Teaching Mrs. Tingle

Teaching Mrs. Tingle is a 1999 American teen black comedy thriller film written and directed by Kevin Williamson, in his directorial debut, and starring Helen Mirren, Katie Holmes, Marisa Coughlan, Barry Watson, and Jeffrey Tambor. It follows a trio of high school seniors who must prove their innocence to their vindictive history teacher, who accuses them of cheating on their final exams. Williamson wrote the script before his work on Scream and Dawson's Creek. Following the success of those projects, his script was picked up and production of the film proceeded.


In Grandsboro, California, Leigh Ann Watson is a high school student living with her single mother, Faye, who works as a waitress. Leigh Ann's goals are to get top grades, become valedictorian, and leave town. However, her grade in history class is threatened by her teacher, Mrs. Eve Tingle, who has a special dislike for Leigh Ann and downgrades her well-designed project due to a minor historical inaccuracy. Fellow student Luke Churner makes a copy of Tingle's final exam and offers it to Leigh Ann, but she declines. However, Luke stashes the copy in Leigh Ann's backpack. Tingle discovers the copy and threatens to expel her. Tingle immediately heads to Principal Potter's office, but he has left for the day so she decides to tell him in the morning.