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Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

PG | | Drama, Music | 19 January 1996 (USA)
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A frustrated composer finds fulfillment as a high school music teacher.

Director:

Stephen Herek
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Glenn Holland
Glenne Headly ... Iris Holland
Jay Thomas ... Bill Meister
Olympia Dukakis ... Principal Jacobs
William H. Macy ... Vice Principal Wolters (as W.H. Macy)
Alicia Witt ... Gertrude Lang
Terrence Howard ... Louis Russ
Damon Whitaker ... Bobby Tidd
Jean Louisa Kelly ... Rowena Morgan
Alexandra Boyd ... Sarah Olmstead
Nicholas John Renner Nicholas John Renner ... Cole at 6 Years Old
Joseph Anderson ... Cole at 15 Years Old
Anthony Natale ... Cole at 28 Years Old
Joanna Gleason ... Adult Gertrude
Beth Maitland ... 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:

We are your symphony, Mr. Holland. We are the melodies and the notes of your opus. We are the music of your life. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

19 January 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Holland's Opus See more »

Filming Locations:

Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,254, 19 July 1996

Gross USA:

$82,569,971

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$106,269,971
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

The trumpet players' fingering doesn't match the notes they're playing. See more »

Quotes

Stadler: Who's that in the box?
[a brief pause]
Glenn Holland: Just some kid I taught to beat a drum.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to The Seattle Symphony Orchestra See more »


Soundtracks

Keep on Running
Written by Jackie Edwards
Performed by The Spencer Davis
Courtesy of EMI Records
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
Courtesy of Island Records Ltd.
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Genuinely Nice Bio Film That Hits Mostly The Right Notes
9 March 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

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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