The Triumphant Night When a Teacher Saved His Students from a Motorcycle Gang: A True, Hand-Animated Story

“Sur­vival of the fittest, this still exists even today. If you’re weak, peo­ple pick on you, they take advan­tage. And if you don’t respond to what they do, they will con­tin­u­al­ly pick on you. You have to fright­en them and attack first.”

Those strong words come from Ralph Whims, a teacher who, one night back in 1973, agreed to chap­er­one a school dance in a church base­ment. It was a pret­ty ordi­nary affair, until a 20-mem­ber bik­er gang barged in, unin­vit­ed, and start­ed harass­ing the kids. What to do? Retreat? Or step for­ward and restore order? That’s the sto­ry, appar­ent­ly all true, told by the short ani­ma­tion, The Chap­er­one, cre­at­ed by Fras­er Munden. (His own father once had Ralph Whims as an ele­men­tary school teacher in Mon­tre­al.) This empow­er­ing short film has been screened at 70 film fes­ti­vals and won 25 awards. You can get more back­sto­ry on the film by read­ing an inter­view with the direc­tor here.

The Chap­er­one will be added to the Ani­ma­tion sec­tion of our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

James Joyce Picked Drunk­en Fights, Then Hid Behind Ernest Hem­ing­way; Hem­ing­way Called Joyce “The Great­est Writer in the World”

10 Rules for Stu­dents and Teach­ers Pop­u­lar­ized by John Cage

Hunter S. Thomp­son Gets Con­front­ed by The Hell’s Angels: Where’s Our Two Kegs of Beer? (1967)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.