Finally, these films, though the coach/teacher/administrator is
the main character, focus on the struggles of both the students and the
educators. In Lean on Me, the audience watches Joe Clark struggle with
his new position as principal and sees his personal journey throughout
the movie, but viewers also clearly see the struggles and subsequent
growth of many of the students as well. The struggles of these two
groups can be intertwined or separate. In Freedom Writers, the film
focuses on the students’ struggles with the reality of their dangerous
lives outside the classroom as well as Ms. Gruwell’s struggles to relate
to her students and keep her marriage afloat. Miracle shows a similar
struggle in its coach character as he attempts to balance his work and
personal life; the film also illustrates the players’ struggles under the
pressure of the Olympics as well as their struggle to come together as a
team. Finally, Remember the Titans showcases Coach Boone’s personal
struggle against racism, as well as the players’ struggles in the same area.
“The Speech”
I have determined that the coach/teacher/administrator
movies discussed in this paper thus far have followed The Hollywood
Model and also have certain, defining common characteristics in terms
of their plot. This determination is important because these factors all
feed into the motivational/inspirational speech that is present in these
films. This speech can occur at different points in the film, and in the
case of some films (especially sports films), it can occur more than once
throughout the story. It is important to point out these similarities in
plot among the movies because the films are so different otherwise in
terms of area of instruction, race, social class, and time period that the
similarities become all the more significant in terms of the broad appeal
of the messages. Finding these common patterns in plot connecting a
hockey movie, a football movie, and two teacher movies is
extraordinary, and the similarities are reinforced when examining the
rhetoric of the motivational/inspirational speech found in each film.
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