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Stand and Deliver
Alternate Title: Walking on Water
Director: Ramon Menendez (Dir)
Release Date:   11 Mar 1988
Premiere Information:   Premiere screening in Los Angeles: 26 Feb 1988 at Mann's Chinese Theater; Los Angeles opening: 11 Mar 1988; New York opening: 18 Mar 1988
Production Date:   began 1 Apr 1987 in Los Angeles, CA
Duration (in mins):   106
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Cast:   Edward James Olmos (Jaime Escalante)  
    Lou Diamond Phillips (Angel)  
    Rosana De Soto (Fabiola Escalante)  
    Andy Garcia (Ramirez)  
    Will Gotay (Pancho)  
    Ingrid Oliu (Lupe)  
    Vanessa Marquez (Ana)  
    Karla Montana (Claudia)  
    Patrick Baca (Javier)  
    Mark Eliot (Tito)  
    Lydia Nicole (Rafaela)  
    Daniel Villarreal (Chuco)  
    Carmen Argenziano (Molina)  
    Virginia Paris (Raquel Ortega)  
    James Victor (Ana's father)  
    Rif Hutton (Pearson)  
    Betty Carvalho (Angel's grandma)  
    Michael Goldfinger (Coach)  
    Estelle Harris (Secretary)  
    Mark Phelan (Cop)  
    Adelaida Alvarez (Sexy girl)  
    Richard Martinez (Heavy metal boy)  
    Mark Everett (Heavy metal boy)  
    Tyde Kierney (Joe Goodell)  
    Bodie Olmos (Fernando Escalante)  
    Michael Yama (Sanzaki)  
    Graham Galloway (Craig)  
    Irene Olga Lopez (Lupe's mother)  
    Yvette Cruise (Clauda's mother)  
    Aixa Clemente (Hospital receptionist)  
    Victor Garron (Jaime Escalante, Jr.)  
    Michael Adler (Schloss)  
    Barbara Vera (Proctor)  
    Star Frohman (Female cop)  
  Ganas kids: Jessica Seynos    
    Dominic Lucero    
    Sonia Fuentes    
    David Brian Abalos    
    Irma Barrios    
    Henry Torres    
    Beatrie Giraldo    
    Richard Moreno    
  [and] Phillip Elizalde    

Summary: At James A. Garfield High School in Los Angeles, California, Jaime Escalante arrives for his first day teaching computer science. However, a jaded administrator named Raquel Ortega informs him that the school never received funding for computers, and Jaime is re-assigned to teach math. His students are rowdy, and some only speak Spanish. Jaime struggles to gain control of the class. After school, he discovers his car has been broken into and the stereo stolen. Taking out the trash at home, Jaime runs into his neighbor, Joe, and surprises him with the news that he quit his high-paying, corporate job to become a teacher. One day in class, Jaime dresses up in a chef’s hat and cuts up apples to demonstrate percentages, disarming the students with his gruff demeanor and witty asides. Two gang members, Chuco and Angel, interrupt the lesson as they arrive late. Jaime asks Chuco to stay after class, but Angel returns with more gang members to intimidate him. Outside school, Jaime sees Chuco engaging in a brawl and stops Angel from joining. At the next class, Jaime forces Angel to answer a simple math question, and Angel begins to participate along with the other students. At an administrative meeting, Principal Joe Goodell announces that Garfield is at risk of being put on probation for poor academics. Jaime clashes with Raquel Ortega when he argues that students will rise to the level of expectation presented by their teachers. Back in class, Jaime passes out a quiz, and Angel leaves with Chuco. Later, Angel admits he wants to study, but he cannot be seen by his fellow gang members carrying books. In turn, Jaime gives Angel three math books so that he can keep them at home and school. When a hard-working, soft-spoken student named Ana Delgado reveals that she must quit school to work at her father’s restaurant, Jaime takes his wife, Fabiola, there for dinner. After the meal, Jaime confronts Mr. Delgado, who is proud of his business and wants his family members to work there. However, Delgado eventually changes his mind, and Ana is allowed to return to school. The class takes a field trip to the computer company where Jaime’s neighbor Joe works, and Jaime is surprised to learn that Joe’s teenaged daughter studies calculus. At the next administrative meeting, Jaime announces that he wants to teach calculus so his students can take the Advanced Placement examination