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Dead Poets Society (1989)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 9 June 1989 (USA)
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English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writer:

Tom Schulman
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Popularity
1,168 ( 46)
Top Rated Movies #224 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... John Keating
Robert Sean Leonard ... Neil Perry
Ethan Hawke ... Todd Anderson
Josh Charles ... Knox Overstreet
Gale Hansen Gale Hansen ... Charlie Dalton
Dylan Kussman ... Richard Cameron
Allelon Ruggiero ... Steven Meeks
James Waterston ... Gerard Pitts
Norman Lloyd ... Mr. Nolan
Kurtwood Smith ... Mr. Perry
Carla Belver Carla Belver ... Mrs. Perry
Leon Pownall Leon Pownall ... McAllister
George Martin ... Dr. Hager
Joe Aufiery Joe Aufiery ... Chemistry Teacher
Matt Carey Matt Carey ... Hopkins
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Storyline

Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His roommate, Neil Perry, although exceedingly bright and popular, is very much under the thumb of his overbearing father. The two, along with their other friends, meet Professor Keating, their new English teacher, who tells them of the Dead Poets Society, and encourages them to go against the status quo. Each does so in his own way, and is changed for life. Written by Liz Jordan <c9310494@alinga.newcastle.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

9 June 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La sociedad de los poetas muertos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$340,456, 4 June 1989, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$95,860,116

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$140,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (laserdisc)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie has been described by some - including costar Ethan Hawke - as "One Flew Over the Robin's Nest" ...a loose recollection in which Robin Williams has the Jack Nicholson role, Norman Lloyd has Louise Fletcher's, and Robert Sean Leonard is in Brad Dourif's. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning, starlings honk like geese. See more »

Quotes

McAllister: "Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams and I'll show you a happy man."
John Keating: "But only in their dreams can men be truly free. 'Twas always thus, and always thus will be."
McAllister: Tennyson?
John Keating: No, Keating.
See more »

Alternate Versions

TV version shown on USA Network (and released on laserdisc) includes 14 minutes of extra footage not included in the original theatrical release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Inbetweeners Movie (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sound Off
Written by Willie Lee Duckworth and Bernard Lentz
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User Reviews

 
Carpe Diem, because the days don't stand still
4 February 2005 | by blissfulmitchSee all my reviews

First of all, this is movie is my all-time favorite, out of all the hundreds of films I have seen. However, every time I mention this film, I have to answer most people's quizzical looks with "It's a beautiful little 80s film that stayed in the 80s." After seeing it for the 24th time since I first saw it 5 years ago, on my 13th birthday, I can gladly say that this movie went far and beyond the 80s, and the power and inspiration of the message can be felt every day.

Dead Poets Society is a most underrated film by a most underrated director whose inspiring, uplifting and moral tales firmly grounded in reality are not nearly as appreciated as they should be. Here, we see one of his very personal and cradled projects, and he shows the visual style and concentration on characters in which he is so affluent. His control of the camera and the characters are very strong and very smooth. The cinematography is near perfect, with every shot, along with the editing, seamless. Also very compelling are the color-tones in every scene, perfectly matching the mood and events of the scene. Could you say this is art? Absolutely.

Then we have the performances. Robin Williams continues in stride as one who has to-date remained the most touching, heart-wrenching, awe-inspiring comedians with inarguable acting talent (he still remains my most favorite performer on the film screen). His Professor John Keating is a man who embodies every professor who you thought was cool and respectable, every person who taught or enlightened you in something out of the ordinary. In fact - dare I say it? - he teaches something EXTRAORDINARY! We have the tragically underrated Robert Sean Leonard in his role as the free-thinking catalyst student Neil. Why is this man not a household name/Hollywood heavyweight? His roles are always full of inspiration, energy, and tragic emotion that never fail to move an audience. His role in this movie is fresh, unhindered, and never pretentious as the cautionary tale of the movie. And then we have Ethan Hawke in one of his earliest roles as the point-of-view character. The entire supporting cast is very strong, also, providing the foundation and serve as the various emotional ties that further involve us in the story. Josh Charles's role as Knox Overstreet is a role that almost all guys can relate to wholeheartedly. And of course, all the actors who are in that Dead Poets Society do a fine job.

And lastly, the story. I won't summarize it since it's been summarized many times here, but I will say that it is one of the best coming of age stories for not only adolescents, but anyone. I have personally heard from nine-to-fivers who were inspired by this movie to change the situations of their jobs, careers, relationships for the better. I first saw this movie when I was 13, and immediately stamped, crowned and elevated this movie as my all-time favorite. Now that I am 18 and living on my own, with very different concerns than back then, I turn back to this movie over and over again, to find inspiration, solace and of course, entertainment. It is still my all-time favorite, and it still inspires me to seize the day and make my life extraordinary.


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