TEACHERS || 1984, USA || Drama || Directed by – Arthur Hiller / Written by – W.R. McKinney / Produced by – Art Levinson, Aaron Russo, Irwin Russo / Cinematography by – David M. Walsh / Editing by – Don Zimmerman / Production design – Richard McDonald / Starring – Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Judd Hirsch, Ralph Macchio, Allen Garfield, Lee Grant, Richard Mulligan / Running time: 106 mins.
When a school faces a lawsuit after giving a diploma to an illiterate student, one of its teachers, hardly a role model for inspiring and influential mentoring, is charged with the fact of maintaining order in the establishment and proving the school right by tutoring a rebellious, street wise kid with trouble learning, reading and writing.
Arthur Hiller’s Teachers deals with some serious themes dealing with the dangers of neglectful education system, and the negative effects it can have in shaping future generations. However, its hard to overlook its general clumsiness.
Officially billed as a satirical drama, Teachers starts off as some type of campy, ararchic comedy, but pushes the boundaries too far to maintain the type of credibility it opts for with its more serious abrupt shift in tone. The narrative is full of inconsistencies, and despite Nick Nolte being appropriately cast in the role of the burnt out and disenchanted teacher, his character feels like an autopiloted cardboard cut-out who gradually goes from one cliche event to the next throughout the duration of the film.
Careless and forgettable, even a seasoned director like Arthur Hiller seems absolutely lost, if not downright uninterested. – 2/5