7.4/10
15,462
81 user 13 critic

Lean on Me (1989)

PG-13 | | Drama | 3 March 1989 (USA)
The dedicated but tyrannical Joe Clark is appointed the principal of a decaying inner-city school and he is determined to improve by any and all means.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Sloane Shelton ...
Jermaine 'Huggy' Hopkins ...
...
Kaneesha Carter
...
Maria
...
Mrs. Santos
...
Mrs. Carter
Edit

Storyline

An arrogant and unorthodox teacher returns as principal to the idyllic high school from which he had earlier been fired to find it a den of drug abuse, gang violence, and urban despair. Eventually his successful but unorthodox methods lead to a clash with city officials that threatens to undo all his efforts. Based on a true story. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Eastside High was out of control...until Joe Clark took it back. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 March 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apóyate en mi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,000,000 (USA) (5 March 1989)

Gross:

$31,906,454 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Several homages to Sesame Street (1969) are referenced in the film - when Clark was seen as a history teacher, in the 1967 scene, he sported an Afro (similar to the character Easy Reader on The Electric Company (1971), where Morgan Freeman was part of the cast) and when he arrives at Eastside High, on the first day on the job, he wears a business suit similar to the one he had during The Electric Company's opening credits. Dr. Napier said to Clark, in one scene, that he is a Big Bird with Radar, which was a double entendre (either as an airplane or the famous Sesame Street character with his pet teddy bear). Also, Lynne Thigpen would later join the cast of the PBS series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? (1991), as the Chief. See more »

Goofs

After Mr Clark is done keeping the Fire Chief out, on his way back into the school he tells Mr Darnell its good to have him back. Mr Darnell says "You should have never fired me in the first place". He never fired him. He suspended him. See more »

Quotes

First Title Cards: Once considered one of the finest schools in America, Eastside High of Paterson New Jersey, declined over the years until an offical report called it a "terrible cauldron of violence."
See more »

Connections

References My Bodyguard (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are The One
Written by Keath Lowry and David Gaskins
Administered by Hey Vinnie Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

strong acting helps overcome the familiarity of the material
12 March 2007 | by See all my reviews

Freeman is perfectly cast as 'Crazy' Joe Clark, a radical, newly appointed principal at a deteriorating, gang-ridden school who gets through to his students with a tough, opinionated, no-nonsense approach to the pursuit of academic excellence. The odds are stacked against him as the education board threatens to shut down Eastside High School, but with his burning desire, devoted staff and administration, and some bright students who actually want to succeed, he rallies them for what will be the final chance to save the school. Based on a true story the premise is familiar and the script has its ups and downs, but it's meaningful and acted with strength and conviction, especially Freeman who is nothing short of superb. ***


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?