Take the Lead

Take the Lead

name = "Take the Lead"

caption = Promotional poster for "Take the Lead"
imdb_id = 0446046
writer = Dianne Houston
starring = Antonio Banderas
Rob Brown
Yaya DaCosta
Alfre Woodard
Dante Basco
Jenna Dewan
Marcus T. Paulk
Lauren Collins
director = Liz Friedlander
producer = Christopher Godsick
Michelle Grace
Diane Nabatoff
distributor = New Line Cinema
released = April 7, 2006
runtime = 108 min.
country = USA
language = English
music = Bonnie Greenberg
Swizz Beatz
awards =
budget =
mpaa_rating = PG-13 for thematic material, language and some violence
amg_id = 1:320862~T0
website = http://www.taketheleadmovie.com

"Take the Lead" is a movie starring Antonio Banderas, Rob Brown, Alfre Woodard, Dante Basco, Marcus T. Paulk, Jenna Dewan, Lauren Collins and also features fashion model Yaya DaCosta. The film was released in mainstream cinema on April 7, 2006. It was filmed in Toronto, and at a number of local schools, including UTS.

*Tagline: "Never follow".


Rock, the film's underdog protagonist, arrives at a school dance with a water-damaged ticket and is denied entrance by Mr. Temple (John Ortiz) and Principal James (Alfre Woodard). Rock leaves and encounters some thugs, who lead him to vandalize Principal James's car. Pierre Dulaine (Antonio Banderas), a classical dance instructor, catches Rock in the act, but Rock runs away before Pierre can question him further.

The next morning at the school, Pierre waits to see the principal as Mr. Temple discusses the detention program with Principal James. Pierre explains to the principal that he was a witness to the vandalism on her car, and eventually offers to take over Mr. Temple's detention shift, to which Principal James agrees, although she is sure that he will not last more than a day.

Pierre is led to the basement where the students who have earned detention for the remainder of the year, including Rock, are kept. His first class is disastrous due to the uncooperative personalities of the students, all of whom scoff at his efforts to teach them classical dance.

The next morning Pierre returns, much to the surprise of Principal James who later explains that Rock’s brother was involved with a gang war, and one of the casualties was a brother of LaRhette, who had refused to dance with Rock the day before. Later in detention, Rock has forged a doctor’s note excusing him from dancing.

At Pierre's dance studio, Caitlin is a student who is under pressure to learn to dance because her cotillion is fast approaching. Pierre invites Morgan, a highly trained but haughty student, to his detention session for a demonstration of the tango, which inspires the detention students to be more willing to learn. Caitlin decides to join the detention students for dance class and practices with Monster, another student struggling to learn.

Rock, who still refuses to dance, makes it clear to Pierre that he attends detention not to dance, but to be able to graduate. Later he is fired from his job for being late. He goes home and confronts his parents, who have been unable to provide him food since Rock's brother's death. His ailing father kicks him out of the house and he finds a new albeit dangerous job with some street thugs.

LaRhette, whose mother is a prostitute, cares for her younger siblings while her mother works. One night, LaRhette runs out of the apartment and to the school after one of her mother's clients attempts to rape her. She practices her dancing in the basement, and runs into Rock. They fight and are caught by security. Principal James wants to suspend LaRhette and Rock, but instead agrees to give them extra detention hours with Pierre at 7 AM each day. Pierre tells the class about a dance competition which he wishes them to enter, and this is further inspiration for the detention students to learn.

The detention basement is flooded, so Pierre takes the detention students to his dance studio to practice. They are confronted by Morgan and some of Pierre's other students. The detention students are further disenchanted by the skills of Pierre's students as well as the $200 entrance fee for the contest. However, Pierre manages to provide funds for the detention students to enter.

Caitlin is unable to enter in the competition, as her cotillion is the same night, to Monster's disappointment. The two still practice together. LaRhette and Rock will compete in waltz, and Ramos and Danjou learn to share Sasha during practice.

Mr. Temple complains about the supposed waste of resources on the dance program. He brings Pierre to a meeting with the parents' association, but Pierre convinces them to keep the dance program going.

On the night of the contest, Rock has to work. He is told that he must shoot anyone who approaches the theft operation. He shoots the sprinkler system instead, setting off the alarm and causing the thugs to run away.

At the cotillion, Caitlin makes her grand entrance down the staircase and dances with Monster, surprising her mother. After they dance they make their way to the dance competition.

LaRhette is disappointed that Rock has not arrived at the competition, where a $5000 prize is at stake. Sasha, Danjou, and Ramos perform an impressive three-person tango but are disqualified for it. Surprisingly, Morgan calls it a tie and gives Sasha her trophy.

Principal James, thrilled with the success of the program, insists on making the program permanent and expanding it to more schools. Rock arrives at the last minute to dance the waltz with LaRhette, whom he kisses at the end of the waltz.

The movie ends with Pierre's students dancing to hip hop music as the credits roll.

Box office and reaction

In its opening weekend, the film grossed a total of $12.8 million, ranking a strong third in the North American box office. Overall, it has grossed over $30 million in the United States box office, [cite web | url = http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=takethelead.htm | title = Boxofficemojo.com | accessdate = April 26 | accessyear = 2006] even though many critics gave it poor reviews, citing bad acting and a formulaic plot. Lewis Segal of the Los Angeles Times panned it as "old uninspired Hollywood hustle" [cite news
title=Critic's Notebook
publisher=Los Angeles Times
date=April 16, 2006
] while Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly, ranking it "D+", called the student actors "one-note cartoons" and described the combination of dance styles as "naked desperation to fuse demographics" on the part of the producers. [cite news
title=Missed Step
publisher=Entertainment Weekly
date=April 14, 2006


*Label: Republic Records / Universal Records
*Original Release Date: April 4th, 2006 (U.S.A.)


1. "I Got Rhythm" by Lena Horne & Q-Tip

2. "Take The Lead" (Wanna Ride) by Bone Thugs and Harmony/Wisin/Yandel/Fatman Scoop/Melissa Jimenez

3. "Feel It" by Black Eyed Peas

4. "I Like That (Stop)" by Jae Millz

5. "These Days" by Rhymefest

6. "Here We Go" by Dirtbag

7. "Whuteva" by Remy Ma

8. "Ya Ya" by The Empty Heads

9. "Never Gonna Get It" by Sean Biggs, Topic & Akon

10. "I Like That You Can't Take That Away From Me" by Jae Millz/June Christy/Eric B/Rakim/Mashonda

11. "Fascination" by Kem

12. "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" by Sly & The Family Stone


*Much of "Take the Lead", including all of the exterior shots of the high school depicted in the film, was filmed in the University of Toronto Schools, a private school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

*A large portion of the soundtrack was produced by Swizz Beatz.

*When the film was released in the Philippines, Dante Basco was named as a lead actor in movie posters, alongside Antonio Banderas.


External links

* [http://www.taketheleadmovie.com Official site]
*imdb title|0446046
*tcmdb title|id=629222
*rotten-tomatoes|id=take_the_lead|title=Take the Lead
*mojo title|id=takethelead|title=Take the Lead
*amg movie|id=1:320862|title=Take the Lead
*metacritic film|id=takethelead|title=Take the Lead
*ymovies title|1808718772
*" [http://www.movietome.com/movie/355752/take-the-lead/index.html?q=Take+the+Lead Take the Lead] " at Movie Tome
* [http://www.moviefone.com/movie/take-the-lead/23421/main "Take the Lead"] at Moviefone

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