Oleanna (1994)

He said it was a lesson. She said it was sexual harassment. Whichever side you take, you're wrong.

Original Title : Oleanna
Director : David Mamet
Writer : David Mamet
David Mamet
Genre : Drama
Country : UK
Language : English
Producer : Sarah Green , Patricia Wolff
Music : Rebecca Pidgeon
Photography : Andrzej Sekula
IMDB ID : 0110722
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poster for "Oleanna" by David Mamet (1994)
Oleanna (1994) - David Mamet


William H. Macy John
Debra Eisenstadt Carol
Scott Zigler Clerk in Copy Shop (uncredited


A two character movie, involving a college professor, John, who is confronted by a female student, Carol, who is failing his course. The two spend a long time talking to each other, during which time John says a few things that can be taken the wrong way. After the night the two spent talking, John is slapped with a sexual harassment accusation by Carol. After more accusations from Carol, John's career as a teacher begins to fall apart. This forces John with a choice on how to handle the situation, and the results make up for a shattering ending to the movie.


UNCONVINCING I am university professor from a midwestern state university. In all my years of teaching I think I may have come across a student this bright and literate perhaps half a dozen times, if that. I found the dialogue between her and the tenure seeking professor unconvincing and so stuffy it's hard to believe. Mamet's writing, far more suited to the stage, is hard to take. It has the same clipped and far from real life tone as it did in "House of Games" (a far better picture, in my opinion). I do not see where this film portrays some big deal intellectual game between these two. I'd just have thrown her out of my office and tell her to take her complaint to the grade appeals committee.