New York Film Locations

Up the Down Staircase (1967)

Last Updated: April 2011

Sylvia Barrett (Sandy Dennis) is a rookie teacher at New York's inner-city Calvin Coolidge High: her lit classes are overcrowded, a window is broken, there's no chalk, books arrive late. The administration is concerned mainly with forms and rules (there's an up and and a down staircase); bells ring at the wrong time. Nevertheless, she tries. How she handles the chaos and her despair in her first semester makes up the film: a promising student drops out, another sleeps through class, a girl with a crush on a male teacher gets suicidal, and a bright but troublesome student misunderstands Sylvia's reaching out. A discussion of Dickens, parents' night, and a mock trial highlight the term. Can she make it?

otsoNY Comments: The exterior shots of the school were done on East 100th Street near East River Drive, whilst Haaren High School on West 58th and 10th Avenue was used for the interior shots.

East 100th Street (btw East River Drive and 1st Avenue) Manhattan.


East 100th Street (btw East River Drive and 1st Avenue) Manhattan.


East 100th Street and 1st Avenue, Manhattan.



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