Dead Poets Society

Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams stars as an English teacher who doesn't fit into the conservative prep school where he teaches, but whose charisma and love of poetry inspires several boys to revive a secret society with a bohemian bent. The script is well meaning but a little trite, though director Peter Weir (The Truman Show) adds layers of emotional depth in scenes of conflict between the kids and adults. (A subplot involving one father's terrible pressure on his son--played by Robert Sean Leonard--to drop his interest in theater reaches heartbreaking proportions.) Williams is given plenty of latitude to work in his brand of improvisational humor, though it is all well-woven into his character's style of instruction. --Tom Keogh

Genre: Drama
Director(s): Peter Weir
Production: Buena Vista Pictures
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 18 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.1
Metacritic:
79
Rotten Tomatoes:
86%
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Year:
1989
129
11,022 Views

Keating:
The picture of Uncle Walt up there. What does he remind you of? Don't think. Answer. Go on.

[Keating begins to circle around Todd]

Todd:
A m-m-madman.

Keating:
What kind of madman? Don't think about it. Just answer again.

Todd:
A c-crazy madman.

Keating:
No, you can do better than that. Free up your mind. Use your imagination. Say the first thing that pops into your head, even if it's total gibberish. Go on, go on.

Todd:
Uh, uh, a sweaty-toothed madman.

Keating:
Good God, boy, there's a poet in you, after all. There, close your eyes. Close your eyes. Close 'em. Now, describe what you see.

[Keating puts his hands over Todd's eyes and they begin to slowly spin around]

Todd:
Uh, I-I close my eyes.

Keating:
Yes?

Todd Uh, and this image floats beside me.

Keating:
A sweaty-toothed madman?

Todd:
A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain.

Keating:
Oh, that's excellent. Now, give him action. Make him do something.

Todd:
H-His hands reach out and choke me.

Keating:
That's it. Wonderful. Wonderful.

[Keating removes his hands from Todd but Todd keeps his eyes closed]

Todd:
And, and all the time he's mumbling.

Keating:
What's he mumbling?

Todd:
M-Mumbling, "Truth. Truth is like, like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold."

[The students begin to laugh and Todd opens his eyes. Keating quickly gestures for him to close them again]

Keating:
Forget them, forget them. Stay with the blanket. Tell me about that blanket.

Todd:
Y-Y-Y-You push it, stretch it, it'll never be enough. You kick at it, beat it, it'll never cover any of us. From the moment we enter crying to the moment we leave dying, it will just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream.

[Todd opens his eyes. The class is silent. Then they applaud Todd's impressive delivery.]

Keating:
[whispering to Todd] Don't you forget this.

Cameron:
What's going on, guys?

Charlie:
You finked, didn't you, Cameron?

Cameron:
Finked? I don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Charlie:
You told Nolan about everything about that club is what I'm talking about!

Cameron:
Look, in case you hadn't heard, Dalton, there's something called an honor code at this school, alright?! If a teacher asks you a question, you tell the truth, or you're expelled.

(Outraged, Charlie bolts towards Cameron to attack him, but the others hold him back.)

Charlie:
He's a rat! He's in it up to his eyes, so he rattled to save himself!

Knox:
Don't touch him, Charlie. You do, and you're out.

Charlie:
I'm out anyway!

Knox:
You don't know that, not yet.

Cameron:
He's right there, Charlie. And if you guys are smart, you will do EXACTLY what I did and cooperate! They're not after us! We're the victims! Us and Neil.

Charlie:
What's that mean? Who are they after?

Cameron:
Why, Mr. Keating, of course! The "Captain" himself! I mean, you guys didn't really think he could avoid responsibility, did you?

Charlie:
Mr. Keating responsible for Neil? Is that what they're saying?

Cameron:
Well, who else do you think, dumbass?! The administration?! Mr. Perry?! I mean, Mr. Keating put us up to all this crap, didn't he?! If it wasn't for Mr. Keating, Neil would be cozying up in his room right now, studying his chemistry, and dreaming of being called doctor!

Todd:
That is not true, Cameron! You know that! He didn't put us up to anything! And Neil loved acting!

Cameron:
Believe what you want, but I say let Keating fry! I mean, why ruin our lives?!

(Charlie, out of rage, slugs Cameron. The others restrain him again.)

Cameron:
You've just signed your expulsion papers, "Nuwanda"! And if the rest of you were smart, you'll do exactly what I did! They know everything anyway. You can't save Keating, but you can save yourselves.


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