and earn college credit. Although Goodell is in favor of the idea, Ortega feels strongly that the students will fail and lose confidence in themselves. With Goodell’s support, Jaime teaches math over summer break so his students will be ready for calculus in the fall. Although he must teach in the school locker room with no air conditioning, the students suffer through the heat. At the start of the next school year, Jaime passes out waivers for his students’ parents to sign, allowing them to come to school one hour early on weekdays and attend on weekends. The students have a hard time conforming to the demanding schedule, and one day, Angel shows up late after taking his ailing grandmother to a doctor. Jaime, who is also exhausted, refuses to listen to Angel’s excuse and orders him to leave. At home, Fabiola complains about all the extra work Jaime has taken on, informing their two sons that their father has agreed to teach night classes for no pay. Angel shows up at the front door with his grandmother, hoping that Jaime will forgive him, and Jaime ushers the older woman in while accusing Angel of being manipulative. At one of his night classes, Jaime teaches English to Spanish-speaking adults but walks out of class when he begins to feel ill. Outside, he topples over from a heart attack. While Jaime convalesces, his students have a substitute teacher, Mr. Schloss, who knows nothing about calculus. Although the doctor orders Jaime to avoid job-related activity for a month, he returns to Garfield early, helping the class prepare for the Advanced Placement examination. After taking the test, the students celebrate by going to the beach. Sometime later, test results reveal that all eighteen students passed the exam, meaning Garfield had more students pass than any other high school. Joe Goodell congratulates the class by making a special announcement, and the students present Jaime with a plaque. Soon afterward, Jaime learns his students are being investigated for cheating. Dr. Ramirez and Dr. Pearson of the Educational Testing Service question the class, but no one admits to breaking any rules. Jaime finds a fake letter of resignation someone slipped inside his schoolbooks and discovers his car has been stolen from the school parking lot. After walking home, he laments to Fabiola that the students have lost confidence. Angel appears outside, and Jaime is heartened to see that Angel stole his car only to fix it up. Jaime confronts Pearson and Martinez, who suggest that his students re-take the test. Jaime contends that the students were targeted because of race and socioeconomic status, but Pearson claims there were uncannily similar mistakes made on multiple tests. Even though Jaime does not want to comply, he encourages the students to re-test and helps them study with only one day’s notice before the exam. When the new tests are scored, Jaime and the students are redeemed by another set of excellent scores, with all eighteen students passing a second time.  

Production Company: Eastside Productions  
Production Text: An American Playhouse® Theatrical Film
A Menendez/Musca & Olmos Production
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures (A Warner Communications company)
Director: Ramon Menendez (Dir)
  Iya Labunka (Prod mgr)
  Elliott Rosenblatt (1st asst dir)
  John Scherer (2d asst dir)
  Michael Bodnarczuk (Addl 2d asst dir)
  Julie Cypher (Addl 2d asst dir)
Producer: Tom Musca (Prod)
  Lindsay Law (Exec prod)
  Iya Labunka (Assoc prod)
Writer: Ramon Menendez (Wrt)
  Tom Musca (Wrt)
Photography: Tom Richmond (Dir of photog)
  Cris Lombardi (1st asst cam)
  Rob Sweeney (2d asst cam)
  Marc Reshovsky (Addl cam op)
  Shaun Madigan (Gaffer)
  Cesar Ramirez (Best boy elec)
  Amy Halpern (Elec)
  Michael Thorpe (Elec)
  Russ St. John (Key grip)
  John St. John (Best boy grip)
  Jeff Tinnell (Grip)
  Tony Friedkin (Still photog)
  Mitzi Trumbo (Still photog)
  Foto-Kem (Laboratory)
Art Direction: Milo (Art dir)
  A. Jay Vetter (Asst art dir)
Film Editor: Nancy Richardson (Ed)
  Christi Moore (Asst ed)
  Paul Wagner (Asst ed)
  Elizabeth Castro (Apprentice)
  Barbara Riley (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Lisa De Alva (Prop master)
