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Hard Lessons
Hard Lessons
Actors: Denzel Washington, Lynn Whitfield, Debra Artis, Edna Auguillard, Billy Jaye Banner
Director: Eric Laneuville
Genres: Drama, Television
UR     2002     1hr 40min


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Movie Details

Actors: Denzel Washington, Lynn Whitfield, Debra Artis, Edna Auguillard, Billy Jaye Banner
Director: Eric Laneuville
Creators: Isidore Mankofsky, Robin Wilson, Jerram A. Swartz, Linda Otto, Charles Eric Johnson
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Television
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/23/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/1986
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1986
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Denzel Strikes Again!
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I seriously doubt Mr. Denzel Washington is able to give anything less than a performance of total conviction, as he proves once again to me here in one of his earliest leading roles. In a true-life portrayal of George McKenna, new principal to the trouble-torn George Washington Memorial High School, he is wholly convincing. The problems he encounters are not solely those caused by the students, but also the parents and indeed some of the teachers. His determination to turn things round stems from his passion that his pupils WILL graduate to college if they want to, and that this will never happen if they don't feel anyone cares about them. Despite resistance from some pupils and teachers,(not to mention ongoing gang warfare within the grounds), others rise to the occasion, both for themselves and for McKenna himself, such is the respect he gains. In the process of such diligence his once supportive girlfriend leaves him under the pressure of his split commitments, but as for the School, he succeeds. Seeing the graduating students really is a heartwarming moment! Having previously seen "187", it does make the violent scenes and troublesome pupils here look bland by comparison, but its hard to tell if this film was sanitised or "187" sensationalised. Regardless, its still well worth the watch, especially if you respect Denzel's work in later movies already."
Worst than bad
J. Walsh | 12/24/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Being a teacher and Denzel Washington fan, I thought I might find some enjoyment and inspiration from a film purporting to illustrate the difficulties and solutions of the inner city high school experience. I experienced neither. Only frustration penetrated my senses as I wasted a couple of hours watching this film (after wasting ten bucks buying it)!

The story line might have worked, though I doubt it, if a few obvious needs had been mandated in the production and direction, like proper casting and a believable script. Worst of these offenses was the casting, as all of the "high school" students were at least twenty-five, and most older. Talk about suspension of disbelief! The same cast would have worked were they cast as the parents of the students! At times Denzel looked younger than the student he was mentoring. Indeed, it was preposterous.

I'm sure Mr. Washington looks upon this film as nothing more than a poor experience on the way to excellence, one of those setbacks we learn from to help us find our way.

Don't waste your time or money."
Generations of Generals
Tanya A. Peters | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am one of many family members who in fact attended George Washington High School, now George Washington Preparatory High School. After reading the previous reviews of others, I can make this statement. You have to live an event to really appreciate art imitating life.
For most movie makers it can be difficult at best to recreate a story such as this about a person who took on odds, doubt & obstacles to give African American & Latino students a better shot at life, through eduaction.
Personally, I loved this movie. I first saw it during my Sophomore year in high school. I was on hiatus my fall semester attending another school, and was upset that I couldn't be back home. However, I was filled with pride knowing that my principal, & school's history was becoming a part of Americana. So to some this may have been a cheezy attempt. To me this made for TV film will go down in history that preceeded Lean On Me, Stand and Deliver an others, but all will chronical the struggles and triumphs that a few will self inflict to take on the inequalities our nation perpetuates on it's inner city youth."
Hard lessons
Catherine Pirie | SCOTLAND | 05/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)