Vic Morrow, Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier in Blackboard Jungle, 1955💕
I share this for two reasons. One, is that I saw this movie for the first time yesterday and I cannot explain to you how much it got me. It was so shocking. A little exaggerated, I felt, but shocking that teachers can actually undergo such torment from children. You hear stories all the time of mass shootings at schools, stabbings of teachers in front of classmates and harassment, but you don't realise the extent of it all until you watch or hear something based on these true events. It's so worth the watch, though.
Also, whilst doing research into the film ready to post after it, I looked into the lives of some of the lesser-known stars that weren't Glenn Ford, Anne Francis or Sidney Poitier. Vic Morrow's performance really stood out amongst Sidney's, I felt, but I'd never heard of him until yesterday, and after reading about his death on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie, I couldn't stop thinking about it. To have witnessed such a freak accident, I can't even imagine the pure shock of seeing it. So, if you wish to continue, here is an overview.
‼️GRAPHIC/UPSETTING DETAIL AND STRONG LANGUAGE AHEAD‼️
53-year-old Morrow was filming one of his final scenes on the morning of July 23rd, 1982 (the scene was set in Vietnam and Morrow's character was to carry two Vietnamese children across a river whilst being pursued by US soldiers in a helicopter). He felt uneasy beforehand - years ago, he had a premonition that he would die in a helicopter crash - but was reassured and went on to film. Director John Landis had a tendency to be dictatorial on set and shouted 'Lower! Lower!' to one of the above helicopters on set. Pyrotechnics (from a hut which was supposed to explode in a fireball) were also being used, which then engulfed the helicopter and forced pilot Dorcey Wingo (a Vietnam war veteran) into the nearby river where Morrow was trying to carry the two children, 6-year-old Renee Chen and 7-year-old Myca Dihn Le. Morrow never got to say his character's line "I'll keep you safe, kids, I promise. Nothing will hurt you, I swear to God" before the right side of the helicopter came down.