Dead Poets Society

  • Film
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With Tom Schulman's script scrutinising educational conformity, the casting of Robin Williams as English teacher John Keating is inspired. Keating's eccentric teaching methods, exhorting his students with cries of 'Carpe Diem', promote spontaneity and idealism. But in the prestigious Welton Academy circa 1959, these male offspring are put on the same career path as their fathers, and face stern opposition from the educational establishment when they choose to indulge their imaginations. Keating's gospel breeds hope for some, frustration and despair for others. To a large degree, Schulman avoids cliché by focusing almost exclusively on entrenched paternal prejudice against artistic pursuits. Weir infuses the film with his customary mysticism, but more importantly, draws sensitive performances from his largely inexperienced cast (Leonard is particularly impressive). Williams does wonders with a role that tends to be reduced to one of catalyst.

Release details

Duration: 129 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Peter Weir
Screenwriter: Tom Schulman
Cast: Robin Williams
Robert Sean Leonard
Ethan Hawke
Josh Charles
Gale Hansen
Dylan Kussman
Allelon Ruggiero
James Waterston
Norman Lloyd
Kurtwood Smith
Alexandra Powers
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