Picks and Pans Review: Teachers

updated 10/22/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/22/1984 AT 01:00 AM EDT

My Class Report. What This Work Is About: It's about, like, a public high school where the teachers don't teach and the students don't study and Nick Nolte doesn't give a damn. It's about JFK High, where the best substitute teacher is a mental hospital outpatient. It's about 105 minutes. What the Themes Are: Nick Nolte should give a damn. Students can transform teachers into real people again, which is an ego trip for every American teenager, which is why Teachers will make money. What This Work Tells Us: If you're lucky, your most boring teacher will croak right in the classroom. What I Learned From This Assignment: A movie can be funny, black and biting one moment and pretentious, ponderous and silly the next. Even a strong cast, which includes Lee Grant and Ralph Macchio, can't salvage a rickety script. Director Arthur Hiller should not make JoBeth Williams strip in a school corridor just because screenwriter WR. McKinney can't think of a better climax. Judd Hirsch does strange things with his nostrils when he loses his temper. Nick Nolte has done enough hangover scenes. Other schools are just as stupid as mine. (R)

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