Friday, 29 August 2014

Back to School Blogathon!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, unless you're in medical school.

Wendell Ottley of Dell on Movies is hosting the Back To School Blogathon with a fun premise. The idea is to create our own made-up class consisting of characters from at least three different movies. The rules are straight forward enough, you have to fill in at least one of several different archetypes for students and faculty using characters from movies that in some way feature schools. For more details you can consult his original post.

This one was both a lot of fun and really challenging. It was hard to find characters that fit all the required bases, and in fact I may have done some slight gender swapping with regards to some of the categories. I tried to add as much diversity as I could, but that wasn't easy, although I did manage to avoid picking more than one from the same movie (barring the cases where I had a pair of characters fill in a specific role).

Welcome, new students, to an exciting new year at Hitchcock School of Madness and Insanity. It is time to meet the faculty and students of this prestigious institution where absolutely nothing bizarre is likely to happen and you should have a perfectly pleasant year.


Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff (Horse Feathers, 1932)- Headmaster

Come on, who wouldn't want Groucho Marx running their school? It would certainly make those long boring lectures a lot more enjoyable. When you're listening to that dull lecture about cirrhosis, he might just arrive to liven things up by bringing in a couple of "dunces" and booting the professor out the door just so that he can take over. It's hard to predict exactly what will happen when Wagstaff arrives for work, but one thing's for sure: your school will never lose the football game. He also won't make things any worse, since he responds to faculty suggestions by singing a song about how he objects to whatever they have to say.

Miss Riley (October Sky, 1999)- Teacher

Unlike many of the others on this list, Miss Riley was a teacher who really existed, but she is also a perfect model of the kind of person you'd want seeing your kids. She is smart, cheerful, and friendly. She makes friends with her students and supports them every step of the way to achieving their dreams. If there's anyone who can handle this class it's her.


Allison Reynolds (The Breakfast Club, 1985)- Invisible Girl

This was arguably my favorite character in The Breakfast Club and out of the five people present the one I found I could most relate to. It probably has to do with the fact that I've been through a lot of what she is implied to have endured. I don't have neglectful parents as she brings up in the film, but I do know what is like to be the person that nobody likes. That one member of the class that is kept in the back, afraid to say anything because it might just give the other kids yet another thing to add to their already very long list of things they can and will say to hurt you.

Bill S. Preston and Ted Theodore Logan- (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, 1989)- Class Clowns

Well, they would certainly make the history classes a lot more exciting with their snarky comments on how people lived in different time periods. That, and the fact that they've met as many historical figures as they have would make them valuable study buddies when you're preparing for that final exam.

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter films, 2001-2011) - Star Student

If Bill and Ted are the best study buddies for history, Hermione would be the ideal partner for everything else. She's friendly, she's helpful, she reads ahead to the point where she is always at least three or four steps in front of everybody else in the class. That, and if you can get on her good side she'll never quit on you. A great student and a perfect friend in every way.

Jim Stark (Rebel Without a Cause, 1955)- Troubled Youth

If this guy can't be considered troubled I don't know who can. Poor Jim Stark has gone through a lot. Between his difficult relationships to his family, his drinking habits, falling in with the wrong crowd and getting pressured into races where he is forced to prove he is not chicken by driving a car over a cliff, he has a lot of problems to deal with. This is guy is an emotional wreck who could probably benefit from having a few good friends and some support from his teachers.

The Mantle Brothers (Dead Ringers, 1988)- Nerds

Before you say anything, Dead Ringers had a few scenes with them in medical school so it counts. Beverly and Elliot Mantle are possibly the strangest nerds you could come across, but they are very passionate about their medical studies, perhaps to a dangerous extreme, and things might get weird thanks to the fact that nobody can figure out how to tell them apart. Just a word of advice: as brilliant as they are in science, I would strongly recommend that you avoid going on dates with either of them. It won't end well.

