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Ahead of the Class (2005)

Drama based on real-life events. Marie Stubbs, a diminutive Glaswegian headmistress who is coming up to retirement age, takes on one last challenge: to improve the fortunes of St George's ... See full summary »

Director:

Adrian Shergold

Writers:

Robert Jones (adaptation), Marie Stubbs (book)
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Walters ... Marie Stubbs
Inday Ba ... Trudy Gower (as N'Deaye Ba)
Reece Dinsdale ... Sean Devlin
Michelle Fairley ... Sonia Venning
Danny Nussbaum ... Tomas Moreira
Tony Slattery ... Stuart Stiles
Hannah Yelland ... Tracey O'Leary
Anton Lesser ... Graham Ranger
Adrian Rawlins ... Tony Mackersie
Frances Gold Frances Gold ... Lusha
Amy Jo Lamb Amy Jo Lamb ... Debbie Campbell
Calum MacNab ... Jason Foley (as Callum McNab)
Heshima Thompson Heshima Thompson ... Rory
Dan Anthony Dan Anthony ... Carmichael
Tina Asihene Tina Asihene ... Marsha
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Storyline

Drama based on real-life events. Marie Stubbs, a diminutive Glaswegian headmistress who is coming up to retirement age, takes on one last challenge: to improve the fortunes of St George's School in north west London which was facing closure after the notorious murder of its previous headmaster, Philip Lawrence, in 1995 as he was breaking up a fight between his pupils and those from a rival school. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story Of Teaching, Transformation And Triumph

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 2005 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

La principale See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Marie confronts the staff she quotes "If thou of fortune be bereft" by US poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92), sometimes known as "Buy hyacinths for thy soul". See more »

Connections

References Sister Act (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Sound of Music meets Blackboard Jungle...
8 March 2006 | by philip-ctSee all my reviews

Okay, okay it's been done before - and better - in films like The Blackboard Jungle and To Sir, with love. True, these are dated, although acknowledged as classics.

But this TV production does deserve a wider release: although the traditional "bad-kids/school-make-good-because-of-caring-head" does become sentimental and clichéd, Julie Walters' portrayal as the head, Marie Stubbs, is perfect! She has an energetic vibe, and a commanding presence.

The atmosphere in some of the London schools (and I have been a supply teacher in a few) is convincingly portrayed by the cast who are the personnel, parents, children and OFFSTED inspectors.

The film made for a pleasant, but undemanding, viewing and was gripping. But good acting cannot redeem a plodding, rather didactic and predictable script. Well acted and certainly not to be avoided.

It's not a "must see" but certainly is a "feel good" movie. There are worse things today on a late evening....


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