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Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

 -  Drama | Music  -  19 January 1996 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 26,424 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 39 critic

A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

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Title: Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Bill Meister
...
Principal Jacobs
...
Vice Principal Wolters (as W.H. Macy)
...
Gertrude Lang
...
Louis Russ
...
Bobby Tidd
...
Rowena Morgan
...
Sarah Olmstead
Nicholas John Renner ...
Cole at 6 Years Old
Joseph Anderson ...
Cole at 15 Years Old
...
Cole at 28 Years Old
...
Adult Gertrude
Beth Maitland ...
Deaf School Principal
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Storyline

Glenn Holland is a musician and composer who takes a teaching job to pay the rent while, in his 'spare time', he can strive to achieve his true goal - compose one memorable piece of music to leave his mark on the world. As Holland discovers 'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans' and as the years unfold the joy of sharing his contagious passion for music with his students becomes his new definition of success. Written by <russell.boyd@dsto.defence.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

19 January 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Holland's Opus  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$92,254 (USA) (19 July 1996)

Gross:

$82,528,097 (USA) (26 July 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As a child, Katee Sackhoff was a child extra in this film. She has stated that she hated the experience, but vowed to Richard Dreyfuss that she would work with him again. She ended up playing his daughter in the series The Education of Max Bickford (2001) six years later. See more »

Goofs

All of the signs depicting the orchestra members' class dates have the apostrophe backwards. The thick part should be at the top with the curve bending around to the right and down. See more »

Quotes

[at the burial service for Louis Russ, who was killed during his service in the war]
Glenn Holland: You alright?
Bill Meister: Yeah. We know too many of these kids...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Saturday Night Fever (1977) scene courtesy of Paramount Pictures See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: John Goodman/Everclear (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

I KNOW AN OLD LADY
Written by Alan Mills and Rose Bonne
Performed by Richard Dreyfuss
See more »

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User Reviews

Oh for the love of crumbcake...
6 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

So many people have complained about the Gertrude Lang character (Alicia Witt), Holland's interaction with her, and the purpose of the character, and I am simply amazed at the hostility.

1) "Playing the sunset" was Holland's way of getting Gertrude to relax so she could play the notes fluidly. They both knew that she didn't sound professional, and wasn't going to. The idea was to get her just above the level of making a fool of herself as she did the first time he called on her in class. Then she could, and did, perform in the band without dragging down the whole ensemble.

2) Her goal was not to be a professional musician. Did no one else hear her speech about "I just wanted to be good at *something*"? She listed all the fabulous achievements of her parents and siblings, and concluded, "I'm the only one who's..." The missing word would have been "useless" or "worthless". Or "a failure". Thirty years later she's the governor (not the mayor!), because in 1966, Holland helped her gain confidence for the first time.

3) She wasn't "wasting" Holland's efforts by going into politics. Art, music and theater education don't exist solely to create professional artists, musicians and actors. They also exist to give young people an opportunity for change and growth, even if they never use a paintbrush again.

I liked that plot twist. Almost every high school has an alumnus who has achieved something in art or entertainment, but a lot of people sell one painting or appear in one film and become a hero to their home town. But there are only fifty states, and it takes an extraordinary amount of drive to become governor of one of them. It's unlikely that she would have taken that first step towards empowerment without Holland.


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