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Conrack (1974)


Det Jim McLeod
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I just rewatched this last night. I hadn't planned to, but I could not turn it off.

It's based on Pat Conroy's memoir The Water Is Wide. Jon Voight is a white Southern schoolteacher who is hired to teach some poor black children on a island off the coast of South Carolina. At this time Voight was one of the top young actors in movies, having made two masterpieces "Midnight Cowboy" and "Deliverance". "Conrack" is interesting and funny look at the unorthodox way Voight reaches the youngsters, showing them that learning can be fun. It never gets preachy or too sentimental (remember this was the cynical 1970s). Voight also butts heads with a cranky school official (Hume Cronyn). Their scenes together are some of the funniest moments.

What do you think of this one?  

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14 hours ago, kingrat said:

Conrack is an interesting and entertaining movie, but the hero deserved a swift kick in the posterior for drawing a line in the sand about Halloween. Halloween? Really?

But Halloween is FUN, and these kids were never allowed to have any fun.

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I've seen "Conrack" twice.  First time was on network television in the 70's and the second time was on TCM a few years ago.  Jon Voight was excellent as he tried to find a teaching method that would resonate with his students, while having to stay out of hot water with his boss (Hume Cronyn).  It was one of those movies that left you inspired but also left some unanswered questions.  What happened to the kids after Conrack left the island for another job?  Did their experience transform them into life-long learners, or did they regress with their new teacher?

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12 hours ago, midwestan said:

Did their experience transform them into life-long learners, or did they regress with their new teacher?

I don't know about all the students, but a few of them became teachers themselves. One of them went on speaking engagements with Pat Conroy.

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