Are you street smart enough for this "Dangerous Minds" Quiz?

By: Olivia Cantor
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

"Dangerous Minds" was a surprise hit movie that tackled the subject of inner-city education, and how teachers have difficulty with many of the issues that affect multicultural teenagers. If you want to know more, take our "Dangerous Minds" quiz for a great challenge!

As the movie opens, why is LouAnne Johnson applying for the teaching job?

Divorce can be financially challenging. So, it's no surprise that LouAnne needed money while things settled down.

What was LouAnne's first surprise?

LouAnne was immediately offered a teaching job, because a class needed an instructor right away. But she wasn't briefed properly.

What was the academy class?

It's common for many schools to have special classes for at-risk students. In "Dangerous Minds," this was given a particular focus.

What happened to LouAnne on the first day of school?

LouAnne Johnson may be a tough lady in the movie, but personal harassment can be a shock to anyone.

LouAnne's nerves were frazzled. What does her co-teacher and friend do to calm her down?

Griffith, Johnson's friend, tells her that these kids are troubled. But when LouAnne starts wavering, he gives her some tough words to make her think about what she should do.

What was the first outward sign that Johnson was shaping up to be the right teacher?

Johnson began dressing in a hipper set of clothes, to break the psychological ice between her and the students. It also came with a bit more attitude.

What was it about Michelle Pfeiffer that made filming her scenes a bit challenging?

Michelle Pfeiffer was pregnant during the filming. Even though the movie was shot out of sequence to get full-body shots out of the way, in some scenes it was still hard to hide the fact the was pregnant.

What was the name of the book from which the movie "Dangerous Minds" was based?

The original book was named "My Posse Don't Do Homework." The real-life LouAnne Johnson wrote it.

It may not have been traditional, but how did LouAnne Johnson begin her first real day of teaching?

LouAnne made her first connection with a martial arts demonstration. She taught two of there students a few moves in front of the class.

It's controversial, but what was LouAnne's first non-traditional announcement to her class?

As part of her way of catching their attention, LouAnne said that all students already had an “A” in her grading sheet. The challenge would be keeping that grade.

Why was White Bread the students' initial nickname for LouAnne?

It wasn’t just about race, though the term "white" makes it seem like it was. It was about the students seeing LouAnne as traditional and weak.

How did the real LouAnne Johnson react to the movie adaptation of her book (and her life)?

The real LouAnne Johnson reportedly said the movie made matters worse, because it stereotyped the students. And this was not the point of the book.

Why was the verb "choose" the most powerful of the day, according to Callie?

Callie, one of the more sullen and passively hostile students in class, came up with a brilliant explanation for using the verb "choose" in a sentence.

Why was LouAnne Johnson called to the principal's office?

Johnson was mildly reprimanded for doing things that could get her in trouble. Things like teaching martial arts in class, and using what could be seen as a suicidal note for an exercise on sentence construction.

What was another "controversial" teaching tactic that Johnson used in the movie?

It’s sounds like it's more for a kindergarten class, but it can be effective for engaging students who aren’t interested. The downside, of course, is that they'll be expecting it more.

What were Callie's words of advice on how to get the class to listen to a teacher?

Callie told LouAnne, if you want to get a group to listen, you have to know who controls or leads the group. In this case, it's apparently Emilio.

What was was the implication, according to how the students read it, of Bob Dylan's song, "Mr. Tambourine Man?"

The poetry reading in class gives an insight into the students' backgrounds. And, given when the song was written, Mr. Tambourine Man could probably have been a "flower child" with experience using drugs.

What two literary figures were commonly mistaken for each other as a gag?

Bob Dylan and Dylan Thomas were mistaken for each other in the film. This actually makes a bit of sense, since Bob Dylan took his stage name from Dylan Thomas.

How does Griffith deal with the incredible stress of teaching hostile students?

Griffith is shown making fun of students' homework and tests. As mean as that may be, it obviously keeps him sane and ready to teach them again the next day.

How does LouAnne finally connect with Raul, one of her students?

LouAnne visited Raul's home, and told his parents that Raul was defending himself. She also told them he was a class favorite.

How did LouAnne get her students to understand the symbolic language of poetry?

LouAnne understood that her students knew a lot of street language. She was able to get them to understand by linking poetry to the code language of the streets.

Aside from being the lead star, what else was Michelle Pfeiffer's involvement in the film?

"Dangerous Minds" was produced in part by Michelle Pfeiffer's production company, Via Rosa. The success of the movie established her status as a producer, not just an actress.

How did the breakthrough moment in class happen?

LouAnne finally gets Emilio interested in class by saying that everyone has a choice to stay in school. This also illustrates how literature and poetry connect to people.

What's the real aim of the Dylan-Dylan contest?

The Dylan-Dylan contest pushes people in the class to learn how to research a subject. It also encourages them to analyze poems.

The Dylan-Dylan contest somehow backfired, and Raul had to go into debt to buy a $200 dinner jacket just to eat at a swanky restaurant. How did LouAnne turn the situation around?

LouAnne played on Raul's sense of honor and work ethic to make sure he would stay in school.

What did the real LouAnne Johnson say about the sexual harassment scene?

The real LouAnne said that if that had actually happened in real life, she would have taken the student down hard. Of course, she probably would have been fired.

Why did Callie have to drop out of the class?

While visiting Callie at work, LouAnne finds out that she is pregnant. It seems she is being sent to another school, which has a teenage parenting program to go with regular classes.

What's the real secret of LouAnne's divorce?

In order to make Callie rethink about going to another school, Johnson talked about her own marriage, and how it failed because her husband abused her.

Which song from the "Dangerous Minds" soundtrack has become so famous, it even has a Weird Al parody?

Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" is arguably faring better as a cultural touchstone than the movie itself. In fact, Weird Al parodied it with "Amish Paradise."

Like some great movies, "Dangerous Minds" was given a sequel of sorts. Where did it go to next?

"Dangerous Minds" made the jump to TV, with Annie Potts playing the part of LouAnne Johnson. It only lasted one season, from 1996 to 1997.

Andy Garcia had some scenes in the movie that ended up on the cutting room floor. Who was he supposed to play?

Andy Garcia was brought in to play LouAnne's husband in a few scenes. After reading the script, he said he didn’t think the scenes were necessary, but he shot them anyway. None of his scenes ended up in the final cut.

In the movie, LouAnne nearly quits after one class because of how intense it is. In real life, what did she do as a teacher?

The real LouAnne Johnson taught a full load for five years, and became a department chair.

In real life, what happened to Emilio, the guy who was killed?

In real life, Emilio was saved by a police officer and survived.

According to the real LouAnne Johnson, she strictly refused one major change in the story. What was it?

Johnson said that the movie writers wanted her character in the movie to have an affair with a student. She said no, and stuck to it. She was reportedly never invited back to the set after that.

How were the class lessons different in the movie, compared to what really happened?

The real LouAnne Johnson actually used rap songs (such as "911 is a Joke") and other modern texts to connect with her students. She felt that by doing that, she could engage the students more.

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