Cooley High has frequently been compared to American Graffiti, and for good reason. Like that classic, Cooley High has a loose, multicharacter structure, autobiographical origins, and the rich texture of its time. Set in Chicago in 19
Cooley High has frequently been compared to American Graffiti, and for good reason. Like that classic, Cooley High has a loose, multicharacter structure, autobiographical origins, and the rich texture of its time. Set in Chicago in 1964, the movie follows aspiring writer Preach (Glynn Turman) and local basketball star Cochise (Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, who went on to star in Welcome Back, Kotter) as they wander their neighborhood, drifting in and out of their classes at Cooley Vocational High School. The two friends pull pranks, crash parties, commit petty crimes, and generally try to enjoy their lives in an impoverished urban environment. Preach falls in love with a smart girl named Brenda (Cynthia Davis), whom he wins over by reciting poetry--leading to one of the silliest and sweetest love scenes you'll ever see. When Preach and Cochise go on a joy ride with a pair of young hoods, they end up arrested. Their history teacher, Mr. Mason (a superb Garrett Morris), gets them off, but the hoods think the boys sold them out and come seeking revenge. Cooley High depicts the rough life of African Americans in the 1960s with honesty and humor, offering no easy solutions or pat lessons. It's a roughly made movie, but Turman and Jacobs are both excellent, and there's an attention to reality that makes it engaging, refreshing, and ultimately moving. The soundtrack is a great compilation of 1960s soul, including the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, and Smokey Robinson. An unjustly neglected film that deserves rediscovery. --Bret Fetzer
A sad ending for a great film. This was not some cheap, run of the mill Black 70's movie. It was well acted with a solid plot with very good direction, a definite classic.Published on July 10 2004
People tend to have short memories. Cooley High, while an interesting film about the urban black experience seems to be dwarfed by newer black films. Read morePublished on June 29 2004 by David Krulewitch
Cooley High is a wonderful movie. It is funny and sad at the same time. I am happy that it is on DVD, because I have a VHS copy and I can forward to my favorite scenes. Read morePublished on June 29 2004 by C. BULLARD
I recall watching this movie at my 7th. grade English teacher's home when it debuted because she was one of the very few people who had cable TV at this time. Read morePublished on June 22 2004
This is mama's favorite movie. She used to watch it all the time on video, and I didn't have much time for it myself personally. Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2004 by "tarneshaw"
I absolutely love this movie. It's got to be one of the best coming-of-age films ever made. All the characters seem like they fell directly out of your childhood. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2004 by Drew Hunkins
While watching the movie, I saw the scene where they had a house party. Hardly anyone does house parties. Most of the parites are in clubs where you have to pay. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2004
Well for me, the climax of this film was when they skipped school and the one guy got monkey crap thrown on him and he smelled like monkey crap and i laughed at that part cause its... Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2003 by RICHARD A. SMITH
This story one of the first and the best of African-American coming of age films. A lot of universal stuff that everyone can relate to. Read morePublished on May 3 2003 by Andre M.