School of Rock Poster

The School of Rock poster

The School of Rock is a 2003 American comedy film staring Jack Black as the lead character who turns a bunch of prep school students into a cool new rock band.

Plot/storyline Edit

Dewey Finn (Jack Black), a hard rock singer and guitarist, is unanimously voted out of his band No Vacancy by the rest of the members for his arrogance and frequent hyperactive stage antics. His submissive roommate and lifelong friend Ned Schneebly (writer Mike White), a substitute teacher, threatens Dewey with eviction under heavy pressure from his girlfriend Patty Di Marco (Sarah Silverman) unless Dewey "gets a real job" and pays off his growing rent debt. Dewey feels forced to give up his passion until he receives a phone call intended for Ned from Rosaline Mullins (Joan Cusack), principal of Horace Green, a prestigious prep school, asking Ned to fill in for a teacher who would be out for several weeks. Desperate for income to avoid getting evicted, Dewey impersonates Ned and takes the job as a substitute teacher for the fifth-grade class.

Dewey has no real idea how to carry out his role as a teacher, and instead simply gives his students constant free time. However, when he overhears his pupils playing in music class he realizes that some of the children in the class have musical talent. He decides to turn his temporary job into what he tells them is a special class project, but is actually a personal one: to turn a classroom full of kids into a rock band and crew, complete with a ten-year-old manager, a girl called Summer (Miranda Cosgrove), which will serve as a vehicle to stardom, ultimately to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands, where he is out to avenge his eviction from his old band and win the $20,000 prize.

After realizing that most of the kids are interested primarily in pop and contemporary music, Dewey turns the school days into lessons of rock history and music playing, exposing his students to those artists he regards as rock legends. Six rock stars are featured with classic footage in the movie: Jimi Hendrix, Iggy Pop, Pete Townshend, Angus Young, Keith Moon and Kurt Cobain, and bands such as the Ramones and Alice in Chains. In addition, during a montage, the drummer, Freddy, is seen watching footage of the famous drum battle between Buddy Rich and Ed Shaughnessy.

Meanwhile, the class audition for the Battle of the Bands, which Dewey told them was their "school project". They are turned back because they show up too late after Dewey has a talk with Tomika who lies that she feels sick and Freddy who unknowingly leaves with another band to their van without Dewey's permission which causes Dewey tell the band off and is upset with Freddy that he had him worried sick. While in the theater despite for showing up too late, after being told that Dewey is not what the crew is looking for, Dewey angrily berates the manager and tells him off that the kids have worked together to play a song for them and acts mean, but gets in trouble when the manager orders Sheila to call security. With Summer's help, Dewey persuades the Battle's managers by lying that the students are all terminally ill with "stick-it-to-da-man-niosis", a fictional rare blood disease, and out of compassion, they allow the students to perform in the Battle of the Bands.

Back at Horace Green, Dewey narrowly escapes detection when Ms Mullins decides to attend one of his class's lessons to check on their progress, forcing him to actually teach the official course material. Dewey attempts to revive any old love for rock he finds in her, having found out that she likes Stevie Nicks and playing her song "Edge of Seventeen" on a jukebox. The two develop a close friendship after this.

However, later that day, Dewey is exposed when Ned receives a pay check from Horace Green in the mail, knowing he has never worked there. During the parent-teacher night later on, Dewey meets the students' parents, who originally seem very suspicious of his ability to teach their children. Dewey succeeds in convincing them that he is a competent teacher, but Ned appears and confronts Dewey (due almost entirely to his girlfriend's persuasion). His real identity is revealed, and he is fired from the school (with also the parents mistaking him to be a pervert). Considering himself a failure, he falls into depression, only recovering when the students, on their way to the contest via school bus, plead with him to join them for the Battle of the Bands to which he does.

The movie culminates in the musical playoff, where, instead of playing Dewey's "Legend of the Rent" they play "School of Rock", a song written by young band member Zack Mooneyham, the lead guitarist. The class loses the contest to Dewey's old band, No Vacancy. But the students can accept their defeat because Dewey's "School of Rock" has increased their self-esteem, and given them an understanding that rock transcends traditional notions of success and failure, pointing out that the Sex Pistols have never won any major awards. The crowd becomes angered by No Vacancy's victory and call for the School of Rock to come back on stage. The band comes back on stage again and plays "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" by AC/DC, with some of the lyrics altered.

As the credits go up, Summer is seen arguing a deal of a potential gigs and record offers over the cell phone as she enters the School of Rock, a newly opened after-school program where Dewey continues to coach the band and Ned teaches the younger ones, and the credits roll as the band sings "The movie is over, but we're still on screen", breaking the fourth wall.

Characters Edit


Soundtrack Edit

The School of Rock soundtrack

Sequel Edit

In 2008, Jack Black said that a sequel was being considered. It was later reported that director Richard Linklater and producer Scott Rudin would return. Mike White was returning as screenwriter, titled 'School of Rock 2: America Rocks', which picks up with Finn leading a group of summer school students on a cross-country field trip that delves into the history of rock 'n' roll. In 2012, Black stated that he believed the sequel was unlikely. "I tried really hard to get all the pieces together," he said. "I wouldn't want to do it without the original writer and director, and we never all got together and saw eye-to-eye on what the script would be. It was not meant to be, unfortunately," but added, "never say never"

Musical Edit

School of Rock the Musical

Related links Edit