The Principal (1987)


“Man, do you know where you are? You’re at Brandel. Ain’t you heard what they said about this place? Garbage NEVER leaves the dump.” – Raymi

Number of Times Seen – A few times (Cable in the 80’s and 14 May 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A teacher is sent to be the principal of a school in a crime ridden area where he must find a way to connect to both the students and the teachers.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing as a kid on cable but didn’t remember much about what happens here.

Jim Belushi is a great comic actor, but playing a dramatic role like this is not his forte and he seems far too wrong for this part which hurts the believability of things far too much since it’s hard to understand his character’s drive and motivations along the way.

The story is quite average and true to tackle a subject matter that has been dealt with so many other times both before and after and they fail to add anything new to their take on things.

The movie has a nice supporting cast filled with some talented actors like Louis Gosset Jr., yet none of them seem to have meaty enough roles or substantial enough screen time to help make a difference here.

The story and plot lack much originality and they follow a far too familiar story arc for these kind of films.

This, makes it even harder to make things feel more unique or distinguished especially given the fact of how predictable everything is in this movie.

Bottom Line – Pretty average film that tries to tackle a subject that has been dealt with numerous times before and after. Belushi is a fine actor in general, but feels far too much out of his league in this role and never quite makes us believe his character and his motivations. The supporting cast is filled with some talented actors yet none of them are given enough to do here.  The story itself isn’t very original and follows a far too familiar oath which makes it hard for this film to really stand out among other movies of this genre especially given how predictable things are here.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Phillips (Louis Gossett, Jr.) talks about his days as a player for the New York Titans. The Titans were an original team in the American Football League. The team later was under new ownership, and renamed the Jets. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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