  Alex Bodnarczuk (Prop asst)
  Fred Haft (Set dressing supv)
  Sean Carrillo (Set dresser)
  Patti Peck (Set dresser)
  Jonathan Flores (Set dresser)
  Joseph Barbosa (Const crew)
  Julian Arellano (Const crew)
  John Galvan (Const crew)
  Richard Rodriguez (Const crew)
  Jose Ramirez (Const crew)
  Enrique Guillen (Const crew)
Costumes: Kathryn Morrison (Cost des)
  Zeca Seabra (Costumer)
  Yvonne M. Cervantes (Costumer)
Music: Craig Safan (Mus)
  Ken Johnson (Mus ed)
  Steve Livingston (Mus ed)
  Gregg Karukas (Mus eng)
Sound: Steve Halbert (Sd mixer)
  Barry Bookin (Boom op)
  Hamilton Sterling (Supv sd ed)
  Peter Foster (ADR ed)
  Stuart Copley (Dial ed)
  Frank Smathers (Dial ed)
  Duncan Burns (Sd eff ed)
  Jane Lang (Foley ed)
  Michael Dressel (Asst sd ed)
  Janelle Showalter (Apprentice)
  Wayne Heitmann (Re-rec mixer)
  Matthew Iadarola (Re-rec mixer)
  JDH Sound (Post-prod facilities)
Special Effects: Cinema Research Corp. (Titles and opt eff)
Make Up: Dee Mansano (Make-up/Hair supv)
  Vered Hochman (Make-up/Hair stylist)
  Ziggy (Mr. Olmos' hair des)
Production Misc: Jaki Brown (Casting)
  Toni Livingston (Casting)
  Vicki Rocco (Prod coord/Accountant)
  Margi Newquist (Asst coord)
  Larry Litton (Loc mgr)
  Ramon Ponce (Loc mgr)
  Steven Fertig (Casting assoc)
  Tamra Naggar (Casting assoc)
  Ima Aparicio Watkins (Extra casting)
  Humberto Almeida (Assistant)
  Sydney Gilner (Scr supv)
  Robert Hoffman (Unit pub)
  Daniel Villarreal (Prod asst)
  Phillip Elizalde (Prod asst)
  Ken Fox (Prod asst)
  John Acevedo (Craft services)
  Nancy Richardson (Post-prod supv)
  James Reeves (Transportation coord)
  Ron Whann (Honeywagon driver)
  Chris Reiter (Driver)
  Geno Hart (Driver)
  Jon Reeves (Driver)
  Kate Long (Project consultant)
  Dern, Mason & Floum (Legal)
  Mario Gonzalez (Catering)
  Sergio Hernandez (Chef)
Stand In: Perry Huseman (Stunt coord)
MPAA Rating: PG
Country: United States
Language: English

Music: "I Want You," composed by Keith Clark, performed by Zander Schloss & Keith Clark; "Pocho Jarocho," composed and performed by Marcos Loya; "Cada Quien Por Su Camino," composed by Raquel Perez, performed by Raquel Perez & Mariachi Califas; "Contrabando Del Paso," performed by Marcos Loya & Jacinto Guevara.
Songs: "Stand And Deliver," written by Richard Page, Steve George and John Lang, performed by Mr. Mister, courtesy of RCA Records; "El Lay," lyrics by W. Herrón & Gronk, performed by Los Illegals, courtesy of A&M Records; "Secret Society," lyrics by Willie Herrón, music by W. Herrón & M. Valdez, performed by Los Illegals, courtesy of A&M Records; "Vamonos Pál Norte," lyrics & music by Marcos Loya, performed by Marcos Loya, Raquel Perez & Jacinto Guevara; "Wake Up John," lyrics & music by W. Herrón, performed by Los Illegals, courtesy of A&M Records; "Psycho Cha-Cha," lyrics & music by W. Herrón, performed by Los Illegals.
Composer: Keith Clark
  Jacinto Guevara
  Willie Herrón
  Marcos Loya
  Raquel Perez
  Manuel Valdez
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Warner Brothers, Inc. 22/3/1988 dd/mm/yyyy PA364602

PCA NO: 28919
Physical Properties: Sd:
  Prints: Prints by Technicolor®

Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Educational/cultural
Subjects (Major): East Los Angeles (CA)
  Examinations, Academic
  High school students
  Latin Americans
Subjects (Minor): Beaches
  Class distinction
  False accusations
  Heart disease
  Juvenile delinquents

Note: In the opening scene of the film, in which “Jaime Escalante” reports for his first day of work as a teacher at Garfield High School, a title card reads: “Based on a true story.” In the closing scene, the following written statements are superimposed over an image of Escalante walking down the school’s hallway: “In 1982 Garfield H.S. had 18 students pass the A.P. Calculus Exam”; “In 1983 Garfield H.S. had 31 students pass the A.P. Calculus Exam”; “In 1984 Garfield H.S. had 63 students pass the A.P. Calculus Exam”; “In 1985 Garfield H.S. had 77 students pass the A.P. Calculus Exam”; “In 1986 Garfield H.S. had 78 students pass the A.P. Calculus Exam”; “In 1987 Garfield H.S. had 87 students pass the A.P. Calculus Exam.”
