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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 & 19 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 ...
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 »

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Details

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Language:

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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)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When John Keating has the boys stand on his desk, he gathers his things to leave the room. Behind his desk (waiting to stand on it) are three boys on the left and none on the right. In the next shot of his desk, there are two boys on the left and two boys on the right. See more »

Quotes

Gloria: Don't you guys miss having girls around here?
MeeksPitts: Yeah.
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Crazy Credits

(Foreshadowing) In the scene in the hall where Keating speaks of Carpe Diem; he tells the boys that one day each of them will "..stop breathing, turn cold and die". When he says this line, Robert Shawn Leonard's character is in frame. This predicts his death. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Being Human: Always a Bridesmaid, Never Alive (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Sound Off
Written by Willie Lee Duckworth and Bernard Lentz
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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.


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