Lean on Me

Lean on Me (1989)

6 mistakes

Other mistake: When Joe Clark first comes to Eastside High as principal, he takes it upon himself to confront the staff. At one point, as he begins to turn his back, watch his lips. His mouth does not match the words being spoken.

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Continuity mistake: When Joe Clark is having his talk with Sams on the edge of the roof of the school, Sams is on the right and Clark is on the left (when viewed from the ground). When they're done talking, Sams turns to his left and walks away - turning to his left would have made him fall off the roof after just a few steps.

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Matty Blast

Factual error: In the scene where Joe Clark and the Vice Principal go to the project buildings to see the young girl's mother, they walk down a short ramp to an apartment. Those project buildings are in Paterson,N.J. (where the story takes place), but walking down that ramp takes you to the boiler room, not an apartment. None of those buildings have apartments like that.

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Audio problem: After throwing what looks like a toilet through the window, the two guys give each other a high-five. Their hands almost completely miss each other, yet we still hear a loud clap.

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Matty Blast

Factual error: Just after the opening credits, Thomas Sams is stuffed into a locker by two other boys, but a big kid like Sams would never fit into a real high school locker.

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Continuity mistake: When the superintendent and the lawyer come to tell Clark about the Mayor and Fire Chief's plan to catch him chaining the doors (about 1:15:00), Clark is wearing a white tie with red stripes. At first, when Clark is walking down the hall with them, his tie is about 1 1/2 inches above his belt buckle (just above the bottom button of his shirt). Then, when he walks into his outer office with the Hispanic students, his tie suddenly creeps down about 3/4 of an inch (it is now slightly BELOW the bottom button of his shirt, and less than an inch above his belt buckle). At 1:16:45, when he walks into his inner office to meet with his teachers and security guards, his tie stays in roughly the same place. Later that day, when he is confronted by the female vice-principal in the hallway (about 1:18:20), he is wearing the same tie, but it is now hanging just BELOW his belt buckle.Clark may have adjusted his tie between his meeting with the teachers and guards in his office, and encountering the vice-principal in the hall, but he could not have done so instantaneously when he walked into his outer office from the hallway.

xx:xx:xx

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Trivia

Although in real life Principal Joe Clark improved the discipline problems at Eastside High School, he did not, contrary to what the film has you believe, improve the academics in any meaningful way. Although test scores improved very slightly his first couple of years as principal (partly due to the fact that he expelled so many bad students) from 1986 to 1988, during his time as principal, Eastside High School had the lowest state exam passage rates in all of New Jersey. One of these years in particular, under Clark's tenure, Eastside High's passage rate was as low as 24.1%.

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