Latino area of Los Angeles. I am a Latino from New York City and can relate to the struggles of these students. "Stand and Deliver " inspired me when I was struggling through college and continues to inspire me now.
  • NetPlay5257 March 2003
    One of my favorite films of all time ... a worthwhile story with many outstanding performances. The journey these kids and their teacher takes is extraordinary and inspiring. It is also thrilling to see a rare film that treats Hispanic-Americans with respect and dignity while examining serious topics. A must see!
  • I really enjoyed this movie. I was watching it on PBS one late night. I am really glad that PBS endorses this film. It is such an influence for kids to do well in school. I hope that it influences teachers to be more supportive and teach better, although I don't have much faith anymore in our broken school systems nowadays. But I still believe in HOPE! I, personally, am not a minority, but you just really hoped the best for the kids in this film. Watching this film, you really get on their side and you really want them to do well. They all have their ups and downs and their home lives are not perfect. The role of Edward James Olmos as Kimo is simply unforgettable. You really admire how Kimo sticks by his kids 100 percent. Teachers like that are so rare. I hope there are teachers like that to pass the torch down to other teachers in the next generation. I look forward to seeing this movie again!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Stand And Deliver deals with a lot of inner city kids who have grown up in a bad neighborhood and who all have dismal outlooks for the future. Edward James Olmos delivers the performance of his career as Jaime Esclante, the math teacher who comes to this school determined to teach these kids calculus and have them succeed in school to inspire them to improve the rest of their lives. The rest of the staff at Garfield High School has just as little faith in him and his efforts as they do in the rest of the school, and the film is also able to remain even more interesting because it deals with the lives of the kids outside of the school as well as in the classroom.

    Because the film presents such a realistic image of inner city life, we are completely engrossed with the atmosphere and the efforts of Mr. Escalante to teach these kids advanced mathematics, when many times they don't even want to put forth the effort themselves. There have been many films made about students with little to no potential showing that they are capable of being educated, and Stand and Deliver ran a huge risk of being repetitive when it was released, but it manages to cover new ground because it deals with so many different levels of the lives of the kids and the efforts of the teacher to teach them. The film is able to revolve not just around the kids trying to learn or the teacher trying to teach them, but around both of these things as well as around the daily lives of the students and the teacher and even the health and relationship of Mr. Escalante with his wife.

    We are introduced to a variety of fascinating and memorable characters in this film, particularly in Mr. Escalante, played brilliantly by Edward James Olmos, and especially Angel, played by Lou Diamond Phillips (who, by the way, can be seen at his desk on the cover of the movie, but can't be seen on the IMDb's top billed list of cast on the Stand and Deliver page). The movie has the perfect amount of comic relief that is genuinely amusing but that doesn't take away from the overall appeal and seriousness of the movie.

    I can't say that there were no scenes within the film that were dramatized for effect, thereby illustrating the influences of Hollywood on the film, but even these scenes did not take away enough from the total value of the movie and the story that it presents to tarnish the real life accomplishments of Jaime Escalante, his calculus class, and the many students thereafter at Garfield High School that managed to pass the same test that we saw in this movie. This is wonderful entertainment for the entire family, don't miss it!
  • I know, there are a million movies made like this. The story about a teacher handling tough students has been told quite some times. "Dangerous Minds", To Sir, With Love", "The Substitute"-movies, "The Principal",... The stories often look a lot like each other and "Stand and Deliver" isn't any different, but that doesn't bother. This is a fine movie!

    I don't know if Edward James Olmos' Academy Award nomination was a big surprise at the Oscars or if his performance was indeed one of the 5 best performances of 1988, but I can only confirm that he gave a great performance. Funny, smart and touching as well. I think all the students were great as well, even so I didn't knew any of them, except from Lou Diamond Philips of course.

    "Stand and Deliver" might not be the most original movie ever made, but that doesn't change the fact that it's highly enjoyable to watch. The story is good and the performances are great. Nor melodramatic, neither comic, just excellent Saturday night entertainment without being cheap. Worth watching!

