Stars: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan, Virginia Paris, Eliot
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 103 minutes
Based on a true story, this inspiring American Playhouse production stars Edward James Olmos as a high school teacher who motivated a class full of East L.A. barrio kids to care enough about mathematics to pass an Advanced Placement Calculus Test. Not exactly a variation of To Sir, With Love, the film concerns itself with assumptions and biases held by mainstream authorities about disadvantaged kids, and Olmos's efforts to keep his students coolheaded enough to prove them wrong. Olmos, virtually unrecognizable as the pudgy, balding instructor, gives a career performance in this fine piece directed by Ramón Menéndez, and written by the director and Tom Musca. --Tom Keogh
...Did you know that neither the Greeks nor the Romans were capable of using the concept of zero? It was your ancestors, the Mayans, who first contemplated the zero. The absence of value. True story. You *burros* have math in your blood... A negative times a negative equals a positive. Why?
We're gonna need a lot of Kleenexes - there's gonna be a lot of bloodshed.
Go to woodshop and make yourself a shoeshine box. You're gonna need it.
You the man, you know? Why don't you put them in college, huh? So dumb taco benders like me can pick their vegetables for them, collect their garbage, clip their poodles' toenails. I may be a sinner, but I'm willing to pay for my sins.
Right. See you at three.
I got more bad news for you, *profe.* I know this is really gonna trip you out, but... I forgot my pencil.