Stand and Deliver

Drama | In Spanish with English subtitles | 135 minutes


In 1980, Jaime Escalante is hired by James A. Garfield High School in East Los Angeles to teach math. The school is mostly made up of Latino students from working-class families. Escalante intends to teach the students calculus even though their math skills are subpar and they have behavioral problems. Escalante is caught between faculty members who ridicule his efforts and dealing with undisciplined students like Angel Guzman. Escalante uses the term “ganas,” meaning “motivation” to inspire his students to persevere academically. After a year of hard work, all the students pass the tough California State Calculus exam. However, they did so well on the exam that  school officials accuse the students of cheating. Now they must prove themselves by retaking the exam. They simply were too good to be believed. Go figure!

Edward James Olmos (Jaime Escalante) / Lou Diamond Phillips (Angel Guzman)
Why Stream This Film?
Many students, even in elite private schools, fear studying calculus. Jaime Escalante defies his faculty associates by not only teaching this subject to the Latino student at the East Los Angeles high school, but get them to pass the tough California State Calculus exam. School kids in impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhoods have to be very lucky to get a teacher like Jaime Escalante, a teacher who can  instill self-confidence and provide  hope.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 82%
  • Metacritic Score: 77
  • Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Edward James Olmos)
  • Golden Globe Awards: Nominated, Best Performance by an Actor (Edward James Olmos); Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Lou Diamond Phillips)
  • Sundance Film Festival: Nominated, Grand Jury Prize
  • The film was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
STAND and DELIVER is a rousing, real-life underdog drama. The Cinderella story is set at a high school in East Los Angeles; the hero a driven, Bolivian-born teacher; and the players are remedial mathematicians who triumph over calculus.
Rita Kempley

The Washington Post

Mr. Olmos has turned himself into the complete embodiment of a hard-working, knowledge-loving public school math teacher, whose greatest ambition is to see his students get ahead. He has done  this to inspiringly great effect. If ever a film made its audience want to study calculus, this is the one.
Janet Maslin

The New York Times



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