  • "Stand and Deliver" is a strong film which is based on a true story. Edward James Olmos received an Oscar nomination as Jaime Escalante, a man who has decided to teach in a Los Angeles school after quitting a high-paying technological job. Escalante is a man who could be described as a "Patton of the classroom". He will do anything and everything to teach his Hispanic students the complicated mathematics of Calculus so they can pass a test which will give them college credit. This is Olmos' show all the way. He proved to be a dominant actor here and it is he who makes the film believable and overall exceptional. The supporting cast is good, led by a young Lou Diamond Phillips. A solid screenplay and smart direction make "Stand and Deliver" a forgotten winner from the 1980s. 4 stars out of 5.
  • Based on a true story Stand and Deliver was written by Ramón Menéndez and Tom Musca, and directed by Ramón Menéndez. I wish there were more movies made by minorities showing their own perception of life. I especially think that this movie was a triumph because the directors, the actors, are mostly minorities. The story is well told and is sad and shows the urban life of students in Los Angeles. I must say that I take my hat off to any teacher, especially those in the inner city. I would never have the patience to deal with teenagers at all, regardless of race, religion, etc. It is a hard age where the kids think that they are invincible. The teacher "Edward James Olmos" Jaime Escalante, did a wonderful job with those students, as Jaime Escalante did a good job teaching. He was nominated for several awards. The most unfair thing is to think that just because those kids were poor they could not excel and had to take the same exam twice. What a system is this? I loved the fact that Mr. Olmos expected more from the students than mediocrity and they lived up to his expectations. Favorite Scenes: When the students passed the second test. Unfortunately I think that there were instances in American history that certain minority groups would not had even the chance to go to school, much less to have a second chance to prove how good they are. Favorite Quotes: Edward James Olmos: Claudia: "You're worried that we'll screw up big tomorrow, aren't you?" Edward James Olmos: "Tomorrow's another day. I'm worried you're gonna screw up the rest of your lives." Edward James Olmos: "Tough guys don't do math. Tough guys fry chicken for a living!" Edward James Olmos: "They learned that if you try really hard nothing changes." We don't live in a perfect world. I recommend this movie although I found it somewhat sad, because it is very realistic. But reality is not always pleasant.
  • STAND AND DELIVER in my opinion, is an outstanding biopic about one of the bravest teachers of all time. The performances were smashing, the soundtrack was great, and the casting was just right. Anyway, if you ask me, it was brave of Jamie (Edward James Olmos) to get his class to learn the way he did. I would probably do the same thing if I were in his shoes. This would be especially true if they were accused of cheating when they hadn't. In conclusion, if you are a die-hard fan of Edward James Olmos, I heartily recommend this outstanding biopic about one of the bravest teachers of all time. You're in for a real treat and a good time, so don't miss this one.
  • mehdirahbar20 November 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    Stand and Deliver movie

    Directed by Ramón Menéndez Produced by Tom Musca Written by Ramón Menéndez, Tom Musca Film Genre: drama

    Cast Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante Lou Diamond Phillips as Angel Guzman Rosanna DeSoto as Fabiola Escalante Andy García as Ramirez Ingrid Oliu as Lupe Will Gotay as Pancho

    Music by Craig Safan Cinematography Tom Richmond Edited by Nancy Richardson

    Release dates March 11, 1988 (United States) Running time: 102 minutes Country United States Language English Box office $13,994,920

    "Stand and Deliver" is a 1988 American Biographical-drama film and based on a true story about Jaime Escalante, a Bolivian Math teacher in Garfield High School (Los Angeles, California). The school is full of Hispanic students from immigrant working class families living with lots of social problems and poverty in Los Angeles. The students also are below their grade in terms of academic skills.

