MOVIE MADNESS #57: THE PRINCIPAL (1987)

Flashback to 1987 for a minute, whatever happened to teachers being our unsung heroes?

Many schools these days have wand scanning and security stockades before entering the school. There are routine locker inspections and strict guidelines.

Long gone are the lax fertile world of student learning. Not all schools but many in big cities have been forced to go to these extremes.

And thanks to CNN and Fox News, these security measures are blasted all over the 24-Hour News feed.

So flashback to a simpler time, when you would spend $10 a week on hairspray, wear those tight jeans and head-bob to hair metal bands.

Flashback to a world where the school was a proving ground and it took one man to stand up to make a difference. Oh, the idealistic, ungritty 80s movie.

James Belushi stars as a man at the end of his rope. He is getting divorced from his wife and has just beaten his wife’s boyfriend’s Porsche into pieces.

So what is next for this struggling teacher, how about a job at the roughest, toughest school in the city. And why not be transferred there as their new principal.

Belushi’s character starts to care again and is willing to do anything to straighten up that school, even if it means putting his life on the line.

I remember watching this movie in theatres. I was 16. It was one of the first R-Rated movies I had seen. I liked Belushi and I liked his performance as a guy who takes no guff. He was sort of like Bruce Willis, the average guy action hero. Oh, in case you are wondering Die Hard was the next R-Rated movie I snuck into.

“The Principal” was a really fun movie back in the day. But it hasn’t aged well. Belushi and Lou Gossett Jr. are still extremely likable but the 80s symbolism and innocence housed in this movie just doesn’t resonate in a post 9/11 world.

2.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

WATCH THE FULL MOVIE HERE:

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