A riveting school drama with superb performances, tense classroom standoffs and a strong message about America's education system of the time.
Its social commentary is far from subtle, perhaps even self-righteous and bordering dangerously on exploitative but it does so with great conviction in its morals and obviously good intentions. Those in a teaching profession or thinking about going into it might find some thoughtful discussion in Blackboard Jungle.
Glenn Ford as the new teacher at an inner-city school is just fantastic, he was such a prolific character actor, always giving grounded performances, often of the hardworking everyman. Sidney Poitier in his breakout role brings a ridiculous amount of charm and charisma, a great match for Ford.
It also introduced mainstream cinema audiences to rock and roll, with Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock opening and closing the film, which is no small feat.