    At first he was expecting to teach Computer Science. When he arrives, he instead finds is that there is not computer department, and he's stuck teaching basic math to students. Most of the students especially boys smoke, drink and are part of vandal groups. When Mr. Escalante wanted to talk to one of the boys in private at the first days in High School, other boys come to the class to support him and threaten the teacher. Mr. Escalante instead seeks to change the school culture with lots of energy and enthusiasts to help the students excel in academics. He soon realizes the potential of his students and sets a goal of having the class taking AP Calculus. For encouraging 18 Hispanic students of his class, he said in the movie: "Did you know that neither the Greeks nor the Romans were capable of using the concept of zero? It was your ancestors, the Mayans, who first contemplated the zero. The absence of value. True story. You "burros" (donkeys) have math in your blood." What adds more drama to situation is the fact that each and every student in the class Mr. Escalante teaches has their own peer pressures to deal with. Some students have unsavory friends who would laugh at their taking a class seriously. And some of the students have to deal with parents who don't understand why their education should come before taking care of their own family. Jaime Escalante in the middle of the film said in the class that: "There will be no free rides, no excuses. You already have two strikes against you: your name and your complexion. Because of those two strikes, there are some people in this world who will assume that you know less than you do. "Math" is the great equalizer... When you go for a job, the person giving you that job will not want to hear your problems; ergo, neither do me. You're going to work harder here than you've ever worked anywhere else. And the only thing I ask from you is "ganas"! And he continued to say to his students that: "If you don't have the ganas, I will give it to you, because I'm an expert." Mr. Escalante instructs his class under the philosophy of "ganas", roughly translating into "desire" or "motivation". As the movie progresses Mr. Escalante announces to the board that he wants to teach Calculus to his best students. The students begin taking summer classes in advanced mathematics with Mr. Escalante who has to withstand the Pessimism of other faculty, who feel the students are not capable enough. At the same time Mr. Escalante help some of his students to face their social problems and gets involve of his students' problems. Even he talks to the manager of his best student in the class to let her have more time for AP calculus exam. The students pass the AP Calculus exam but the Educational Testing Service questions the success of the students and emphasizes that they cheated. One of the reasons was most of the students have the same mistake in AP Calculus. All the people at Garfield High school believe that the students cheated and one of the colleagues tells Mr. Escalante that because they want to please him for his energy and enthusiastic teaching them. But Mr. Escalante doesn't disappoint and protests to the investigators from the Educational Testing Service questions. He defends his students and argues angrily that all the allegations are based on racial and economic perceptions. So he said to the investigators that "if the high school was in Beverly Hills no one would send you here to investigate!" He offers to have the students retake the test months later and the students succeed in passing the test again despite only having a day to prepare, dispelling the concerns of cheating. Twelve students retook the exam, and most of them got 4s and 5s on the 5-point exam. In 1987, 27 percent of all Mexican Americans who scored 3 or higher on the calculus AP exam were students at Garfield High. The movie shows students moving from struggling with fractions to mastering calculus in one year, although in reality it took Escalante several years to build a progression of classes that prepared Garfield students for calculus. "Edward James Olmos" who played Mr. Escalante role in the film, received a nomination for Best Actor at the 61st Academy Awards. In December 2011, Stand and Deliver movie was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. The Registry said the film was "one of the most popular of a new wave of narrative feature films produced in the 1980s by Latino filmmakers" and that it "celebrates in a direct, approachable, and impactive way, values of self-betterment through hard work and power through knowledge."
  • Despite the massive hurdles on his way to lead the pathetic students into the right track, the teacher, Mr. Escalante manages to reinvigorate the sense of esteem in them by teaching the hard subject of AP calculus, working day-in, day-out.

    The setting on which the plot is mainly based is Eastern Los Angeles Garfield High School, a place packed with students from the poor, deprived Hispanic minority led by a tough teacher who has no intention of backing down.

    Even at the opening, the audience begins to be fed with semiotic elements which signify the issue of stratification and deprivation in Los Angeles. "We're not a minority", that's one piece of large graffiti on a wall in a neighborhood filled with other elements of poverty, giving the initial hint to the viewer about the depiction of the plight and misery of a minority in the movie.

    The teacher is shown behind the roll as he cruises across the neighborhood, setting his eyes on elements of the lower-class life: a group of Latino construction workers on the back of a van, a couple of street vendors and a band of street performers crossing the road as they carry their instruments.

    Escalante is thrust into a class of extremely unruly children, who don't even bother stand up when he steps in the classroom. Interestingly, however, that is no shock to the teacher, as he seems to know very well how to handle them without resorting to violence while remaining completely coolheaded.

    Upon the first encounter, one students asks him if they can discuss "sex" in the class. "We could set sex for homework," Escalante quickly replies in a sarcastic manner, giving the students an impression of sharpness and biting humor.

    To highlight one major component of the Latinos' plight, the director chooses to focus upon the educational system and seeks to convey facts to the audience about how deep the social stratification and wide the gaps are in the American society when it comes to the right to equal education and opportunities.

    Garfield High School, indeed, the director implies, is an embodiment of decades-long discrimination against the Latino community, whose children are the primary target of injustice. But Escalante is there just to fight that up to the end. Of Hispanic origin himself, he seems to have deeply realized the graveness of the matter, which is why he puts the bar higher, much beyond the apparent capabilities of his students.

