Knights of the South Bronx & other inspirational teacher movies

Ted Danson

Couch Potato Pickings

How many of us are lucky enough to be truly inspired by a teacher at school?

Ted Danson

Judging how many inspirational teacher movies there are out there, you'd think it was quite common. I don't think it is. There was only one teacher during my school years who was truly inspiring.

In Knights of the South Bronx, Ted Danson's teacher inspires inner city students with chess.

Almost any subject is capable of touching hearts and minds though, if taught well. Here are a few of them...

Renaissance Man

Basic reading skills, taught to soldiers by Danny DeVito.

Freedom Writers

Hilary Swank inspires inner city kids to write.

Stand and Deliver

I personally wasn't very good at this subject at school.

(Is it just me, or is anyone else humming a certain song now?)

Goodbye Mr Chips

No, it's not a movie about Jamie Oliver's attempts to reform school dinners. The teacher in this film dedicates his life to inspiring the pupils at a school for boys. This is the granddaddy to all the "inspirational school teacher" movies.

Mona Lisa Smile

Can you guess what Julia Roberts might be teaching her girl students in this one?

Akeelah and the Bee

Click here to find out if you need to be inspired by this movie.

Take the Lead

Antonio Banderas is strictly inspiring in this one.

Only the Strong

Mark Dacascos and martial arts

Mr Holland's Opus

Richard Dreyfuss makes a fuss about music.

Music of the Heart

Meryl Streep gets passionate about the violin.

Madame Sousatzka

Shirley MacLaine gets even more passionate about the piano.

School of Rock

No, it's not masonry, I'm still on the musical theme.

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Whoopi Goldberg gets soulful about choral music.

The Chorus

More choral music, en Francais

To Sir With Love


Finding Forrester

More writing.

Dead Poets Society

Dead poets.

Coach Carter

Samuel L Jackson and basketball.


Keanu Reeves and baseball.


Terrence Howard and swimming.

High School High

A rather disappointing D-minus spoof of all of the above.

There are also a load of made-for-TV movie ones, so this list could go on for ever. Here's a list of the teacher movies that have been the highest grossing at the US box office.