Portraits of Leadership in Classic Films

This will be a discussion-oriented course, spiced with lectures, film clips, readings from classic texts on leadership, and tools such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The course will examine and compare each film’s techniques and the needs and failures of various leaders and those they led.

We will consider five films (all of which won Oscars):

  1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

  2. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

  3. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

  4. Glory (1989)

  5. Twelve O’ Clock High (1949)

Participants will not be required to purchase any books but will be given optional reading materials starting with the first class. They will be required to watch each film before it is discussed, with a special focus on the leadership themes we will be discussing. To that end, a set of discussion questions will be distributed for participants to think about as they watch each film. In addition, film clips and readings from classic texts on leadership, and analytical management instruments such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, will be distributed to focus discussions.

Note: All of films listed above are available for free streaming on several websites.  More information will be provided to class participants before the start of class.


Group Leader: STEPHEN DEVAUX and CHRISTINE EYRE
Meets on: Tuesdays 10:00 am to noon
Starting: 10/5/2021
Sessions: 6
Class Size: 25
Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
Weekly Preparation: None
Group Leader Biography:

Stephen Devaux is a project management consultant, teacher, theorist and author who has for 30+ years taught undergraduate, graduate and corporate courses at a variety of universities and organizations including Brandeis, Bentley, Suffolk, University of the West Indies/Barbados, US Air Force, Siemens, BAE Systems and many others. He has a BA in English & M. Sc. in project management. Christine Eyre has consulted on marketing and communications through her firm, Marketingworks for 20 years.  Prior to that, she held numerous executive and management positions at software, information technology and healthcare firms.  Christine holds a B.A. in English, which prepares one well to be a movie buff!