    The climax of the discrimination comes after the educational inspectors rule that the calculus test be rejected on the assumption that the participants had actually cheated in the exam, showing just how profound is the distrust in minorities even among the academics and the educated, who are supposed to put aside those biased notions and offer everyone the chance to move up the social ladder.

    Ironically enough, the director chooses the two inspectors from minorities, one African American, the other a Latino himself, to suggest that even the educated members of the minority groups are so strongly affected by the white supremacy, never realizing that what they do is indeed representing the predominant view that Hispanic children are inherently incapable.

    "If it was Beverly Hills High School, they wouldn't have sent you to investigate," Escalante tells the inspectors, objecting to the mainstream attitude in the educational system. Escalante believes that if the same scores had been achieved by children from Beverley Hills, the system would have never questioned the results, because they are basically considered supreme and talented.

    The calculus test, from Escalante's viewpoint is a chance for the system to regain the trust of the Hispanic students, but the disapproval from the authorities makes that just a failure, disappointing the students and leaving them in a state of frustration after a months-long hard battle they fought to prove their aptitude.

    Still, the unyielding teacher rises again, taking the hands of the worn-out students and helping them to stand up for the cause once more. He calls them true dreamers. "Tomorrow you'll prove you're the champs," he tells them with vigor, valor and enthusiasm ahead of the second test.

    As the title suggests, the movie is the struggle of a man who never backs down in the face of hardships and obstacles, and sticks to his true mission of delivering the subject he's expected to convey to his students. But that's not the only thing he teaches them. The students learn calculus plus perseverance, something which has been missing in their lives by that time, due to the injustice imposed upon them.

    The dialog and characterization in the movie are both simple. There are no complicated characters and the language is that of the everyday life of a group of Latino students. To an extent, however, the plot is unpredictable, as one keeps wondering what will happen next, especially after the results of the first AP calculus tests are rejected by the Educational Testing Service.

    The music and the editing are smooth, with the costume and makeup design completely fitting the style of the era: loose shirts, young adults with newly grown mustache, and girls with hair-style representing the late 1970s. Together, those elements help with the viewer's full understanding of the theme and the context in which the story has developed.

    The closing scene of the movie comes as Escalante learns about the approval of the second test from the authorities. As he tries to overcome his over-excitement about the news, with a smile on his face, he leaves the principal's office. The camera shows him from behind as he walks away in the corridor, as if he's done with a tremendous mission and is determined to just embark on another journey to continue carrying the huge task on his shoulders somewhere else.
  • BDeWittP12 June 2011
    Do you remember one teacher who made things fun and interesting? Made you love to learn. Jaime Escalante, the main character and hero of "Stand and Deliver" is exactly that type of teacher. He has some eccentricities: he has a strange walk, sometimes talks to himself, and has strange ways of getting his points across. The important thing is: his teaching methods are interesting and efficacious.

    Edward James Olmos, in the greatest performance of his career, is magnificent as Jaime Escalante. He has come to the barrio Garfield High School to teach computer science, after giving up a better paying job in the private sector. He has one problem: the computers haven't come yet. He wants to teach math. He is surprised at the problems he sees at the school, most notably the crimes, violence, and indifference to learning. The scene where he notices the radio missing from his car after his first day is especially humorous, without being too silly.

    Mr Escalante, who is himself Latino, finds himself teaching a lot of latino and hispanic students from similar backgrounds. He wants them to be the best they can be, and be proud of their heritage. When he suggests teaching them Calculus, he is told by the head of the department that it will destroy the students morale, because of their lack of education and it's too much to expect. He responds with the perfect answer "students will rise to the level of expectations." This is what a great teacher does: he refuses to write the students off as losers. If you tell them they're going to be failures, that's all they'll ever be.

    The students do rise to the occasion, after working all through the summer to learn the mathematical rigors of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, they're ready for the AP Calculus test. Every student who takes the test passes. Unfortunately, through "anomalies" that were detected (but no real, solid proof) the Educational Testing Services suspects they cheated. We do know, however, that they did not cheat.

