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Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 9 June 1989 (USA)
1:17 | Clip

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English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.



716 ( 80)
Top Rated Movies #235 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gale Hansen ...
Carla Belver ...
Leon Pownall ...
Joe Aufiery ...
Chemistry Teacher
Matt Carey ...


Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His roommate, Neil Perry, although exceedingly bright and popular, is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father. The two, along with their other friends, meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo. Each does so in his own way, and is changed for life. Written by Liz Jordan <c9310494@alinga.newcastle.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sociedad de los poetas muertos  »


Box Office


$16,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$340,456, 4 June 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (laserdisc)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The poem by Henry David Thoreau that is featured on the front page of the poetry book Neil receives is not an original poem by Thoreau. Rather, it is a rearrangement of sentences from his work "Where I Lived," Chapter Two from his seminal work, Walden. The passage containing the quotes seen in the movie actually reads, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, ..." See more »


After Keating instructs the boys to rip out the introduction to their poetry textbook, his lip movements do not match the speech. See more »


Todd Anderson: [standing on his desk] Oh captain, my captain.
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Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.9 (2011) See more »


'Water Music': Suite III in D 'Allegro'
Music by George Frideric Handel
Performed by Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (as The Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra)
Conducted by Karl Münchinger
Courtesy of London Records
A Division of PolyGram Classics
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User Reviews

A terrific film
17 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

There's so much good about this movie. The first time I saw it I watched it solely for plot and I loved it. Now I've seen it again and watched Peter Weir's filming and timing which is also great. Robin Williams is a terrific actor when he's serious. He proved it in Good Will Hunting but he proved it first here. If you liked that movie and your liking it had something to do with Williams than you will like this one. The plot is about a number of students who are taught by Williams about life. They are taught how to enjoy themselves. This ends up causing great controversy among the heads of the school. The students are terrific and even the dialogue is great. This is a movie that I can't imagine anyone not liking. It is good in every way.

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