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
In the beginning, which is supposedly 1964, Vice Principal Wolters mentions Ralph Nader's book on cars, which wasn't released until 1965, a year later. See more »
These tests are pathetic. "Name an American composer." Miss Swedlin, your answer was?
[a student giggles]
Johann Sebastian Bach. Oh, this... this is my favorite one. "How do you know what key a concerto is in?" Mr. Mims, your answer was "Look on the front page", question mark. Now, this question mark. Was that because you weren't sure or because your English skills are on the same level as your musical theory?
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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 »
Genuinely Nice Bio Film That Hits Mostly The Right Notes
This is simply a nice, dramatic story of a music teacher's life. Richard Dreyfuss plays the teacher, "Glenn Holland." It spans 30 years of his career with a tear-jerking ending. Endearing characters make it a memorable film.
The focus of the story is Dreyfuss and three students he gives special time to over the years. A big subplot involves the teacher and his hearing-impaired son.
The students are winningly played by Alicia Witt, who plays the sweet girl who goes on to become governor; Terrence Howard, a really nice kid who gets killed in Viet Nam, and Jean Louisa Kelly, the last and most memorable student perhaps, an extremely talented singer who goes on to a career in New York City.
Interwoven are some personal stories, particularly with Kelly's character, and with fellow teachers (Jay Thomas playing the most likable) and school administrators (Olympia Dukakis and William H. Macy). The most personal, of course, involves his hot-cold-hot relationship with his disabled son (played by three different actors as time passes.) Glenne Headly, meanwhile, plays Dreyfuss' wife.
As you can see by this cast, this is a well-acted movie with the only flaw being the screenwriters unable, as Hollywood seems to be, to control their political bias by giving unwarranted cheap shots to Republican politicians who are pictured as being against the arts; atheist John Lennon almost deified in this film as one of the "heroes" of the 20th century, plus a few more digs and plugs here and there, all with the normal Liberal bias.
Propaganda-aside, it's a genuinely nice film about people who succeed through dedication to their professions. The movie seemed to appeal to a wide audience. It's very manipulative, but it works. It's also a plug, if you will, for deaf children and the problems they face and the difficulties parents face in raising a kid with that disability.
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