Cooley High, directed by Michael Schultz, is a comedic drama that follows the narrative of high school seniors and best-friends, Leroy “Preach” Jackson (Glynn Turman) and Richard “Cochise” Morris (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs). Written by Eric Monte, and produced by American International Pictures (AIP), the film, primarily shot in Chicago, Illinois, was a major hit at the box offices, grossing in at $13,000,000 (USD). The light-hearted and entertaining storyline captivated viewers with its portrayal of carefree best-friends, and its exciting soundtrack featuring the smash hit Baby Love by The Supremes, among many other Motown hits.
Set in 1964 Chicago, Preach and Cochise are best friends who are both celebrating the final weeks of their senior year with their classmates at Edwin G. Cooley Vocational High School. After a day of sneaking onto city trains and buses without paying and antagonizing animals at the local zoo, the duo binges on alcohol before heading off to a house party that ends abruptly when Cochise gets into a fight with Damon over a girl.
Having trashed the house during the scuffle, Cochise and Preach leave to go for a joyride with their classmates and bad boys, Stone and Robert – an act that will prove to be ill-fated, as the four are arrested at school the next day. Mr. Mason, the boys" history teacher, persuades the police to release Preach and Cochise because of their clean record, but Stone and Robert remain imprisoned due to their being repeat offenders.
When Stone and Robert are released from jail a few days later, the vengeful pair immediately hunt for both Preach and Cochise. Together, they find Cochise on a side street, corner him, and beat him straight to a bloody pulp, leaving him for dead.
Having been notified of the attack on Cochise, Preach frantically searches the streets and finds his best friend’s lifeless body lying face down under an overpass.
Using Cochise’s untimely death as motivation, and after the funeral, Preach runs off to pursue his dream of becoming a renowned Hollywood