       End credits include the following statements: “This film was made possible by grants from Arco, The National Science Foundation, The Ford Foundation and produced in association with American Playhouse® and KCET, Los Angeles, with funds from Public Television Stations, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies”; “This film would not have been possible without the cooperation of the following: Garfield High School, East Los Angeles; The Los Angeles Unified School District; The East Los Angeles Gang Violence Reduction Center; The Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey”; “Special Thanks: The Escalante Family; Larry Bershon; Phylis Geller; Henry Gradillas; Henry Ramos; Elizabeth Martin; Caren A. Grown; Al Galvadon; Ben Saiz; The LaVoy Johnson Family; Steve Ostro; KMEX; KALI; the Garfield A.P. Class of 1982 and the people of East Los Angeles”; “Promotional consideration supplied by Pepsi-Cola Company”; and, “Dedicated to the memory of: Chantica Camejo, 1971-1987; Martin Olvera, 1964-1987.”
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, writer Tom Musca spent time observing Jaime Escalante teaching at Garfield High School in preparation for writing the script.
       The film was originally titled Walking on Water, as noted in several contemporary sources, including the 12 Feb 1988 HR review, and screened under that title at the Mill Valley Film Festival in Oct 1987. According to a 17 Mar 1988 HR “Hollywood Report” column, Warner Bros. changed the title to Stand and Deliver after acquiring distribution rights, also adding the song “Stand and Deliver” by Mr. Mister to end credits.
       Writer-director Ramon Menendez first became interested in Jaime Escalante’s story after reading an LAT article about the controversial re-testing of Escalante’s calculus students. Menendez gave the article to his writing partner and fellow graduate of UCLA Film School, Tom Musca. After convincing Escalante to option the rights to his story for one dollar, Menendez and Musca took the project to independent producers and television networks for financing. After several rejections, they received development money from American Playhouse at PBS, which provided $500,000 in partial funding in exchange for PBS licensing rights, as noted in a 27 Nov 1987 LA Weekly article. Other financiers included the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Arco, the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Atlantic Richfield, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
       As stated in production notes, actor Edward James Olmos first met Escalante at a NAACP awards ceremony where Olmos was honored for humanitarian work in the arts and Escalante was honored for education. Years later, Olmos’s lawyer sent him a newspaper clipping about Escalante, suggesting that the story would make a good film. Before Olmos had time to consider developing the project himself, Menendez and Musca reached out to him to star. Olmos, who was living in Miami, FL, and working as a series regular on Miami Vice (NBC, 16 Sep 1984--26 Jul 1989) at the time, prepared for the role by studying videotapes of Escalante in the classroom and speaking to him over the phone regularly. According to a 14 Mar 1988 Newsweek article, the actor gained forty pounds, had his hair cosmetically thinned and, six weeks before principal photography began, he came to Los Angeles to shadow Escalante for eighteen hours a day and live in his home, as stated in a 9 Mar 1988 LAHExam article. Olmos also requested that Escalante be present on set at all times, as he planned to mirror his subject as exactly as possible. In reference to the script, Escalante claimed the film was ninety-percent accurate, as noted in the 24 Mar 1988 Christian Science Monitor, with only small details changed and some characters composited.
       For the role of “Angel,” Olmos suggested actor Lou Diamond Phillips after working with him on Miami Vice. Menendez and Musca watched an advance copy of La Bamba (1987), in which Phillips played Latino singer Ritchie Valens, before casting him. In preparation for his role, Phillips was aided by production assistant Daniel Villareal, an East Los Angeles native who showed him around the inner city and relayed stories from his high school days. When Menendez took notice of Villareal on set, the P.A. was cast as Angel’s gang-leader friend, “Chuco.”
