In this brilliant Film Henry Fonda plays a juror who seeks to convince his eleven peers to reconsider their hasty decision to convict a young boy who has been charged with murdering his father. The struggle to change his colleagues’ minds is highly charged and fascinating, and gives students the opportunity to consider how important it is for an effective leader to be able to communicate effectively (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

This Film is based on the 1999 hit science fiction film The Matrix. In the film, Thomas Anderson (a.k.a Neo) is a computer programmer who believes that he is living a normal life in the year 1999. It isn’t until Neo meets a group of fellow computer hackers, lead by a mysterious figure named Morpheus, that he learns the truth: the world is run by a complex computer who communicates by mind messaging (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”
This case focuses on the crisis that can result when an organization demands “maximum effort” from its members. This case study is based on the story of a stubborn general’s mission to rebuild a bomber group. Their morale, shattered by heavy losses, threatens to undermine the aerial offensive against German-held Europe in World War II. The case study dramatically contrasts the leadership styles of two very different leaders and provides students with the opportunity to consider the benefits (and costs) of each. Students are challenged to determine why one leader seems to be succeeding whereas his predecessor did not. In the process, they come to realize the importance of matching their leadership style to the situation (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

This Film uses the highly acclaimed film Courage Under Fire. The backdrop of the movie is the Gulf War in which the heterogeneity between the Iraquis and the Gulf Confederation was so great that it could only be overcome through war. Lieutenant Colonel Nat Serling has been assigned to determine whether Captain Karen Emma Walden, who died in the Gulf War, deserves to receive the Medal of Honor (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

This Film characterizes the leadership skills of a New York male labor organizer and a southern female textile factory worker. Both characters exhibit leadership qualities, one in particular the ability to empower others to accomplish the overall goal of organizing a group of powerless textile factory workers in a hostile organizational culture (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”
This Film is based on the film about the true story of a high school football team, the T.C. Williams Titans. Under the leadership of two powerful, caring coaches – one white, the other African American – the team overcame deep racial prejudice to become true champions and to set an example for the racially divided school organization and the culture of the town of Alexandria, Virginia (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

This Film is based on the gripping adventure about the crash of a small plane and the arduous efforts of the survivors to reconstruct the wreckage and then fly it. Observing this group as it faces what are clearly near-impossible oIDs as well as starvation and dehydration, students witness the group behavior struggle (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

William Golding’s compelling story of a group of British schoolboys stranded on a remote island provides the core of this Film. Their gradual degeneration into a savage horde leaves an unforgettable imprint on anyone interested in group chaos and leadership failure (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”
This film is about a teacher, Erin Gruwell, who finds a unique way to inspire her students to learn and who dramatically changes their lives, from hopelessness and despair to a future of limitless possibilities (2007 ABC New Products, Inc).”

This touching drama is based on the true story of Mel Tolson, a professor at Wiley College who inspired his students to form the school’s first debate team. This group of kids was the first African American team to go up against Harvard and defeated the famed debate team in the national championships (2007 Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.)

Detention camp probation officer Sean Porter takes a rag tag group of dangerous teenage inmates and turns them into a high-school-level football team. He finds resistance at every step by his skeptical bosses but he feels that he can get through to them through sports to teach them respect and social responsibility (Swank Motion Pictures 2006).


In this Film, a newly-appointed teacher inspires a love of poetry and intellectual freedom among his young students at a strict New England prep school. In the process, however, he encounters the profound resistance of his teaching colleagues and administrators and yet makes an individual difference. (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

Everyone has heard a story about a losing high school sports team that with the help of new blood and rigorous training goes on to “win the big one.” But this Film is based on a true story, one that describes the rebirth of a down-and-out Indiana high school basketball team at the hands of a new coach who changes their individual and work culture (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

When an ambitious young composer accepts a job teaching high school music, he is unaware that his own neglected leadership abilities will be awakened and his sense of life-purpose transformed. This Film explores the gradual success of a reluctant leader who must first overcome his presumptions about leading to discover his own values as a compass for others (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

Unlike her friends, who have all married and are having children, Skeeter is interested in a career as a writer. Her first job is as a “homemaker hints” columnist in the local paper, and she asks Aibileen, the maid to her good friend Elizabeth, for her help in answering domestic questions. Skeeter becomes uncomfortable with the attitude her friends have towards their “help,” especially Hilly Holbrook and her “Home Help Sanitation Initiative,” a proposed bill to provide for separate bathrooms for black help because she believes that ‘they’ [black people] carry different diseases to ‘us’ [white people]. Amidst the era of discrimination based on color, Skeeter is one of the few who believe otherwise, and she decides to write a book, Help, based on the lives of the maids who have spent their entire lives taking care of white children (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

This film imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver. Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna only months after his father Hal has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who – following 44 years of marriage – came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. Now Oliver endeavors to love Anna with all the bravery, humor, and hope that his father taught him (2011 Swank Motion Pictures, Inc).

