Michael Schultz directed this deeply felt recollection of adolescent life on Chicago’s near North Side in 1964. Like American Graffiti, Cooley High deals with girl, school, and police troubles as a group of high-school seniors prepare for post-high-school life. The chums are Glynn Turman as “Preach,” who loves to read poetry and history and wants to become a Hollywood screenwriter, but who has the worst grades in the school; and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Cochise, the high-school basketball star and suave lady-killer. Preach has to contend with love problems in the form of Brenda (Cynthia Davis), school problems with emphatic teacher Mr. Mason (Garrett Morris), and law problems with street toughs Stone (Shermann Smith) and Robert (Norman Gibson).
“There’s a specificity to screenwriter Eric Monte’s memories of growing up on the Near North Side in the early 1960s that transcends mere imitation.” – The Dissolve
“The mischievous adventures of Preach and Cochise (Glynn Turman and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) are as rife with revenge, betrayal, womanizing, and scrapes with the fuzz as those triumphs, but Schultz and screenwriter Eric Monte (inspired by his youth in Chicago housing projects) harmonize the strife with unpredictable humor and a whole lotta Motown.” – Brooklyn
“Hectic yet smooth and powered by an extensive playlist of vintage Motown, “Cooley High” foreshadows Mr. Schultz’s 1976 follow-up, “Car Wash,” one of the great ensemble comedies and musical films of the decade, as well as one of the few Hollywood movies that might be legitimately be called Brechtian in its pondering of the nature of earning a living.” – The New York Times
- 2/28 | 7:30PM