Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Mandel|
|Produced by||Stanley R. Jaffe
|Screenplay by||Darryl Ponicsan
|Story by||Dick Wolf|
|Music by||Maurice Jarre|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||September 18, 1992|
|Running time||106 minutes|
|Box office||$14,715,067 (USA)|
Fraser plays the lead role as David Greene, a Jewish high school student who transfers from a Pennsylvania public school to a New England prep school in his senior year after he is awarded an athletic scholarship.
David Greene is a working-class teenager from Scranton, Pennsylvania during the 1950s who is given a football scholarship to St.Matthews, an exclusive Massachusetts prep school, for his senior year. Upon his arrival, he meets his teammates Rip Van Kelt (Randall Batinkoff), Charlie Dillon (Matt Damon), Jack Connors (Cole Hauser), and his roommate Chris Reece (Chris O'Donnell) and learns of the school's cherished honor code system. David soon learns that his new-found friends are prejudiced against Jews, which leads David to hide his religion from them.
David becomes the team hero and wins the attentions of beautiful débutante Sally Wheeler (Amy Locane), whom Dillon claims is his girlfriend. David and Sally strike up a relationship, which Dillon eventually discovers In the afterglow of a victory over the school's chief rival St. Luke's, the ties of his newfound friendships are broken when Dillon's jealousy leads him to reveal that David is Jewish. David soon finds himself fighting a battle alone after Sally and his teammates turn against him, even to the extent where David walks into his room to find a sign bearing the swastika and saying "Go home Jew" on it. David is constantly harassed by his classmates, lead by Richard "McGoo" Collins (Anthony Rapp) and his body guard-like roommate Chesty Smith (Ben Affleck). Only Reece and another unnamed classmate remain loyal to David.
On the History exam Dillon, overwhelmed by the pressure from his family, cheats by using a crib sheet. David and Van Kelt both see Dillon in the act, but remain silent. Their Teacher, Mr. Geirasch (Michael Higgins) discovers the sheet and tells the class that he will fail the entirety of the class unless the cheater presents himself. Geirasch leaves the task of finding the cheater to the class lead by Van Kelt, the head prefect. David goes to Dillon and gives him the option of turning himself in, or else David will himself. Dillon attempts to bribe David, but he refuses and leaves. When David is about to reveal Dillon, Dillon stands up and accuses David. Dillon and David (despite Reece's warnings to not do so) trust the class to find the real cheater. The majority of the class, blinded by hatred and prejudice, blame David. Only Reece, the unnamed student, and Connors, going against his anti-Semitic views, trust David's honesty. The class votes that David is guilty, and as David arrives to blame himself for the cheating, Van Kelt has already arrived and told the school's elitist Head Master Dr. Bartram (Peter Donat) that Dillon was the real cheater. David and Van Kelt are absolved for not reporting the offense, but Dillon is expelled. As David leaves Bartram's office, he sees Dillon leaving. Dillon tells him that he is still going to be accepted to Harvard, but David will still just be a Jew. David responds "and you'll still be a prick" and walks away.
- Brendan Fraser as David Greene
- Matt Damon as Charlie Dillon
- Chris O'Donnell as Chris Reece
- Randall Batinkoff as Rip van Kelt, head prefect
- Cole Hauser as Jack Connors
- Andrew Lowery as "Mack" McGivern
- Ben Affleck as Chesty Smith
- Anthony Rapp as Richard "McGoo" Collins
- Amy Locane as Sally Wheeler
- Peter Donat as Headmaster Dr. Bartram
- Zeljko Ivanek as Mr. Cleary, French language teacher
- Kevin Tighe as Coach McDevitt, American football coach
- Michael Higgins as Mr. Gierasch, history teacher
- Ed Lauter as Alan Greene, David's father
- Peter McRobbie as Chaplain
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2011)|
The scene at the bus depot in Scranton, Pennsylvania, was filmed at a package store in Leominster, Massachusetts. The scene shot at Skip's Blue Moon Diner was filmed in downtown Gardner, Massachusetts. Most of the movie was filmed on location at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. In addition, Groton School, Worcester Academy, Lawrence Academy at Groton and St. Mark's School (all area prep schools) were also involved in the filming. Opening scenes are of the south and west sides of Wyandotte Street (Route 378 heading north), the Bethlehem Steel Plant and Zion Lutheran Church from the top of the graveyard looking northwest to 4th Street in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The scene in the opening credits in front of Dana's Luncheonette and some scenes inside were filmed in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The film received mixed to positive reviews. The film has a 68% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 37 reviews. Roger Ebert found it "surprisingly effective", whereas Janet Maslin found it followed a "predictable path".
- Picture it: Lowell goes to the Movies. http://library.uml.edu/clh/Movies/Pi5.htm. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
- "School Ties". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- Ebert, Roger (September 18, 1992). "School Ties". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- Maslin, Janet (September 18, 1992). "Religious Bigotry At a 1950's Prep School". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2011.