This film is a fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States – Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines. A woman miner confronted her harassers in a 1984 lawsuit and won the landmark case (Warner Bros).


This Film is based on the fast-moving, provocative film about a nuclear ballistic submarine which has received orders to do the unthinkable – launch a nuclear first strike against Russia. The strike is ordered to prevent a threatened launch of nuclear missiles which have come into the possession of a rebellious Russian ultra-nationalist (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case no date).”

This Film is based on one of the best screen biographies in the history of motion pictures. It describes the life of the former Indian leader so intimately that students feel they have actually known and been deeply affected by this great leader; one reviewer of the film wrote that “There is a genuine feeling that the spirit of Gandhi is on the screen.” (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

In this Film based on Tom Clancy’s best-selling novel, a Russian naval commander (the most respected man in the Soviet submarine service) defects to the West with his crew, nuclear weapons, and state-of-the-art submarine. His leadership skills are undeniable and surface clearly as he enlists others to his cause. Yet two other leaders also emerge in the film (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

HENRY V (1989)
This Film is based on Shakespeare’s great exploration of leadership as portrayed in the award-winning Kenneth Branagh film Henry V. Students witness what is perhaps history’s finest call to arms as they see and hear the young king deliver his St. Crispian’s Day speech, ending with the unforgettable words: “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.” (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

This case explores leadership issues in the award-winning film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which is based on the great seafaring novels by author Patrick O’Brian. In this film, “Lucky Jack” Aubrey is Captain of the HMS Surprise, a frigate of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. His orders are to destroy or capture the French man’o war Acheron. As Aubrey leads his crew on an aggressive mission that far exceeds those orders, he must navigate not only the dangerous seas, but circumstances aboard ship as his officers, diverse crew, and closest confidante, ship’s physician Stephen Maturin, respond critically, chaotically, and most often, creatively to his decisions and plans for defeating the enemy. Aubrey and his friend Maturin weigh matters of duty and personal allegiance in leading, and offer, through example, solutions to historic questions about leading “(Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case no date).”


In this Film the mythical leader of Camelot is presented in the film, which is based on T.H. White’s bestselling novel, The Once and Future King. Arthur is challenged by his magician/tutor, Merlyn, to create a kingdom in which power is exercised, not for his own gain, nor to sustain the vanity of his nobles, but for the benefit of the common good (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

Oriented around the film Gettysburg, which is based on the historically accurate novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, this case study deals with the largest and most deadly battle ever fought on American soil. It reveals much about leadership – successful and unsuccessful. It is during the Civil War that the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania became the site of what is seen by many to be the war’s turning point. The three day battle, which took place from July 1st to 3rd 1863, is best known for Pickett’s Charge, a magnificent feat of individual courage and a terrible waste of life. The Civil War itself involved the development of industrial war, a war of ideas fought as a total war involving economics and politics as well as military strategy and certainly leadership. The war was only won when the Union appointed its first great modern generals, Grant and Sherman (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

This Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case® is based on the film The Contender, which follows in the tradition of many great political films, highlighting issues of morality and ethics and public versus private life. However, it is unique in its focus on a female vice presidential candidate and fierce in its exposure of gender biases, sexual stereotypes and discriminations that confront female leaders (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”
John Huston’s film based on Rudyard Kipling’s famous story explores the dynamics of power and charismatic leadership against the exotic backdrop of India and Kafiristan in the late nineteenth century. This Film examines the challenges facing two swashbuckling entrepreneurs as they attempt to scheme their way into positions of power (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date)..

In this Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case®, double-dealing in the stock market provides the backdrop for a profound inquiry into the ethics and behavior of individuals and organizations in a capitalistic society. Students observe the film’s leading characters as they try to make as much money as they can, breaking the law regularly as they pursue their financial goals (Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case, no date).”

Based on the incredible true story, this film follows college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Davis was recruited by the Syracuse Orangeman and proceeded to break down one barrier after another on his way to becoming an icon for the burgeoning civil rights movement dividing America in the early 1960s (Swank Motion Pictures 2007).
New Yorker Harvey Milk moved to San Francisco and became the city’s first openly gay public official. The following year both he and the city’s mayor, George Moscone, were shot to death by the former city supervisor. This film chronicles the heart-breaking true story (Swank Motion Pictures 2008)

The Hartwick Humanities in Management Institute, Hartwick Classic Film Leadership Case® http://www.hartwickinstitute.org/index.htm, (no date). Accessed by A. L. Mathews, December 28, 2011
Freedom Writer, 2007 ABC New Products, Inc
Warner Bros
Swank Motion Pictures 2011.
Swank Motion Pictures 2007.
Swank Motion Pictures 2008.
Swank Motion Pictures 2006
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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