7.3/10
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163 user 42 critic

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
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Popularity
3,948 ( 2,590)
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:

A symphony of 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

Every person in the film that portrayed a deaf person is deaf in real life. See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

Vice Principal Wolters: Have you been to any of the football games this season, Mr. Holland?
Glenn Holland: I can't say that I have, no.
Vice Principal Wolters: Well, Mrs. Jacobs and I feel that there's something missing.
Glenn Holland: Touchdowns.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Saturday Night Fever (1977) scene courtesy of Paramount Pictures See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Greenskeeper (2002) 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
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User Reviews

Lighten Up, Folks.......
24 December 2000 | by drconcertsSee all my reviews

It's a MOVIE! I'm reading comments so vastly polarized to one extreme or another so as not to be believed.

Okay, I am a musician. I've been one on a professional level for over ten years, both as a writer and performer. And I LOVED this movie (apologies to all those pretentious 'serious' musicians out there). I enjoyed my theatrical viewing and I have watched my DVD several times.

Is MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS musically accurate? No, of course not, no more so than STAR TREK paying attention to factual science and the laws of physics. But for the most part, nobody other than most of us ego-driven, high horse bound musician types will ever know it.

Designed to have a broad appeal outside the aforementioned musically inclined crowd? Yes, but then so is nearly every movie to come out of Hollywood. It has to be palatable to a certain degree, and I believe that the much maligned "Play the sunset" scene is far more entertaining than having Mr. Holland give us lengthy exposition on the proper articulation and technique that goes into playing a given instrument.

And if I hear one more poster scream about Mr. Holland's 'opus' only being ten minutes long (the "It took him a lifetime to write THIS?" mantra) I think I'll scream. Did it ever occur to anybody that what we heard was only a small part of a much larger work? Most classical and semi-classical pieces occur in (get ready) MOVEMENTS! It's entirely possible that we only heard the prologue to a much larger piece. Think outside the box, people.

As for the quality of the piece itself, I found it to be acceptable, if not the most dynamic piece of work I've ever heard. But seeing as how we had been hearing snippets of this piece THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE, I can't say that I was so overwhelmingly let down as some of our more 'educated and refined' musician types that have posted here.

Sure, there were some flaws. Ms. Headly is not the greatest actress in the world, and beside Dreyfuss she's downright embarrassing. William Macy's character is so cliched that it warrants no further discussion. The whole subplot with Rowena and her romantic interest in Mr. Holland ran about ten minutes too long. And the ending bit where the arts funding gets cut seemed a little too political.

But overall, a great film, surely one of Dreyfuss' best, and one of my favorite films.

I'm a musician. And I liked it. So sue me....


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