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Dead Poets Society (1989)

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

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Top Rated Movies #237 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

9 June 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sociedad de los poetas muertos  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$340,456, 4 June 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$95,860,116

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$140,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (laserdisc)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mickey Rourke turned down the role of John Keating when Peter Weir refused to make script changes. See more »

Goofs

The bagpiper in the first scene takes his pipes out of the case one moment and is seen playing "Scotland The Brave" during the ceremony apparently the next, without any indication any time had gone by. In reality it takes several minutes to tune a full set of pipes to the tonal qualities expected at a graduation (or similar). See more »

Quotes

John Keating: Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." Don't be resigned to that. Break out!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Community: Introduction to Film (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat Major, Op. 73 'Emperor'
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Wilhelm Kempff
With The Berliner Philharmoniker (as Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conducted by Ferdinand Leitner
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon GmbH
A Division of PolyGram Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Seize the Day- One of the Greatest Movies Ever!
17 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

Dead Poets Scoiety. I suppose if you were in High School sometime between 1990-2008, one of your teachers thought I'd be a good idea to watch this movie and I still remember my reaction and the ones of our fellow classmates: Yeah, probably a boring movie that will try to make the school look better and encourage us to do our homework and study for our tests. I couldn't have been more wrong. This movie definitely changed my way of thinking to a certain extent and there are very few films who have moved and touched me like this one.

The movie plays in 1959 and centers around a private academy somewhere in New England. The curriculum is extremely difficult and the teachers have no humor and are very strict. The new English teacher though, Mr John Keating (Robin Williams), who graduated from the very same school, uses unorthodox, but quite effective methods to teach the students about literature, and poetry. During their first lesson, he tells them that they can either call him Mr. Keating or "Oh Captain, my Captain", based on a quote by Walt Whitman. He encourages them to come out of themselves, use their energy to make their lives worth living and beautiful - Carpe Diem, Seize the Day! The plot also centers around two students: Neil (Robert Sean Leonard), who is funny and popular, but fails to gain his fathers pride, because of his wish to become an actor, and Todd (Ethan Hawke), who is very shy and unsure of himself, and is inspired by Keating to use his imagination and eventually we find out that he is very talented when it comes to poetry. After they find out about a club Keating was a member of while he was a student, the Dead Poets Society, which was forbidden by the school, they decide to reestablish it, what ultimately gets them into a lot of trouble.

There are several key factors, that make this movie as brilliant as it is. First of all there is the acting. Robin Williams, who I really like as a Comedian, really proves that he is a great actor, who can get deep into a character and play him with such passion and energy that you will forget he's an actor. Keating, whose teaching methods are indeed unusual and will probably make you laugh a couple of times, is a very interesting role, the teacher we all would have wanted, but not because he doesn't give homework or makes up very easy, open-book tests. No, because Keating shows us that we have to come out of ourselves, make the best of our lives and especially that there is a poet in everyone of us. Then there is the terribly under-appreciated Robert Sean Leonard, who also gives a very moving performance as a student, who is kept back by his father, and therefore fails to make his dreams come true. In my opinion he is very underused as an actor, and should have gotten a lot more leading roles. As for Ethan Hawke, he definitely was the best choice for the character he plays. We can literally feel his fear and shyness when he stands in front of the class and gets no word out, because he's so embarrassed.

Peter Weir, who is probably most known for his recent movie "Master and Commander" shows what a great director he is with this film and it definitely deserved the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and the nominations for Best Picture, Director and Leading Actor for Robin Williams.

Some of you may have heard about Roger Ebert absolutely negative review of this movie and that "he wanted to throw up at the end of the film". I can understand why people might not like the ending (I won't put any spoilers), but I think it just adds to the the beauty and drama of this film, a film that should definitely be on the IMDb Top 250 Movies. This is a movie, you must have seen!!


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