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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.



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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 ...
George Martin ...
Joe Aufiery ...
Matt Carey ...


Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His room-mate, 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, in their own way, does this, and are 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:

Der Club der toten Dichter  »

Box Office


$16,400,000 (estimated)


$95,860,116 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Upon Robin Williams' death in 2014, the famous lines, "O Captain! My Captain!" were used by many media houses for his memoirs. See more »


When Todd receives the desk set for his birthday, and Neil and Todd go to throw the desk set off the bridge, the desk set is clearly covered in plastic shrink wrap. However, when the desk set is thrown, papers and pens still go flying everywhere. See more »


Neil: [Neil finds Todd sitting alone on the roof] Hey!
Todd Anderson: Hey.
Neil: What's going on?
Todd Anderson: Nothin'. Today's my birthday.
Neil: Is today your birthday? Happy birthday!
Todd Anderson: Thanks.
Neil: What'd you get?
Todd Anderson: [indicating the desk set lying beside him] My parents gave me this.
Neil: Isn't this the same desk set...
Todd Anderson: Yeah. Yeah, they gave me the same thing as last year.
See more »


Referenced in The Great Defender: Def Poets Society (1995) See more »


Let's Have a Party
Written by Jessie Mae Robinson
Performed by Wanda Jackson
Courtesy of CEMA Special Markets (Capitol Records, Inc.)
See more »

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User Reviews

A powerful antidote to conformism
22 August 2001 | by (Mexico City) – See all my reviews

There are certain films that get under your skin, never to come out. They change your life, subtly altering your perceptions of reality, almost always for the better.

Dead Poets Society is one of those few films.

I saw the movie back when I was in High School. I had a teacher who told us that we really needed to watch it; in fact, it was our "homework" for the day. We didn't need to bring back a report, or talk about it in class. All he asked from us was to watch it, make up our own mind about it, and that was it. As you can imagine, many friends of mine didn't watch it at all; I did. And yes, I feel I changed a bit from there on.

Back when you are young, you never really stop to think what in the world you are doing with your life. You simply live for the day, hope your grades will be enough to pass, and that's it. Long term thinking involves maybe flirting with a girl. Nothing more. What this film showed me was that we have the responsability and the joy of being alive in this planet. That we are dust, and we will go back to it, so we have precious little time to make a difference. That we have a moral obligation to "seize the day, and make our lives extraordinary" (my favorite quote in all movie history). That the world, basically is ours. That the only limitations are within ourselves, and that we owe it to us to fight, to rebel against conformity, to change what we hate and keep what we love. That living in this world is a beautiful responsability, and that only cowards dare not to change it for the better.

The fact that the cast was basically my age, and was passing through the same dilemmas and situations I was facing made it all so much more powerful.

So here I sit, 12 years from that day. I still don't think I have seized the day completely. But I keep on trying; I always will. I wonder how many people were transformed by this gem of a movie; I hope many.

10 out of 10. A definitive masterpiece.

536 of 565 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Neil still would have done what he did eventually midwestmoviemaven
Mr. Perry's Unreasonable Demand GrafZeppelin127
Anybody else disturbed by the 'messages' of the film ? calcaylor
Some of you seem to be completely missing the point. illbeoneasystreet
Sadder Now. my_little_phony
Marlon Brando anachronism? dmfreck
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