Knights of the South Bronx
|Knights of the South Bronx|
|Directed by||Allen Hughes|
Malcolm David Kelley
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Knights of the South Bronx is a 2005 television film about a teacher who helps students at a tough inner-city school to succeed by teaching them to play chess. It was directed by Allen Hughes and written by Jamal Joseph (story and teleplay) and Dianne Houston (teleplay).
The movie is based on the true story of David MacEnulty who taught schoolchildren of the Bronx Community Elementary School 70 to play at competition level, eventually winning New York City and the New York State Chess Championships. The screenplay portrays whistle-blowing and a mid-life crisis that combine to remove Richard Mason (played by Ted Danson) from his old life. He becomes a substitute teacher and is assigned to a fourth-grade class in a South Bronx school. In the class are students with parents who are drug addicts or in jail or just scrambling to pay the bills. Few of them see a purpose in school other than meeting society's requirements, and he struggles, mostly in vain, to reach them.
Then a student whose father is in jail sees Mason in the park playing a simultaneous exhibition, and beating fourteen opponents at once. He asks to learn the game. One thing leads to another, and soon the entire class is interested in the game. Mason convinces them that on the chessboard it doesn't matter how much money you have or what clothes you're wearing or where you come from, and that it's only the moves you make, then and there. The class forms a team to compete in ever-larger tournaments.
- Ted Danson - Mr. Richard Mason
- Malcolm David Kelley - Jimmy Washington
- Keke Palmer - Kenya Russell
- Clifton Powell - Cokey
- Devon Bostick - Darren
- Brian Markinson - Arnie
- Kate Vernon - Richard's wife
- Alex Karzis - Kasparov
- Karen LeBlanc - Dolly
- Philip Akin - Asst. Principal Hill
- Yves Michel-Beneche - MD Duprais
- Yucini Diaz - Renee
- Antonio Ortiz - Dawson
- Nicholas Carpenter - Dawson's Opponent
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