You’ve seen a version of this film before. But most likely what you saw wasn’t called Whiplash and wasn’t set in a music school. We’d have to go to Fame for that.
In 1973, it was called The Paper Chase. We’re at the Harvard Law School. John Houseman is Professor Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. and Timothy Bottoms is James T. Hart, law student.
Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.: Mr. Hart, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.
James T. Hart: [pause, as he is leaving the room] You… are a son of a bitch, Kingsfield!
Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.: Mr. Hart! That is the most intelligent thing you’ve said today. You may take your seat.
In 1988 it was called Stand and Deliver. Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante – a high school math teacher. Lou Diamond Phillips as Angel Guzman, a likely high school drop out. The subject is calculus.
Jaime Escalante: [to his students] … There will be no free rides, no excuses. You already have two strikes against you: your name and your complexion. Because of those two strikes, there are some people in this world who will assume that you know less than you do. *Math* is the great equalizer… When you go for a job, the person giving you that job will not want to hear your problems; ergo, neither do I. You’re going to work harder here than you’ve ever worked anywhere else. And the only thing I ask from you is *ganas.* *Desire.*
But it isn’t always a teacher or a professor. Sometimes it is a Drill Sergeant.