       Principal photography began 1 Apr 1987, as noted in 28 Apr 1987 HR production charts. The six-week non-union shoot took place primarily in East Los Angeles, where Garfield High School stood in for itself. The production budget was $1.35 million, according to a 19 Jun 1988 LAT news brief.
       After screening at the Mill Valley Film Festival, the film garnered attention from several major studios, including Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures, Paramount, Fox, and Disney. According to the 27 Nov 1987 LA Weekly, filmmakers made an agreement with Warner Bros. based on the studio’s genuine interest in the project and such previous “long-shot successes,” such as 1981’s Chariots of Fire and 1984’s The Killing Fields. Although the 19 Jun 1988 LAT stated that Warner Bros. acquired worldwide distribution rights for $3.5 million, other contemporary sources, including the 17 Feb 1988 Var review, cited the figure as $5 million. As of mid-Jun 1988, LAT reported that promotional costs had amounted to $6.5 million
       A benefit premiere was held 26 Feb 1988 at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA, with proceeds going toward the Jaime Escalante Calculus Program and Garfield High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, according to a 25 Feb 1988 DV news item. When the film opened 11 Mar 1988 in Los Angeles on only thirty screens, it grossed $411,884, taking in an impressive per screen average of $13,729, as stated in the 17 Mar 1988 HR. One week later, Stand and Deliver was released on twenty-nine screens in New York City, and on 1 Apr 1988, the release expanded to 362 screens in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA; Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma. According to HR, a wider release would take place 15 Apr 1988, on 750 screens across the U.S.
       Critical reception was largely positive. Calling it a “gutty little underdog film,” HR singled out the performances by Olmos, Phillips, and Will Gotay, who played “Pancho.” Olmos was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, and Lou Diamond Phillips was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. As announced in the 27 Mar 1989 LAT, the film won six out of ten Independent Spirit Awards, including: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Male Lead (Olmos), Best Supporting Male (Phillips), and Best Supporting Female (Rosana De Soto).
       Due to the popularity of Stand and Deliver, Garfield High School officials claimed Escalante’s class suffered a “worrisome drop” in test scores in 1988, as Escalante was overextended with promoting the film and classroom visits from high-profile figures including then Vice President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, according to a 22 Feb 1990 LAT article. Over time, Escalante butted heads with the school over his increasingly “oversubscribed” calculus classes and jealousy from other teachers, as noted in the teacher’s 1 Apr 2010 NYT obituary, and eventually left in 1991, taking another high school teaching position in Sacramento, CA.
       A 28 Mar 1989 HR news brief reported that on 15 Mar 1989, the film aired on Los Angeles public television station KCET during a pledge drive and became the station’s “highest-rated pledge special and…second highest-rated program in station history,” to that time. The broadcast helped raise $162,562 for KCET and earned a 10.3 Nielsen rating.
       Citing “breach of contract and conspiracy regarding his contract,” actor James Victor, who played “Ana’s father,” sued the film’s producers for $3 million and sought an injunction against theatrical release, as noted in a 9 Mar 1988 HR news brief. Although Victor claimed the producers owed him “front-end credits,” a Superior Court judge refused to hear his case and denied the injunction request.  

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Christian Science Monitor   24 Mar 1988.   
Daily Variety   16 Feb 1988   p. 3, 10.
Daily Variety   25 Feb 1988.   
Hollywood Reporter   28 Apr 1987.   
Hollywood Reporter   12 Feb 1988   p. 3, 9.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Mar 1988.   
Hollywood Reporter   17 Mar 1988.   
Hollywood Reporter   28 Mar 1989.   
KCET Magazine   Mar 1989   p. 18, 20-21.
LAHExam   9 Mar 1988.   
Los Angeles Times   10 Mar 1988   p. 1.
Los Angeles Times   19 Jun 1988.   
Los Angeles Times   27 Mar 1989.   
Los Angeles Times   22 Feb 1990   Section A, p. 1, 22.
LA Weekly   27 Nov 1987.   
New York Times   18 Mar 1988   p. 14.
New York Times   1 Apr 2010   Section A, p. 19.
Newsweek   14 Mar 1988   p. 62.
Variety   17 Apr 1988   p. 22.

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