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Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

PG | | Drama, Music | 19 January 1996 (USA)
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1:04 | Trailer
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:

It's not about the direction you take. It's about the direction you give. 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:

$14,466, 1 January 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

Although his character, "Glenn Holland" uses rock and pop music in class (and at one point says he "loves it") and is also a fan of jazz, Richard Dreyfuss confessed on Inside the Actors Studio that he has always hated rock and roll, and the one sound that he hates most is "the electric guitar." See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

Iris Holland: When you were in high school, did you ever wonder if your teachers went home and got it on at night?
Glenn Holland: When I was in high school, my teachers were all priests and nuns.
Iris Holland: I had such a crush on Mr. Griffith, he could've taken me home any time.
Glenn Holland: Really?
Iris Holland: Mhm.
Glenn Holland: And who was this Mr. Griffith?
Iris Holland: Oh, he was my music teacher.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Someone to Watch Over Me
Written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Performed by Jean Louisa Kelly
See more »

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User Reviews

Oh for the love of crumbcake...
6 December 2001 | by Rilchiam-1See all my reviews

So many people have complained about the Gertrude Lang character (Alicia Witt), Holland's interaction with her, and the purpose of the character, and I am simply amazed at the hostility.

1) "Playing the sunset" was Holland's way of getting Gertrude to relax so she could play the notes fluidly. They both knew that she didn't sound professional, and wasn't going to. The idea was to get her just above the level of making a fool of herself as she did the first time he called on her in class. Then she could, and did, perform in the band without dragging down the whole ensemble.

2) Her goal was not to be a professional musician. Did no one else hear her speech about "I just wanted to be good at *something*"? She listed all the fabulous achievements of her parents and siblings, and concluded, "I'm the only one who's..." The missing word would have been "useless" or "worthless". Or "a failure". Thirty years later she's the governor (not the mayor!), because in 1966, Holland helped her gain confidence for the first time.

3) She wasn't "wasting" Holland's efforts by going into politics. Art, music and theater education don't exist solely to create professional artists, musicians and actors. They also exist to give young people an opportunity for change and growth, even if they never use a paintbrush again.

I liked that plot twist. Almost every high school has an alumnus who has achieved something in art or entertainment, but a lot of people sell one painting or appear in one film and become a hero to their home town. But there are only fifty states, and it takes an extraordinary amount of drive to become governor of one of them. It's unlikely that she would have taken that first step towards empowerment without Holland.


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