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Spare the Rod (1961)

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  • Spare the Rod (1961)

    I saw a few minutes of this, which was shown today but is being repeated the week after next. Max Bygraves plays a newly-qualified teacher at what seems like a secondary modern school, who has "progressive" ideas. It looked interesting from the social history point of view.

    It was hard to work out how old the children were meant to be, but Richard O'Sullivan and Jeremy Bulloch were two of them. They were probably supposed to be about thirteen.

  • #2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhuckAp4A-M

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    • #3
      In those days, Secondary Moderns like the one I went to were regarded as dumping grounds for those who had failed the 11-plus. The leaving age was 15. I left on Wednesday, April 18th, 1962, when the school broke up for the Easter holidays. My 15th birthday fell during the Easter holidays, so technically speaking, I was still 14 when I left school. Incidentally, I didn't fail my 11-plus exam in 1958. I just never took it because I was off school ill at the time. Not taking it had the same effect as taking it and failing it and, instead of going on to grammar school as my head master and teacher expected me to do (with me being a very bright boy at that time), I was sent to Secondary Modern school and everything went down hill for me from there on. Nevertheless, the school in SPARE THE ROD was far, far, worse than the school I was at. Caning wasn't done in the classroom across your bottom, but in the head master's study and across the open palm of the hand you didn't write with. When I went to see SPARE THE ROD, I was glad that my school wasn't as bad as that.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by darrenburnfan View Post
        In those days, Secondary Moderns like the one I went to were regarded as dumping grounds for those who had failed the 11-plus. The leaving age was 15. I left on Wednesday, April 18th, 1962, when the school broke up for the Easter holidays. My 15th birthday fell during the Easter holidays, so technically speaking, I was still 14 when I left school. Incidentally, I didn't fail my 11-plus exam in 1958. I just never took it because I was off school ill at the time. Not taking it had the same effect as taking it and failing it and, instead of going on to grammar school as my head master and teacher expected me to do (with me being a very bright boy at that time), I was sent to Secondary Modern school and everything went down hill for me from there on. Nevertheless, the school in SPARE THE ROD was far, far, worse than the school I was at. Caning wasn't done in the classroom across your bottom, but in the head master's study and across the open palm of the hand you didn't write with. When I went to see SPARE THE ROD, I was glad that my school wasn't as bad as that.
        Can well believe it, there was a lot of them about ie. total hell holes, total rubbish Secondary Moderns and Comprehensives. My one was completely over crowded with sometimes 45 to a lesson. The headmaster was the exact opposite to yours, a sort of liberal hippie.. he would invite a boy in for tea and biscuits (if he transgressed ) and casually ask him why he had misbehaved, of course the headmaster was a laughing stock -.Anarchy ruled- smashed windows- teachers locked in cupboards, bin fires and young female teachers being sexually assaulted could be a typical day. I recall a young female teacher saying she had an incurable cancer, this was after an incident.. I often wonder now what happened to her and if the cancer story was just to garner some sympathy and respect from the classroom .which of course it didn't.

        One family refused to send their two daughters and son to the school and said they would teach them at home....one day the authorities entered their home, dragged the boy away and put him in some sort of remand home with criminals.
        Last edited by Bert Quark; 4th June 2017, 08:48 AM.

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        • #5
          Thanks, Metro1962!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by darrenburnfan View Post
            In those days, Secondary Moderns like the one I went to were regarded as dumping grounds for those who had failed the 11-plus. The leaving age was 15. I left on Wednesday, April 18th, 1962, when the school broke up for the Easter holidays. My 15th birthday fell during the Easter holidays, so technically speaking, I was still 14 when I left school. Incidentally, I didn't fail my 11-plus exam in 1958. I just never took it because I was off school ill at the time. Not taking it had the same effect as taking it and failing it and, instead of going on to grammar school as my head master and teacher expected me to do (with me being a very bright boy at that time), I was sent to Secondary Modern school and everything went down hill for me from there on. Nevertheless, the school in SPARE THE ROD was far, far, worse than the school I was at. Caning wasn't done in the classroom across your bottom, but in the head master's study and across the open palm of the hand you didn't write with. When I went to see SPARE THE ROD, I was glad that my school wasn't as bad as that.
            It seems shockingly unfair that you couldn't take the exam when you were better.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bert Quark View Post

              Can well believe it, there was a lot of them about ie. total hell holes, total rubbish Secondary Moderns and Comprehensives. My one was completely over crowded with sometimes 45 to a lesson. The headmaster was the exact opposite to yours, a sort of liberal hippie.. he would invite a boy in for tea and biscuits (if he transgressed ) and casually ask him why he had misbehaved, of course the headmaster was a laughing stock -.Anarchy ruled- smashed windows- teachers locked in cupboards, bin fires and young female teachers being sexually assaulted could be a typical day. I recall a young female teacher saying she had an incurable cancer, this was after an incident.. I often wonder now what happened to her and if the cancer story was just to garner some sympathy and respect from the classroom .which of course it didn't.

              One family refused to send their two daughters and son to the school and said they would teach them at home....one day the authorities entered their home, dragged the boy away and put him in some sort of remand home with criminals.
              That's just barbaric. I wonder what became of the boy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by zither View Post

                It seems shockingly unfair that you couldn't take the exam when you were better.
                Looking back on it, it does seem unfair. But it was the rules and regulations of the time, I suppose. All the class had to take the exam together at the same time. After all, it was nearly sixty years ago.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by darrenburnfan View Post

                  Looking back on it, it does seem unfair. But it was the rules and regulations of the time, I suppose. All the class had to take the exam together at the same time. After all, it was nearly sixty years ago.
                  You're very magnanimous!

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                  • #10
                    I went to grammar school.Classes of 40plus,old Victorian buildings,and the original teachers.Not much fun.
                    Last edited by orpheum; 4th June 2017, 06:39 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Sorry Orpheum, I can't hold myself back. You called it "Grammer"

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                      • #12
                        Talking about the film itself, the version shown on Talking Pictures is very fuzzy and hazy as if it were from a low quality videotape rather than the original 35mm print. It is also being shown in a 1.50 aspect ratio midway between the cinema 1.66 ratio and the 1.33 you would expect for a videotape copy created for TV showings years ago.

                        The ‘Youtube’ link attached earlier in this thread also displays a 1.50 ratio version. All very strange, I can’t really think how or why such a version would ever be created. I would even say that the image quality of the ‘YouTube’ version is better than the one shown by Talking Pictures.

                        If Talking Pictures have the rights to the film, I fail to grasp why they can’t show it properly from the 35mm print rather than some very low quality copy.

                        I have the general rule than if TV companies can’t be bothered to shows films properly, then I can’t be bothered to watch them. So it was with SPARE THE ROD.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by zither View Post

                          That's just barbaric. I wonder what became of the boy.
                          I heard from him a few years later, seemed to have a normal life regarding a career and a family.

                          However the same probably cannot be said for some of those who went to the school..they were already in trouble with law when I was leaving


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