Cinema: City Slickers

COOLEY HIGH

Directed by MICHAEL SCHULTZ

Screenplay by ERIC MONTE

There is currently some noise around to the effect that Cooley High—about growing up black in Chicago in 1964—is a separate but equal American Graffiti. Such impressions should be corrected immediately. It requires a certain defensiveness, or an anxious if inadvertent condescension, to maintain that Cooley High, crude of mind and clumsy of execution, can even compete with the smart high spirits of American Graffiti.

Cooley High has all the grace of an Army training film. Like the kids in Graffiti, the students in Cooley High are trapped near the dead end...

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