Chris Hargensen (Carrie, 1976)- Class Bully

This is a girl you really don't want to get on the bad side of. In fact, there's really no way to escape from her wrath outside of murder. She may also be one of the meanest and most messed-up bullies you could find (she dumped a bucket of pig's blood over an innocent girl as "revenge" because she got punished for harassing that same girl). No remorse, no decency, and punishment only seems to make things worse. She is just a heartless young woman who will do anything to get her way.

Danny Zuko (Grease, 1978)- Popular Guy

Okay, this is a slight warping of one of the pre-ordained categories but hey, this guy is popular. He may have a girl of his own but you can't tell me that the girls in the class wouldn't dream of going out with him (well... except maybe Allison, she's smart enough to know he won't be worth it). Even Chris would have a hard time resisting his allure and his charm (not to mention the same actor played her boyfriend). He would hardly be a great student, probably spending a lot of his time sneaking in a cigarette break and skipping classes, but he would be the life of the party when he does show up.


  1. That's a great class. Love how your choices come from a lot of different eras. The only reason I specified gender for two of the characters was to ensure we didn't have a bunch of all male classes. You gave us a lady star student and a lady bully (particularly love the latter) so I won't deduct points for he Danny Zuko pick. After all, he really would be the life of the party.

    1. It was tricky to pull off. As a general rule I tried to avoid bringing out more than one character from the same movie (with the exception of pairs of characters, in the cases of Bill and Ted and the Mantle brothers).

      It didn't even occur to me that people would have expected the bully to be a guy (maybe it's just from experience, I have known some really horrible girl bullies in school, they may have been outnumbered by the guys but at least one of them might have been worse than every boy who hated me at the time combined). I did want to find a female jock, but ultimately I had a lot of trouble finding any jocks of any kind suitable to put on, so the bully had to do.

      I was going to do the popular girl but I couldn't find a suitable choice and it was the only place Danny seemed to really fit, so I eventually decided to take a chance doing the gender swapping and I'm glad you like it. I did manage to get the two girls you mentioned plus a third (and a fourth if you include the teacher) so I did at least manage to balance it out.

      I'm looking forward to seeing what other people come up with. Right now I'm busy trying to imagine how a day in this classroom might play out. Maybe when all the submissions are in we could do some sort of fanfiction piece that shows how all these different people interact.

  2. Great choices! I love the gender swaps too, I actually didn't think about including a female bully. It's going to be great fun seeing everyone else's posts coming in too :)
    - Allie

    1. Really? It took a while before I came to that conclusion but largely because I had trouble finding any number of bullies male or female. I actually did hope I might find a female jock somewhere, but I wasn't really able to find any movie jocks of either gender that satisfied me, so the bully had to do.

      I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's posts. I seem to have gotten in early because I haven't seen anyone else doing theirs yet, but I'm sure it will be fun to see where this goes.

  3. What a unique take-This is excellent and as one who was severely bullied in school-girls can be exceptionally cruel and nasty so I looked at this as quite normal

    1. I can speak from experience. There was once a time when I was in a position very much like Allison Reynolds, where it seemed almost everybody hated me and found some thing or another to tease me over. Some were worse than others (the actions they performed ranged from making fun of anything they knew I liked to make me angry to actively trying to hurt me to a few admittedly rare cases of physical harm). In those days the few people I considered friends were the ones that didn't make fun of me at all, regardless of how much time I actually spent with them.

      Nearly every guy in my grade hated me in those days (with maybe one or two exceptions here and there) and the guys who bullied me greatly outnumbered the girls (probably why I relate so much better to female classmates now), and yet one of the few female bullies I had was one of the worst.

  4. :) yes...John Travolta was in Carrie wasn't he. I think yours is the first post for this blogathon to come up...looking forward to reading everyone's.
    Wandering through the Shelves

    1. As far as I can tel I'm the only one who's posted so far, but I'm excited to see some of the others when they come.

  5. Very nice choices. Especially for Bill and Ted. Really detailed answers. Cool start to the series :)