Stand and Deliver


Based on a true story, a dedicated teacher strives to reach a group of students the education system has given up on, challenging them to find the "ganas," or desire, to learn and discover their potential at advanced math ... and in life.

EJO's Role

Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver

Edward James Olmos plays legendary educator Jaime Escalante in an Oscar-nominated performance.

The Numbers

Stand and Deliver was released on March 11, 1988.

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  • 1989 Academy Awards: Edward James Olmos was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor in a leading role.
  • 1989 Golden Globes: Two nominations (Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, Edward James Olmos; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, Lou Diamond Phillips)
  • 1989 Sundance Film Festival: Nominated for Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic
  • 1989 Christopher Awards: Won Christopher Award for Best Film
  • 1989 Imagen Foundation Awards: Won Imagen Award for Best Film
  • 1989 Independent Spirit Awards: Six wins (Best Director, Ramon Menendez; Best Feature, Tom Musca; Best Male Lead, Edward James Olmos; Best Screenplay, Ramon Menendez and Tom Musca; Best Supporting Female, Rosanna DeSoto; Best Supporting Male, Lou Diamond Phillips) and one other nomination (Best Cinematography)
  • 1989 Nosotros Golden Eagle Awards: Won Golden Eagle Award for Best Film
  • 1989 Political Film Society: Nominated for PFS Award, Democracy
  • 1989 Young Artist Awards: Won Michael Landan Award, Patrick Baca; Nominated for Best Family Motion Picture Drama

My Take

Inspirational. That's the word that comes to mind when someone mentions Stand and Deliver.

Edward James Olmos delivers the best performance (to date) of his feature film career as real-life educator Jaime Escalante, with whom Mr. Olmos became friends during the preparation and filming.

There's nothing like a movie that challenges preconceptions and insists the only limitations in life are those we place on ourselves, or those that the establishment sells and we buy blindly buy.

Stand and Deliver is about rising above, breaking out of the molds that society would put us into. It's about reaching your potential in academics and in life, about daring to dream and achieve in the face of adversity. It's about choosing your own path.

Over the years, the real Jaime Escalante encouraged hundreds of students to reach for success and that's a story worth telling.

And I know this for certain: Every time I watch Stand and Deliver, I come away uplifted and inspired and that, to me, is my benchmark of a great movie.

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EJO began his entertainment career as lead singer of a band called Pacific Ocean.


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