    This is where the movie raises interesting questions, and also makes meaningful statements. When a very discouraged Escalante talks the matter over with his wife, she is very supportive and understanding, telling him that no matter what, the kids are getting an education, and they learned. He responds, "Yeah, they learned that if you worked real hard, nothing changes." I loved it when Mr Escalanted confronts the two members of the Educational Testing Service, who, no matter how rational their reasoning may be, cannot give a single, valid reason to support their suspicions that the students cheated. Escalante gets angry, and rightfully so, saying "You can't prove anything, my kids didn't do anything." "If these kids didn't have Spanish surnames or come from a barrio school, these scores would have never been questioned!" We can identify with his anger, and know he is justified.

    By the end of the movie, which I won't give away, and everything comes full circle, it's very satisfying. What makes this movie work is not only that students learn, but we actually like watching them enjoy the process. Unlike "Dead Poets Society" where the students only wind up liking the teacher, and not the subject, in "Stand and Deliver" the students actually appreciate math and the teacher. Perhaps the most important quality the movie teaches us is that of belief. If you believe in people, even the academically disadvantaged, and are willing to give them a boost, and push them as far as their abilities will go, you really can succeed.
  • Were it not based on a true story, this scholastic against-the-odds drama might be too easily dismissed as just another standard slice of Hollywood inspiration. But with a surplus of honesty and integrity it more or less sidesteps any serious prejudice to become a well crafted, topical crowd pleaser, albeit one perhaps better suited to the less demanding (and, for its intended teen audience, more accessible) format of a made-for-television movie. Edward James Olmos shines in his rather grubby portrayal of an inner city math teacher in an ethnic East Los Angeles high school, who motivates his borderline delinquent class through calculus studies. Cramming for a math test isn't exactly high drama, but the film is more watchable than its scenario would suggest, avoiding cheap sentiment and refusing to pat itself on the back. Noble intentions are, for once, matched by honorable, if unambitious, results.
  • Standing out makes the difference in getting ahead in life for math teacher Jaime Escalante(Eward James Olmos) he really made a difference in students' lives. In "Stand and Deliver" he was the drive to make better students. I heard many stories about minorities students not getting the education they need to survive in the world. The ghettos or barrios is most of the reasons these students don't get a chance. Jaime didn't give up, or give to anything. Except a mild heart attack for pushing himself too hard. Many of the student tried their best to intimidate him. Nope, he didn't bite. Not even angel(Lou Diamond Philips, "La Bamba") wasn't even a match to Jaime's wit. Knowing the gang life was a dead end, he wanted to learn, and he got it! All the way to Calculus? It can happen. But when the school board accuses his students of cheating, that really struck a cord there. Knowledge is power. And Jaime was the power. He used every extreme to get his students to pass. There are teachers who get praises, and there are those who have big egos and get nothing but, resentments. This movie is powerful. No matter what background you come from, YOU CAN DO IT! 5 STARS!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This dramatically strong picture was followed shortly after by a perhaps slightly better film called "Lean on Me". That 1989 drama starred Morgan Freeman as the principal of troubled New York High School, Eastside. This time around though the story concerns a class of Hispanic kids from East LA who, given no chance of academic success by anyone, rise to unparalleled heights thanks to the efforts of a man who truly believed they could do it.

    Edward James Olmos (in probably the best performance of his career) plays the part of determined teacher Jaime R. Escalante, who comes to Garfield High believing he's to teach computers. Instead, he is given Math 1A, and immediately proceeds to turn the class on its head, with amazing results. He manages to sort the wheat from the chaff, and soon has himself a dedicated bunch whom he determines to take through the A.P. Calculus test in order to gain his students college credit.

    Olmos, as I said, is superb, and his support cast are also very admirable. Director Ramon Menendez gives his audience a great feel for this ethnic group, as he shows a very good understanding of their plight and position in society. Whilst keeping everything down to earth, he lifts the remarkable story up to an inspirational level.

    A very enjoyable and rewarding film. A finely balanced drama, enriched with some good humour too.

