Dead Poets Society

June 9th, 1989


Dead Poets Society

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Still of Robin Williams in Dead Poets SocietyStill of Robin Williams in Dead Poets SocietyStill of Robin Williams in Dead Poets SocietyStill of Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard and Josh Charles in Dead Poets SocietyStill of Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard and Josh Charles in Dead Poets SocietyStill of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society

English professor John Keating inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day.

Release Year: 1989

Rating: 7.8/10 (121,145 voted)

Critic's Score: 79/100

Director: Peter Weir

Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke

Painfully shy Todd Anderson has been sent to the school where his popular older brother was valedictorian. His room-mate, Neil, 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, in their own way, does this, and are changed for life.

Robin Williams - John Keating
Robert Sean Leonard - Neil Perry
Ethan Hawke - Todd Anderson
Josh Charles - Knox Overstreet
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 - Mrs. Perry
Leon Pownall - McAllister
George Martin - Dr. Hager
Joe Aufiery - Chemistry Teacher
Matt Carey - Hopkins

Taglines: He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

Release Date: 9 June 1989

Filming Locations: Everett Theatre - 47 West Main Street, Middletown, Delaware, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $16,400,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $340,456 (USA) (4 June 1989) (8 Screens)

Gross: $235,900,000 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The 10th biggest grossing film of the year at the US box office, and the fifth highest overseas. It surpassed two other blockbuster Disney releases Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and The Little Mermaid.

Factual errors: The first meeting of the Dead Poets Society in the cave is at night but there is light through the hole in the ceiling.

John Keating: Mr. Meeks, time to inherit the earth.

User Review

A powerful antidote to conformism

Rating: 10/10

There are certain films that get under your skin, never to come out. They change your life, subtly altering your perceptions of reality, almost always for the better.

Dead Poets Society is one of those few films.

I saw the movie back when I was in High School. I had a teacher who told us that we really needed to watch it; in fact, it was our "homework" for the day. We didn't need to bring back a report, or talk about it in class. All he asked from us was to watch it, make up our own mind about it, and that was it. As you can imagine, many friends of mine didn't watch it at all; I did. And yes, I feel I changed a bit from there on.

Back when you are young, you never really stop to think what in the world you are doing with your life. You simply live for the day, hope your grades will be enough to pass, and that's it. Long term thinking involves maybe flirting with a girl. Nothing more. What this film showed me was that we have the responsability and the joy of being alive in this planet. That we are dust, and we will go back to it, so we have precious little time to make a difference. That we have a moral obligation to "seize the day, and make our lives extraordinary" (my favorite quote in all movie history). That the world, basically is ours. That the only limitations are within ourselves, and that we owe it to us to fight, to rebel against conformity, to change what we hate and keep what we love. That living in this world is a beautiful responsability, and that only cowards dare not to change it for the better.

The fact that the cast was basically my age, and was passing through the same dilemmas and situations I was facing made it all so much more powerful.

So here I sit, 12 years from that day. I still don't think I have seized the day completely. But I keep on trying; I always will. I wonder how many people were transformed by this gem of a movie; I hope many.

10 out of 10. A definitive masterpiece.


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