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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 27,020 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)

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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
...
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:

A symphony of life. 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:

Csendszimfónia  »

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

The song young Gertrude Lang learns on the clarinet is "Stranger on the Shore" by Acker Bilk. See more »

Goofs

In the end credits, there is a credit for Cole at age 28. Cole was born in the summer of 1965. The last part of the movie is set in the spring of 1995, when Cole would be 29. See more »

Quotes

[Glenn and Iris are discussing the possibility of sending Cole to a special school]
Glenn Holland: The doctor said that gestures meant...
Iris Holland: It's way more than gestures.
Glenn Holland: That gestures meant that Cole would never learn how to lip read or to talk!
Iris Holland: He can barely talk now, he can't say two or three words!
Glenn Holland: The guy is a specialist, Iris!
Iris Holland: Ohhh, he's a specialist who thinks that deaf people are retarded and he is not retarded, he is...
[Cole is screaming, asking for something and Iris doesn't know what it is]
Iris Holland: Cole!
Glenn Holland: What ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers wish to thank: Alain Levy; Michael Kuhn; Portland Public Schools; Grant High School, Portland, Oregon (Pricipal: Darryl Tucker); The Christie School Marylurst, Oregon. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) 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

Good story for the unsung heroes of life – touching without being sickly sentimental
11 May 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Glenn Holland is a young composer. In the fifties he stops touring with his band to teach music in a school which he hopes will free him from touring to allow him to work on his main love of composing his own music. Despite initially hating his job, Holland soon learns to enjoy it and how best to communicate the love of music to his pupils. We trace his life over 30-40years as he has a son with his wife and goes through great emotional times while putting his personal dreams to one side.

Although this had `sentimental life lesson film' written all over it, I still wanted to give it a go and strangely still enjoyed it. The film is very much a bit of praise for all those who are unsung heroes in there lives and it had the potential to be really sickly sentimental. Happily a good script manages to avoid this for the majority of the time.

The weakness of the film is the fact it that it does try to cover a lifetime and occasionally there isn't enough plot to do that well. I know it would have been difficult but I do feel that the film could have been either a little tighter or filled to overflowing with plot to make it feel shorter. As it is it is still enjoyable but it does feel a little wandering at times – but I guess that's like life in a way. When the climax comes though it is hard not to be a little moved by the lesson that the film is teaching us.

However, the reason for the success of the film is also the reason for it's Oscar nomination – Richard Dreyfuss on good form. He kept me watching even when the material was stretched. He is totally believable in the role – for a microcosm of his performance watch his face when the announcement is made about the surprise they have prepared for him – his emotion got me right away! He deserved his nomination for this as he is captivating over the whole film. He even ages very convincingly and make up should be congratulated. However while makeup were concentrating on Dreyfuss they totally forgot about Headly who doesn't age a bit until the final time period (apart from looking a bit tired). She is badly miscast and she doesn't fit the role at all. Thomas, Macy, Dukakis and Anderson (as the teenage Cole) all do well in support – but this is Dreyfuss' movie.

Overall I enjoyed this. I usually struggle with things like this because they pile the sentiment on thick like a daytime TVM. Happily this script avoids that are the majority of the flaws are compensated for by a strong performance from Dreyfuss.


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