8.0/10
307,536
517 user 97 critic

Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 9 June 1989 (USA)
English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
556 ( 15)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #247 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1965, an unorthodox and irreverent DJ named Adrian Cronauer begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the U.S. Armed Services radio station in Vietnam.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tung Thanh Tran
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of Frank Abagnale Jr., before his 19th birthday, successfully forged millions of dollars' worth of checks while posing as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and legal prosecutor as a seasoned and dedicated FBI agent pursues him.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
The Help (2011)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
Patch Adams (1998)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The true story of a heroic man, Hunter Patch Adams, determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. He ventured where no doctor had ventured before, using humour and pathos.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.

Director: David Yates
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.

Directors: Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano
Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny
Jaws (1975)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a local sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Groundhog Day (1993)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

9 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Club der toten Dichter  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$340,456 (USA) (4 June 1989)

Gross:

$95,860,116 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Peter Weir chose to shoot the film in chronological order to better capture the development of the relationships between the boys and their growing respect for Mr. Keating. See more »

Goofs

While Keating addresses the class for the first time outside their classroom, he reads out Pitts' name to ask him to read out a passage. Pitts raises his right hand, but in the next shot, Pitts is raising his left hand. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Nolan: Free thinkers at 17?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Marienhof: Das Radrennen (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Ridgeway Fight Song
Written by Jerry Rehberg
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A masterful tribute to teaching at its best
3 March 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Dead Poets Society is, to use a cliché, a cinematic masterpiece. I can watch it over and over, absorbing more nuances of meaning every time. As a former teacher myself (albeit of science), I view it as a tribute to the profession at its best...teaching not merely the subject but also the person, and having a lifelong impact on students' lives.

The setting is Weldon Academy, a very traditional New England boys' prep school in 1959. If I can find one flaw with the movie...and there certainly aren't many...it's the underlying premise that seems to worship free thought and implies that ALL tradition is of necessity undesirable and thus to be avoided. Frankly, compared to modern classrooms which are bastions of free expression, I found the Weldon students' respectful treatment of their teachers rather refreshing. (But perhaps that's just the ex-teacher in me coming out!) Some of Weldon's ideals, generally referred to in mocking tones, are actually qualities to which parents rightfully DO hope their offspring will aspire.

Robin Williams plays Mr. Keating, the English teacher we all wish we'd had. He brings warmth, passion, and an endearing quiet humor to the role as he fosters individualism in a school environment of total conformity, endeavoring to teach these young men both the beauty of the English language and the importance of living life to the full, of "seizing the day". How many of us mentally revolted at the dissection of poetry when we were in school? Many a viewer will both chortle and rejoice when Mr. Keating has his class rip out the methodical, emotionless "Introduction to Poetry" from the time honored Pritchard textbook!

The "Dead Poets Society", and the boys on which Mr. Keating has such a profound impact, include an interesting mix of characters...Neil Perry (the passionate young man at odds with his father's clearly defined expectations for his son's life), Todd Anderson (the classic shy adolescent, through whose eyes we view the unfolding drama), Charlie Dalton (the quintessential rebel), Knox Overstreet (the teen with whom most viewers can identify, deep in the throes of first love), and Richard Cameron (the mindless conformist).

Ethan Hawke gives a moving performance as Todd, the younger brother of a former Weldon valedictorian and my personal favorite, who undergoes a character transformation as the plot unfolds. In a sense, this movie is really Todd's story. As another reviewer has wisely pointed out, his best scenes are sometimes when he has no dialogue at all. Your heart will ache for him. The sub-plot of young Overstreet's romance with a girl from a nearby school may not be brilliant, but it provides some light, entertaining relief from the main drama.

Needless to say, Mr. Keating's unorthodox approach meets with obstacles...from his fellow teachers, from the school's ultra traditional Headmaster, from Neil's overbearing father and the other parents, who are depicted as a conservative, status conscious lot. His encouragement of adolescent individualism leads to dramatic consequences for one student in particular, triggering a dramatic scenario that engulfs most of his classmates. I don't want to give the plot away, but Dead Poets Society has the most powerful ending I've experienced in the cinematic world. I could watch it over and over, and tears would either come to my eyes or virtually stream down my cheeks every time.

It's an intelligent film, both gripping to watch and thought provoking afterward. Engaging plot, memorable characters, meaningful theme, wonderfully done scenes and atmosphere...Dead Poets Society has it all. A special tip of my hat to the cinematography; clearly, it should have won an Oscar for the final scene alone.

This is a must-see movie, especially if you're a high school student who hates English. It might just change your view of the subject, even if your actual teacher doesn't quite measure up to Mr. Keating. And for everyone...not only "Carpe Diem", but a certain phrase from a Walt Whitman poem will take on incredible meaning and be remembered forever.


115 of 142 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page