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Mr. Holland's Opus (1995) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • 1965. Musician and composer Glenn Holland decides to switch gears in his career by taking a music teaching job at John F. Kennedy High School in order to have more free time to spend with his bride, Iris Holland, and compose, most specifically a symphony which has always been his dream to do. This career change is despite music rather than teaching being his passion, and having no experience in teaching beyond having a teaching certificate. He quickly learns that it is a job that he hates - largely because his students generally don't relate to music the way he does, and of where he and the music program fit within the pecking order of the school - but which he sticks with if only because of life circumstances. With some help most specifically from school principal Mrs. Jacobs, he understands he has to find the same passion that he has for music and translate that somehow into the way he relates to his work and to the students if he is to survive in this life. His teaching work over the years is seen at various specific stages, and against the backdrop of milestone events happening in the world. His job and dealing with students and the staff also affects his personal life, not only with Iris, but also with his son Cole (who is named after John Coltrane), who on the surface could not be more different than his father, and as such is someone to who Glenn has difficulties relating, and to that much wanted time to compose that symphony, which was the reason for taking the job in the first place.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Glenn Holland is a professional musician who would like to spend more time composing so in 1965 he takes up teaching at a local high school. Little does he realize how little free time there will be as a teacher. Initially, he is frustrated at his inability to get through to his students but over time, he becomes quite competent at his profession and in fact has a number of successes. At home, he is devastated to learn that his infant son is deaf and struggles over the years to develop a relationship with him. When, after 30 years of teaching, the music program at his school is canceled he wonders what, if anything, he has really accomplished in his life. Friends and students, past and present, show him just what he has meant to them.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

    - Written by Anonymous

Synopsis

Glenn Holland, not a morning person by anyone's standards, is woken up by his wife Iris early one bright September morning in 1964...

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