Dead Poets Society, by Peter Weir (1989)

Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film starring Robin Williams and directed by Peter Weir. Set at a conservative and aristocratic boys prep school, it tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students to change their lives of conformity through his teaching of poetry and literature.

The story is set at the fictional Welton Academy in Vermont, and was filmed at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware. The script, written by Tom Schulman, is based on his life at Montgomery Bell Academy, an all-boys preparatory school in Nashville, Tennessee.

Robin Williams stars as a teacher who doesn’t fit into the school where he teaches, but whose charisma and love of poetry inspires some 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.

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.

A subplot involving one father’s terrible pressure on his son – played by Robert Sean Leonard -to drop his interest in theatre reaches heartbreaking proportions.


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