Up The Down Staircase

Synopsis: Sylvia Barrett 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 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?
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Robert Mulligan
  1 win & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
124 min

l'm sorry. What?

Would you please tell me

what room this is?

Yes. This is room 322. My name

is on the blackboard. Miss Barrett.

l will have you in homeroom all term,

and l hope to see some of you

in my English class.


-Now, someone once said

that first impressions are very important.

Miss Barrett, you want me to

get the stuff from your mailbox?

Yes, all right. That would be nice.

Thank you very much.

-Someone once said that first...

-Can l fetch a drink of water?

-Are you a regular or a substitute?

-ls this 322?

Yes. You're late.

l'm not late. l'm absent.

Class, please.

-You are?

-l was absent all last term.

-Well... Why don't you sit down?

-l can't sit down.

l'm dropping out.

You're supposed to sign

my book clearance from last term.

Hey, there's glass all over my desk

from this broken window.

l know. Just don't touch the broken glass,

and don't touch the broken window.

lt should be reported to the janitor.

Custodian! Custodian.

This is a very classy school.

-l'll go. Let me go.

-Does anybody know where the janitor is?

l'll go, Teach.

-l'm going.

-Let me go, man.

Class, please.

l'm afraid there won't be time

for the discussion that l had planned

on first impressions.

l am passing out...

-She's passing out!

-Give her air.

Fresh air.

l am passing out Delaney cards,

and l would like you to fill them out

as quickly as possible

while l take attendance.

-Sorry l'm late. l was in the Late Room.

-What is the Late Room?

The Late Room. Where they make you sit

to make up for your latenesses

when you're late.

Otherwise l would have been on time.

For parents' name, can l use my aunt?

Yes, if you...

Yes, of course you may.

-Amdur, Janet.


-You, young man, why are you late?

-l'm not even here.

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Tad Mosel

Tad Mosel (May 1, 1922 – August 24, 2008) was an American playwright and one of the leading dramatists of hour-long teleplay genre for live television during the 1950s. He received the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play All the Way Home. more…

All Tad Mosel scripts | Tad Mosel Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018


Translate and read this script in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss this Up The Down Staircase script with the community:


Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


"Up The Down Staircase" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 Mar. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/up_the_down_staircase_22635>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

Watch the movie trailer

Up The Down Staircase

The Marketplace:

Sell your Script !

Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!

The Studio:

ScreenWriting Tool

Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.