Cinema: Class War

To Sir, with Love is a British expedition into the blackboard jungle—territory sometimes assumed to be exclusively American. The plot is primer-simple. A refugee engineer (Sidney Poitier) from British Guiana's black, bored jungle takes an interim teaching job in a London slum school to tide him over until he can find an opening in his field. He meets with little race prejudice; the students hate him—less for the color of his skin than for the shade of his opinions. Stiff-necked, prim, always dressed in a starched white shirt, he tries to turn the...

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