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Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

During the 1964-1965 school year, Mr. Holland helps his class appreciate Bach by showing the connection between a Bach composition and "A Lover's Concerto" by the Toys. The record came out in fall 1965, during the next school year.
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If Mr. Holland is 60 in 1995, he would be 30 in 1965, when he tells Iris how he fell in love with John Coltrane's music in 1950, when he was 15. Coltrane's first session as a leader was on 31 May 1957, so he couldn't have had a John Coltrane record then.
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Portland did not have traffic diverters until the early 1990s.
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Mr. Holland assembles a 1990s crib in 1965.
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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.
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The type of school lockers shown in 1964 were not available until at least the late-1960s.
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The skateboard used during the scene displaying the 1980 banner was a "new school" model, which was not produced until the late '80s or early '90s.
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In a montage of mid-late Seventies musical events seen just prior to scenes set in 1980, David Byrne of Talking Heads is seen performing in the over-sized Big Suit designed especially for the band's concert film Stop Making Sense, released in 1984.
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In the scene where Mr. Holland is starting a Marching Band for the first time, a saxophonist is using a Rovner ligature on his mouthpiece, instead of a typical metal one. The Grant High School Band from Portland, Oregon was used in the filming, and the student used his personal horn/mouthpiece and ligature, not realizing that it didn't exist in the time period they were filming. Rovner ligatures weren't invented until the mid 70's, and definitely didn't become well-used by musicians until the late 80's.
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Spencer Davis' "Keep on Running" was released in 1966, the year after the 1965 High School Grad.
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In front of the drug store waiting for the midnight bus - the bus pulls away and we get a clear shot of the crosswalk. In the 1960s when the movie was set, crosswalk patterns were lines across the street from corner to corner, as opposed to the modern way which is what we see there.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

The trumpet players' fingering doesn't match the notes they're playing.
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The school band's marching is alternately on and off the beat when the parade begins.
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Mr. Holland's piano-playing does not matching the audio track in several places.
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Throughout the film, it is obvious that the band "musicians" (particularly the horns and woodwinds) aren't really playing their instruments. Beyond the bizarre fingerings, great sound pours out, yet the players' lips, cheeks, and neck muscles show no movement or exertion.
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Character error 

After the rifle salute at Louis Russ' funeral, the Sergeant-at-Arms orders "Present Arms". After the completion of firing, the proper command should have been "Order Arms".
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When young Gertrude Lang showed up late, Mr. Holland mentions that she left her clarinet there the other day. Then he asks her to play for him. She would not be able to just pick up the clarinet and play. The reed would be dry and hard. To play the clarinet, Gertrude would've needed to get the reed soft and wet.
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The child "playing" the French horn is holding the horn backwards. The bell should be facing to the right.
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During Louis Russ' funeral, the flag is presented to next of kin incorrectly. The point should be facing away from the recipient.
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In the shot where the crowd at the parade winces and holds their ears after the fire engine blasts its horn, several people do not react, most noticeably the two little girls in striped red dresses.
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Continuity 

The Driver's Ed car loses a hubcap on the way to the hospital. In subsequent scenes, it has all four hubcaps.
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After learning the Hollands will move to a house, Iris hugs Glenn with a sheet of music in her hand, and the sheet ends up behind his head. In the next shot, the sheet is in the middle of his back.
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As Iris prepares to speak to the crowd before the final performance, a sign-language interpreter behind her moves into position twice.
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During the final performance, a close-up of Iris shows her preparing to take a snapshot. In the next wide shot of the crowd, Iris is seen with her hands down.
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The writing of Mr. Holland's name on the blackboard
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Shortly after Mr. Holland's son opens a window, causing papers to fly all over the room, a medium shot shows a young man sitting in a chair. He stands up. When the camera cuts to a long shot, he's back in the chair, and stands up again.
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As Iris takes a picture of Mr. Holland at the end of the film, the next shot (cutting to Mr. Holland conducting his symphony) shows her sitting quietly in her seat, without her camera even visible.
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As Cole grows up, his eye color changes from blue to brown and back to blue.
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Crew or equipment visible 

After Mr. Holland discusses Beethoven with his students, the camera pans over to the record player. The camera is reflected in the shiny surface of the record.
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Factual errors 

Ray Charles' "I've Got A Woman" was released by Atlantic Records.
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After finding out his son is deaf, Mr. Holland teaches his class about Beethoven's deafness while writing his seventh symphony. Beethoven lost his hearing gradually. He wasn't completely deaf until he wrote his ninth symphony.
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In several scenes, Mr. Holland conducts with his baton in his left hand. Traditional conductors generally conduct with their batons in their right hand, even if they're left-handed, due to centuries of tradition. It's the same reason left-handed violinists don't hold the bow in their left hand.
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Mr. Holland plays Lovers Concerto to his class and asks who wrote It. A student replies, 'The Toys.' Mr Holland corrects him and says "That was Minuet in G, by Johan Sebastian Bach." The piece is often attributed to Bach as it was found in a book kept by Bach's wife. It was in fact written by Christian Petzold (1677-1733).
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In the early months of 1965, the faculty meets to decide what new textbooks will be used the following semester (1965-66) - but even that long ago, decisions about which texts to use would have been made a year or more in advance to facilitate board approval, budgets, etc.
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Miscellaneous 

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.
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Plot holes 

In the Gershwin revue audition scene, Mr. Holland is genuinely surprised and impressed by Rowena's talent and asks her name. However, in the later diner scene, Rowena explains that she loved being in his classes and in the scene where Iris sees her name in the program, she had been in the earlier school production of "My Fair Lady." It is highly unlikely then, that Mr. Holland would have no idea who she is.
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Revealing mistakes 

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.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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