Dangerous Minds

August 11th, 1995


Dangerous Minds

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Still of Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson in Dangerous MindsStill of Michelle Pfeiffer and John N. Smith in Dangerous MindsStill of John N. Smith in Dangerous MindsStill of Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous MindsBruklin Harris in Dangerous MindsStill of Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Grant and Renoly Santiago in Dangerous Minds

An ex-marine teacher struggles to connect with her students in an inner city schools.

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 6.0/10 (21,576 voted)

Critic's Score: 47/100

Director: John N. Smith

Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzundza, Courtney B. Vance

Louanne Johnson is an ex-marine, hired as a teacher in a high-school in a poor area of the city. She has recently separated from her husband. Her friend, also teacher in the school, got the temporary job for her. After a terrible reception from the students, she tries unconventional methods of teaching (using karate, Bob Dylan lyrics etc) to gain the trust of the students.

Writers: LouAnne Johnson, Ronald Bass

Michelle Pfeiffer - Louanne Johnson
George Dzundza - Hal Griffith
Courtney B. Vance - George Grandey
Robin Bartlett - Carla Nichols
Beatrice Winde - Mary Benton
John Neville - Waiter
Lorraine Toussaint - Irene Roberts
Renoly Santiago - Raul Sanchero
Wade Dominguez - Emilio Ramirez
Bruklin Harris - Callie Roberts
Marcello Thedford - Cornelius Bates
Roberto Alvarez - Gusmaro Rivera
Richard Grant - Durrell Benton
Marisela Gonzales - Angela
Toni Nichelle Buzhardt - Nikki

Taglines: She Broke The Rules... And Changed Their Lives.

Release Date: 11 August 1995

Filming Locations: Burlingame, California, USA

Gross: $177,900,000 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Andy Garcia's scenes as LouAnne's love interest were filmed but cut.

Continuity: When Louanne walks in on the first day Nikki (girl in the overalls) is sitting, the next scene she is standing, then back to sitting.

Louanne: You asked me once how I was gonna save your life. This is it. This moment.

User Review

An underrated movie altogether...


When this movie was first released, I refused to line up and watch it. I thought it was another of those simplistic and "popular" - love the teacher, fight delinquency - movies. In fact I refused to be taken for granted by clever Hollywood people who, usually, produce very "sweet" and "educative" movies. Well, a couple of years later, while I was refurbishing my own movie collection I stumbled on a special LaserDisc sale and bought this one as well (just to see what all the fuzz about it was really about). First of all, I was amazed to know that it is based on a true story, just like "Lean on me" and what caught my attention was that the teacher in question didn't belong to that profession: she was a discharged and unemployed USMC officer. I expected a war between her and the pupils she would "drill". What I received in return was an education on how one can be prejudiced, in more than just one way... Having served in the Swiss Army and having been a teacher myself, I could really empathize with the Character played by Michelle Pfeiffer. My first teaching approach, unlike hers, was disastrous to say the least... The entire movie deals with LITTLE, REAL, EVERYDAY problems and not with the big issues of life and this is probably why this movie was summarily discarded as being second rate. But when we consider how children consider and perceive our world nowadays, it's exactly what they expect us, the adults, to do as well. That's to say, take our time to explain to them the everyday happenings in their little worlds. Why mom and dad went their separate ways, why do they have to cope with homework they cannot understand and so on and so forth. This movie is a teaching lesson for teachers, not a moralizing or preachy one. It shows us how it should be done, nothing more. In Drama one says "less is more", why shouldn't it apply to life? We always want to set standards and a higher example to the students we are supposed to tutor, but what about our commitment to give them what they really want: lend them an ear when they talk, a heart when they feel sorrow, and sometimes, when required, a firm authority to look up to? Many colleagues I have met have forgotten what teaching is all about. It's not a simple profession to earn your life, it's much more than this, it's a mission, a passion, a drive, a call, just like the one an actor or a director have. In this instance in my own opinion, "Dangerous Minds" has amply achieved its goals. For the detractors of this tiny movie I would suggest to take a better and closer look, they might still learn something... But please, take your time and concentrate on it. This is really not a "Popcorn" and "Beer" movie.


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