Jack Black hits the top note in school films poll

11th September 2009 at 01:00
Rock hero Dewey Finn steals the show in popularity chart of big- screen teachers

Quite what the General Teaching Council or the Training and Development Agency for Schools would make of his classroom antics is not too hard to guess, but the British public doesn't seem to care.

Dewey Finn, Jack Black's failed rock-star turned music teacher in The School of Rock, has been voted the greatest classroom practitioner in cinematic history.

With little regard for time-tabling or curriculums, Mr Dewey inspires his class with a love of school while creating a global box office smash.

Film-hire company LoveFilm has polled 2,000 members and compiled what it considers the definitive list of teachers in films.

Coming second to Black's Finn is Robin Williams' John Keating in the 1980s film Dead Poets Society.

School leaders also score highly. Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), of Harry Potter fame, and the hapless Principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off make the list in sixth and seventh place, respectively.

Helen Cowley, editor of LoveFilm's website, said these teachers have an iconic place in both contemporary films and older cinema.

"(Teachers) are important figures," she said. "Cinema-goers identify with them because we've all been there, and we all understand the context.

"When we were drawing up the long-list we were really looking for someone with authority. And that is clearly why Jack Black and Robin Williams were picked. They're both teachers with authority, but teach in different and inspiring ways.

"Jack Black is really very inspiring and endearing. I'd certainly like him as my teacher."

While education officials might disapprove of his lack of qualifications and training, they would find it hard to track down a better advertisement for life at the chalkface.


1. Dewey Finn (Jack Black) The School of Rock (2003): 16%

2. John Keating (Robin Williams) Dead Poets Society (1989): 15%

3. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): 11%

4. Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier) To Sir, With Love (1967): 9%

5. Mr Chips (Robert Donat) Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939): 8%

6. Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986): 6%

7. Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) Harry Potter (2004-09): 5%

8. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) X-Men (2000): 3%

9. Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) Coach Carter (2005): 2%

10. LouAnne Johnson (Michelle Pfeiffer) Dangerous Minds (1995): 1%.

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