UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE
DIRECTOR: ROBERT MULLIGAN
CAST: PATRICK BEDFORD, SANDY DENNIS, EILEEN HECKART
Mulligan’s sensitive-but-tough adaptation of the bestselling debut novel by seen-it-all New York City schoolteacher Bel Kaufman is both a showcase for the vulnerable, empathetic screen presence of Sandy Dennis, playing neophyte high school instructor Sylvia Barrett. Arguably the best fiction film ever made about American public education, it scarcely strikes a single false emotional note, with locations on a now demolished block of East 100th St.