As August winds down, there’s an impending sadness in the air. Those beach bars inhabited by dudes looking to flirt with Snooki wannabes just recently posted advertisements for their end-of-summer bashes. You’re currently figuring out how to break it off with that summer fling before the female, seasonal flavor tries to plan a fall vacation together. Comic book fans have suddenly realized that Hollywood’s string of superhero-led summer blockbusters is officially over, giving way to awards season dramas. And, in the workforce, employees only have three weeks left to use their paid Summer Friday days off.

The hugest buzzkill of all, however, is that students are about to start an all-new school year, waving goodbye to brainless fun in the sun and prepping for pop quizzes, thesis papers, boring professors, and late nights with faces stuck inside of books. Education is a remarkably important thing, of course, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that, in the wake of summer’s relaxing days and drunken nights, it’s a serious-minded drag.

At least formal edification has provided Hollywood with strong plot fodder. Since the early days of cinema, movies of all genres have peered into the hallways of high schools and universities, whether it’s to laugh at awkward outcasts who can’t get laid or to address societal ills and racial injustices through a scholastic microcosm.

With pupils of all ages getting ready for that dreaded first day of classes, we’ve gone back through film’s history to rank The 50 Best School Movies, timeless flicks that should ease the frustrations of summer’s end. That is, until that summer fling of yours posts pics of her and some new guy on Facebook.

Written by Matt Barone (@mbarone)

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