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The Teacher (1974) 
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Burning Godzilla
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The Teacher (1974)

She corrupted the youthful morality of an entire school! -- from the poster

Well, not really. In fact, there are no scenes which take place at the school at all, and the fact that the main character is a teacher is completely irrelevant.

Angel Tompkins, a very pretty (in a California Girl way) starlet of the time has the title role and provides the requisite nudity. The second lead is played by Jay "Dennis the Menace" North. He's an eighteen-year-old just out of high school. About one half of the movie is their, well, not May/December romance, exactly; let's say April/June. She's only twenty-eight.

The other half of the movie involves a creepy weirdo (Anthony James, who played a bunch of creepy weirdos) stalking Tompkins. One day he's at the top of an abandoned warehouse watching her sunbathe topless on her motorboat. Along come North and the creepy guy's younger brother, who happen to be after the same thing, but don't know James is there too. With one thing and another, little brother falls off the warehouse and gets killed. James spends the rest of the movie menacing North, blaming him for the death.

That's about all there is to it. It moves very slowly, and there's quite a bit of padding. Tompkins and North seem quite natural together, and their love/sex scenes are rather sweet. James is an expert at playing creepy weirdos. Some notable points:

*The title song, a sappy (but very well sung) ballad, which we get to hear three times. Every boy needs a teacher/To show him the way.

*The odd, pointless scene in which two women come over to North's house for lunch with North and Tompkins and North's mother, get in a minor argument with Tompkins, then leave. One of the women seems to be dominant over the other -- reminding her to put on her hat, telling her that they're leaving -- and I had to wonder if they were supposed to be a couple.

*Barry Atwater of Star Trek/Night Stalker fame has a brief scene as a cop.

*Two older women gossiping at a restaurant as Tompkins and North crawl all over each other are played by Gena Rowlands' mother and John Cassavetes' mother.

*The weird Freudian subtext to North's relationship with his mother. At one point she says "I do find him attractive, even if he is my son." Later, when his affair with Tompkins becomes obvious, she seems to approve of it, despite the difference in their ages and the fact that Tompkins is married (but separated from her husband.)

*This is the 1970's; don't expect a happy ending.

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Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:06 am
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I don't know which is more mind blowing. Jay North trying to shed his Dennis the Menace image (I hate, hate, hated!!!! that show. Even more than Leave it to Beaver). Or Cassavettes and Rowland's mothers featured in a scene together.

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Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:14 pm
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Victoria Silverwolf wrote:
The Teacher (1974)

She corrupted the youthful morality of an entire school! -- from the poster

Well, not really. In fact, there are no scenes which take place at the school at all, and the fact that the main character is a teacher is completely irrelevant.


I love when taglines have nothing really to do with the movie or are misleading if not blatantly wrong.

I still can't believe that the poster for the 1976 King Kong had the tagline, "The most exciting original motion picture event of all time." Not only was that insane amount of hyperbole but just how can you bill a movie as original when it's a bloody remake?

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Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:32 pm
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Bergerjacques wrote:
I don't know which is more mind blowing. Jay North trying to shed his Dennis the Menace image (I hate, hate, hated!!!! that show. Even more than Leave it to Beaver). Or Cassavettes and Rowland's mothers featured in a scene together.


I have to wonder if this was the independent film community getting together -- both the arty side and the exploitation side.

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Dark tears for is alabaster muse lost forever into the unforgiving jade daggers of the night. Her slim form no longer to touch his burning lips, her blood like the thorny rose no longer his, O Death! O Oblivion! Why havent you come! I wait in my garden of shadows for thee! -- Juniper releases her inner Goth.


Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:35 pm
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Bergerjacques wrote:
I don't know which is more mind blowing. Jay North trying to shed his Dennis the Menace image (I hate, hate, hated!!!! that show. Even more than Leave it to Beaver). Or Cassavettes and Rowland's mothers featured in a scene together.


Did your parents force you to watch those shows?


Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:56 am
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Fornax wrote:
Bergerjacques wrote:
I don't know which is more mind blowing. Jay North trying to shed his Dennis the Menace image (I hate, hate, hated!!!! that show. Even more than Leave it to Beaver). Or Cassavettes and Rowland's mothers featured in a scene together.


Did your parents force you to watch those shows?


YES! YES THEY DID! DAMN THEM! I had thought that I was merely expressing a personal opinion about those shows, but your laser insight has revealed ... painful memories. Painful.
It was during my formative years in the late 1960s when my father developed an obsession to pattern himself after Hugh Beaumont. One day he came into our home, exchanged his sport coat for a comfortable cardigan and showed my mother the sensible pipe he would now be smoking instead of cigarettes. I was at the television set, carefully turning the dial to the frequency for The Outer Limits when he said, "None of that communist tripe in our home, BJ. I think Channel 19 is broadcasting Dennis the Menace in the late afternoon. Tune into that, son, and perhaps you might learn through their wholesome example."

For years I suffered through each insufferable episode five times daily through the week while my mother prepared us meals from our store of Banquet Hungry Man dinners we kept in frozen stacks in the freezer. Their sickly smiles, their utter rejection of artificial lawn grass, their laments for a man like Ike in the White House. It scarred me.

What perceptions you have to pierce my carefully constructed defenses. You have opened wounds, Fornax. Wounds I had thought were healed, but how so cleanly you have pricked my scars and revealed me. But surely, this will eventually make me stronger. For that I bless you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Oh yeah, down here, I am considered the apotheosis of cool - Sewer Urchin

This is an appalling film. And for some of you, well worth your time - SSM

I like the way this board thinks


Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:23 pm
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This abreaction was brought to you by the inventors of the vanilla family sitcom.

I couldn't remember who Anthony James was until I Google Imaged him, and up popped a photo of the chauffeur in Burnt Offerings. Shudder! I can hardly picture him playing opposite Jay North for any reason. I may have to rush out and see this one.

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Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:40 pm
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You know, the fact that this came out in the 1970s may explain the tagline. We were all teetering on the razor's edge between shock-horror at the Sexual Revolution and blasé, if not cheerful, acceptance of it. This may be the unquiet ghost of the era that considered a lascivious teacher to have 'corrupted' her students even if nobody on campus had any idea what she was up to. Even if she hadn't actually done anything yet and she was still considering what to do about that guy who made a pass at her. That sends out evil rays and corrupts the students. You know, by osmosis. And that in turn leads inevitably to the unhappy ending. That generation still believed H-E-double-hockey-sticks was waiting for you if you transgressed in word, thought or deed.

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Guy in bar: "I got 50 dollars in my pocket saying you're coming home with me tonight."
Girl in bar: "They're lying to you."
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Sample piscatorial love at Cliffie's Notes! Now in blog form for the greater good of the Fish Conspiracy!


Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:52 pm
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I remember seeing the trailer to this as a kid, either in the theater or in commercial form.

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Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:13 am
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