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Wednesday July 18th 2018

Blackboard Jungle | 1955

When Bill Haley and his Comets blasted out with Rock Around The Clock over the credits of Blackboard Jungle, teen audiences started dancing in the aisles and the Rock’n’Roll era burst into popular culture.

The film itself is not so revolutionary, being the familiar story of a determined teacher taking on a class of inner-city (and none-too-young) hard kids. Although set in ‘New York’, ‘North Manual High School’ never existed outside the MGM backlot in LA. In fact, almost the entire film was shot here in the studio.

The only real location comes when Mr Dadier (Glenn Ford) returns to his old middle-class school for advice. The spacious campus surrounded by open countryside doesn’t exactly scream ‘New York’. It's El Segundo High School, 640 Main Street, El Segundo, immediately to the south south of LAX..

‘Clark Secondary School’, where Seth (Jonah Hill) gets invited to that all-important party by Jules (Emma Stone), while Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) recklessly promises to get fake ID, is El Segundo High School, 640 Main Street, El Segundo, immediately to the south south of LAX.

Something of a regular on both large and small screens, El Segundo was also ‘Clark Secondary School’, where Seth (Jonah Hill) gets invited to the party and Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) recklessly promises to get fake ID in Greg Mottola's 2007 Superbad; and Matthew Broderick’s ‘Washington State’ school in WarGames, as well as appearing in Rob Schneider bodyswap comedy The Hot Chick, Joe Dirt, Yours, Mine and Ours, and the clunky parody Epic Movie. On TV, it’s featured in The OC, Ally McBeal and Joan of Arcadia.

Twelve years later, Miller (Sidney Poitier) had morphed into Mr Thackeray, the determined teacher taking on a class of inner-city London kids in To Sir, With Love.