    Tuesday, December 14, 1993 - T.V.
  • cjbsb2 November 2006
    This is an excellent movie! The teacher, Escalante, is a strong, determined and dedicated individual. He teaches his students with a strong hand and lots of humor. He comes across as being a bit sarcastic at times, but the kids respect him. Most of the kids come from poverty and are very street wise. Escalante is also street smart and the kids don't get away with much. The administration and others teachers don't have much faith in this group of kids and think that Escalante is wasting his time. But to Escalante, these kids are worth the time. The kids are tough, but Escalante is tougher. Great ending! A teacher who cares that much is rare.
  • norimaki26 September 2000
    "Stand and deliver" was a real story and Mr.Escalante was a real person. The movie was depicting good relationship between a teacher and his students. Mr. Escalante was a funny, warm, friendly personality. Students were gradually attracted him while they overcame several problems. I recommend that you watch "Stand and deliver".
  • mu2-225 September 2000
    "Stand and deliver" was a kind of successful story in a school. There were many people who were from different countries in the same class. Some of them couldn't speak English. Mr. Escalante was a so funny and good teacher. He sometimes used Spanish for the students who couldn't understand English. Students were interested in him gradually. Students studied very hard. They trusted him. Finally, the students succeeded in ETS exam. However, ETS suspected that the students cheated. Actually, they didn't. The students had a ETS exam again, and they succeeded in again! I have watched the movie like "Stand and Deliver". I think that there are many movies and TV drama like "Stand and Deliver". However, I think that "Stand and Deliver" is the best of this kind of movies which I have watched. Every character was very interesting, cute and funny. Especially, Mr. Escalante was so funny. I think that every interesting character had me enjoy this movie although I had watched the movie and TV drama like "Stand and Deliver". I like "stand and Deliver" so much.
  • To this day, I hate anyone who says this was a bad film. Beautifully conceived, this film really captured the spirit of basic filmmaking, and how the central character inspired the masses. From the first time we meet Olmos, to the infamous `Calculus' line by Lou Diamond Phillips, to the rather startling ending, we see a side of life which is rarely portrayed in most films. Phillips and Olmos really carried this film, simply due to their off kilter relationship which was spawned during the film. One of the most poignant scenes in the film is when Olmos is giving Phillips all of his books, trying to help the guy maintain a rep as well as stay focused on his class work. An inspiring film to say the least, more movies about Mexican American life should be made in order to tap into the rather diverse range of beliefs and traditions.
  • I very rarely jump on my soapbox when it comes to matters of pure opinion, such as who should have won an academy award. But I just have to in this case. Edward James Olmos not only turned in one of the most rounded, believable and drop-dead staggering performances of the year. Bar a handful of similar performances - Robert De Niro in The King of Comedy - this is the high-water mark of the decade, when it comes to acting. How on gods earth the Academy could deem Michael Douglas a more worthy candidate of that years Oscar is startling. Stand and Deliver is a simple movie premise - the battle against impossible odds. But told with intelligence, humour and some quality acting. The setting's are right. The bunch of hoodlums, layabouts and kids from the wrong side of the tracks, are nigh on perfect. Lou Diamond Phillips in a small, but telling role, displays an awesome acting promise - that was somehow never fulfilled. However this film belongs to Olmos. It is his strength and nigh on perfect display of acting proficiency, that makes you swallow this never sugary, but border-line sweet, affair. By the end of the movie your punching your hands in the air with him, as he strolls down the corridor. Breathtaking stuff, many would argue not worthy of the kind of acclaim lavished on 'Raging Bull', but I would have to say, it is not far off it. Whatever happened to Olmos after this movie? He appears to have disappeared back to his character actor roots. I'm sorry but the academy got it way wrong in '87, so check this movie out to see why. The ultimate feel-good flick!!!
  • menaka24 February 2002
    This movie is truly unique,with great actors and an even greater story.Based on a true story,this movie follows the lives of a tough,caring teacher and a group of inner city kids.Touching and powerful this movie is entirely believable,there are no stereotypes,no typecasting nothing that draws it away from its gripping reality.Even if the story is great it's the actors who tell it and boy,did 'Stand and Deliver have a fantastic group of actors led by Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips who both gave fantastic performances. I think the fact that a large part of the cast and crew belonged to minorities helped bring a certain authenticity to this movie that might not have otherwise been there.It was a great movie to watch and the fact that it was based on a true story made it even more special!
  • Boyo-216 September 1999
    I must agree with my fellow reviewers - this is a knockout performance from Olmos that got him a well-deserved nomination. The movie is sentimental but it is not forced down your throat, it comes naturally because you genuinely care about every single character in the movie. It is a fitting tribute to a man who is still trying to make the world a better place - I could not aspire to more.
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