The Substitute (1996)
Front Cover Actor
Marc Anthony Juan Lacas
Tom Berenger Shale
Cliff De Young Wolfson
David Diaz Student
William Forsythe Hollan
Lazaro Gomez Student
David Hayes Frank
Ernie Hudson Claude Rolle
Glenn Plummer Darryl Sherman
Diane Venora Jane Hetzko
Movie Details
Genre Action; Adventure
Director Robert Mandel
Studio Entertainment
Language English
Audience Rating R (Restricted)
Running Time 114 mins
Country USA
Color Color
An ex-mercenary (Tom Berenger) becomes a take-no-prisoners teacher in a drug-ridden, gang-infested Miami high school in this campy morality tale about restoring lost American virtues to the inner city. Berenger's character, Shale, has no first name, a shadowy past as a patriotic gun-for-hire, and is temporarily unemployed and living with an idealistic teacher, Jane Hetzko (Diane Verona). Jane has angered a school gang leader, Juan Lucas (Marc Anthony), by asking the principal to get him transferred after he has threatened her in the schoolyard. After Jane is kneecapped by a gang member, Shale fakes a resume and becomes a substitute teacher, Mr. Smith. He lectures his class on the lessons of Vietnam ("We were fighting Communism") while looking for a way to get revenge on Juan. When he challenges the school's tolerance for student misbehavior, Smith is fired by the slimy principal, Claude Rolle (Ernie Hudson), an ex-cop who is running for City Council and doesn't want to rock the boat. Shale stays because he cites a union rule requiring two weeks' notice. During that period, tensions escalate and eventually Shale intervenes in a gang war that degenerates into a school-destroying inferno of violence. — Michael Betzold
Personal Details
Seen It Yes
Index 343
Collection Status In Collection
Links All Movie Guide
Amazon US
Product Details
Format DVD
Region Region 1
UPC 012236044901
Release Date 7/25/2000
Nr of Disks/Tapes 1
Extra Features
Color Closed-captioned Dolby Widescreen