Scene from 'Teaching Mrs. Tingle’
Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Teaching Mrs. Tingle

Reviewed by: Steve Bender

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Comedic Horror
1 hr. 35 min.

Starring: Molly Ringwald, Katie Holmes, Helen Mirren, Marisa Lesley, Barry Watson | Director: Kevin Williamson | Producers: Richard N. Gladstein, Cathy Konrad | Screenwriters: Kevin Williamson | Released By: Miramax

This film appeared somewhat innocent based on the cover description, so we permitted our 14 year old to select it as a rental. It was one of the most morally repulsive films I have ever watched. The lead character, Leigh Ann (Katie Holmes) begins as someone who has earned her class standing through four years of hard work, and now, with only a week before graduation, sees her hopes for college slipping away because of a vindictive Mrs. Tingle (Helen Mirren).

Teaching Mrs. Tingle

When her friends Jo Lyn and Luke (Marisa Lesley and Barry Watson) steal the history final to help her finish at the top of her class, she initially rejects this wrong approach. As she leaves them, Mrs. Tingle appears and threatens her with expulsion. The three students go to her house to persuade her Leigh Ann had nothing to do with it, but things quickly go from bad to worse as the students swear at her (f-you), hit her, and ultimately fire a crossbow at her.

Realizing that they are now in much more trouble than they can handle, they kidnap Mrs. Tingle, tying her to her own bed. To persuade her to not tell, they plan to take incriminating photos of her and Luke, but instead use the school coach, who shows up for a “kinky encounter.”

While spending the night at the house, Leigh Ann rips open her shirt, then Luke’s, then undresses herself to present him with her virginity in front of a fire.

In the end, the teacher escapes, and while fighting for her life almost kills another student who comes to the house to complain about her final grade (one that was changed by the criminal trio) to aid Leigh Ann in getting her scholarship.

At that moment, the principal arrives. Mrs. Tingle, too upset from having nearly shot a student, can’t defend herself against the students' side of the story and is fired by the principal.

This movie presents the premise that the end justifies the means no matter what, that we should take what we want when we want it because we want it, that a total lack of respect for elders and for authority is not only desirable, but profitable.

Bottom line: “Teaching Mrs. Tingle” is fit neither for adult nor child.

Year of Release—1999

Viewer Comments
Negative—I was extremely dissappointed with this movie. I took my 10 and 8 year old daughters plus we went with another Mom and her daughter and son. I was angry that the teacher was depicted as an ugly woman who got her way in life by using peoples misfortunes against them to her benefit. If that wasn’t bad enought there was violence (that 3 high school students trying to meet graduation quota's) become involved with during a meeting at this teachers home, plus the fact that their was a sexual encounter more explicit than I thought my children should see. I didn’t enjoy the film with my children or with my neighbor, and was slightly embarrased with her teenage son sitting beside me. I believe that this movie is not a PG movie for young children.
—Tammy Miller, age 36
…takes delight in having a cast of teens torture her [a teacher]… extremely irresponsible and mean spirited… shameless themes of amoral teen empowerment… send dangerous messages.
—Plugged In, Focus on the Family