The Principal

Official Movie Poster
Official Movie Poster

The Movie

Released in 1987, “The Principal” is an action-packed, gritty film starring James Belushi as Rick Latimer, a high school teacher who becomes the principal of a crime-ridden school in Eastside, California. The film, directed by Christopher Cain, showcases Belushi’s talents as an actor and features a cast of memorable characters, making it a classic of 80s cinema.

The principal
Movie Still

The film opens with Latimer being forced to resign from his previous teaching job after he lost his temper and physically assaulted a student. He then accepts a job as the principal of Brandel High School, which is known for its rampant gang activity and drug use. Latimer soon realizes that the school is a warzone and sets out to take control, with the help of his assistant principal Jake Phillips, played by Louis Gossett Jr.

What follows is a fast-paced, action-packed film filled with intense fight scenes and thrilling chases. Belushi is exceptional in his role as Latimer, portraying a complex character who is both tough and vulnerable. As the film progresses, we see Latimer’s determination to clean up the school and protect its students, even if it means putting his own life on the line.

the principal
Movie Still

One of the standout elements of “The Principal” is its cast of supporting characters, each of whom brings their own unique personality to the film. Michael Wright plays the role of Victor Duncan, the leader of a violent gang who initially clashes with Latimer but ultimately becomes his ally. Rae Dawn Chong also shines as Hilary Orozco, a tough but caring teacher who becomes a love interest for Latimer.

The film’s soundtrack, featuring songs by artists such as Run-DMC and LL Cool J, perfectly captures the energy and attitude of the 80s. It’s impossible not to feel nostalgic while watching scenes of students breakdancing in the schoolyard or cruising around in their souped-up cars.

Overall, “The Principal” is a film that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the 80s. It’s a time capsule of a bygone era, showcasing the fashion, music, and cultural trends of the time. But it’s also a film with a timeless message about the importance of standing up for what’s right, even in the face of adversity.

the principal
Movie Still

The film’s themes of gang violence and drug use are still relevant today, and its portrayal of a struggling school system is one that many can still relate to. It’s a film that inspires hope and perseverance, showing that even the toughest situations can be overcome with determination and a willingness to fight for what’s right. The film grossed $19 million at the box office on a budget of $11 million.

The Cast

  • Jim Belushi as Principal Rick Latimer
  • Louis Gossett Jr. as Jake Phillips, Head Guard
  • Rae Dawn Chong as Hilary Orozco, History Teacher
  • Michael Wright as Victor Duncan, Gang Leader, and Drug Dealer
  • Reggie Johnson as Joe “Jo-Jo”
  • Jeffrey Jay Cohen as Zac “White Zac” Mawby
  • Kelly Minter as Treena Lester
  • Esai Morales as Raymundo “Raymi” Rojas
  • Troy Winbush as Emile “Baby Emile”
  • Jacob Vargas as Arturo Diego


“The Principal” is a film that will take you back to a simpler time, a time when movies were made with heart and a sense of purpose. It’s a film that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer, and one that you won’t soon forget. So if you’re looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane, or simply a great action film, “The Principal” is a must-see.

The Movie Trailer


The Principal – Wikipedia