The Marva Collins Story

The Marva Collins Story

Samuel Muhammad Jr.
Director: Peter Levin Cast: Samuel Muhammad Jr.
Samuel Muhammad Jr.
, Cicely Tyson
Cicely Tyson
, Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
Peter Levin


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When the story of the real-life Marva Collins was nationally telecast on 60 Minutes in 1979, residents of Chicago had been intimately familiar with the accomplishments of Ms. Collins for at least four years. After 14 years of teaching in Chicago's dead-end public school system, Marva used $5000 of her retirement money to open her own school. In 1975 she established Westside Preparatory School--in her own West Side home, with a student body of six. There was no nonsense and no frills in Collins' school; she utilized pragmatism and common sense in her efforts to teach the six "incorrigibles" she'd inherited from Chicago's antediluvian school system. The Marva Collins Story traces Westside Prep's first year, during which, despite opposition from the teaching establishment and from her students' own parents, Ms. Collins managed not only to teach her kids to read, write and reason, but also to gain an appreciation for such literary giants as Chaucer and Shakespeare. To bolster her students' self-confidence, Marva had them stand up and give oral presentations of what they'd learned. While her technique was considered controversial (especially among those bleeding hearts who felt that students should never be forced to think), Marva Collins's school survived its first year; by the time this 1981 TV-movie was made, she was teaching 200 ghetto students in a sophisticated building complex. Narrated by Edward Asner and starring Cicely Tyson in the title role, the all-but-flawless Marva Collins Story was originally telecast as a Hallmark Hall of Fame special.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/11/2018
UPC: 0888574038311
Original Release: 1981
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Time: 1:42:00
Sales rank: 38,372

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Samuel Muhammad Actor
Cicely Tyson Marva Collins
Morgan Freeman Clarence Collins
Mashaune Hardy Cindy Collins
Roderick Wimberly Martin Luther Jones
Ed Asner Narrator
Marsha Warfield Lela Boland
Brett Bouldin Patrick Collins
Frankie Hill Ida Banbower
Dianne Kirksey Cynthia Rawls
Jimmie F. Skaggs Chester Boland

Technical Credits
Peter Levin Director
Don Birnkrant Cinematographer
Clifford Campion Producer,Screenwriter
Marjorie Fowler Editor
Conrad Holzgang Producer
Fred Karlin Score Composer
Richard B. Lewis Art Director,Production Designer
Burton Miller Costumes/Costume Designer
Marian Rees Executive Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Marva Collins Story
255. Chapters
1. Chapter 1 [15:35]
2. Chapter 2 [12:52]
3. Chapter 3 [18:00]
4. Chapter 4 [15:48]
5. Chapter 5 [7:52]
6. Chapter 6 [10:47]
7. Chapter 7 [9:00]
8. Chapter 8 [10:50]
9. Chapter 9 [1:06]

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