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12 user 3 critic

Knights of the South Bronx (2005)

TV-PG | | Drama | TV Movie 6 December 2005
The movie is based on the life & times of David MacEnulty who taught schoolchildren of the Bronx Community Elementary School 70 to play at competition level, eventually winning New York ... See full summary »

Director:

Allen Hughes

Writers:

Jamal Joseph (teleplay), Dianne Houston (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ted Danson ... Richard
Malcolm David Kelley ... Jimmy
Keke Palmer ... Kenya Russell
Clifton Powell ... Cokey
Devon Bostick ... Darren
Brian Markinson ... Arnie
Kate Vernon ... Richard's wife
Alex Karzis ... Kasparov
Karen LeBlanc ... Dolly
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Akin Philip Akin ... Asst. Princpal Hill
Cameron Ansell Cameron Ansell ... Jimmy's Opponent
Brandon Bally Brandon Bally ... Peach Thug #2
Yves Beneche ... MD (as Yves Michel-Beneche)
Gabe Bettio ... Parent #1
Brad Borbridge Brad Borbridge ... Player #3
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Storyline

The movie is based on the life & times 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 job & current lifestyle. 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 ... Written by Donald Gulledge

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 December 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Spiel des Lebens See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took producer Diane Nabatoff 5 years to get this movie made. See more »

Goofs

When Meeting M.D.'s Father "Lucien" for the first having dinner with with the Guidance Counselor, Mason removes his glasses to wipe his forehead in the close up with camera on him, but the camera from behind showing him carrying on the conversation with Lucien & the Counselor shows that he's wearing them the entire time. See more »

Quotes

Parent: Which kid is yours?
Richard: All the black and Puerto Rican ones.
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User Reviews

 
Pleasant enough -- no surprises.
7 December 2005 | by shneurSee all my reviews

The genre of "inspired and unusual teachers who impact the lives of their students" goes back at least to "Goodbye Mr. Chips" (1939) and perhaps farther than that. Many of us still remember our reactions to "To Sir, With Love" (1967) and "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1969). The present effort, based on the founding of "Chess in the Schools" by David MacEnulty, doesn't rank with these "greats," but it's a respectable sentiment piece and makes up for its formulaic plot to some extent with notably excellent acting. I think Ted Danson is generally underrated, and his performance here is skillful and convincing. I don't know what the real-life MacEnulty was like, but I can imagine him being just about like Danson's portrayal. The five young people who constitute the "Knights" chess team are the heart of this movie, and all are serious actors, though a bit long-in-the-tooth to be in the fourth grade. One gets so accustomed to that misrepresentation, especially in American films, that it goes almost unnoticed. If you watch enough movies, you start to wonder why the real kids you know are so LITTLE! Anyway, this is a not-bad film with a good story to tell, and it won't give anybody nightmares.


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