Stephen Speicher

Dead Poets Society

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10 posts in this topic

In the midst of a conformity-ridden high school, "Dead Poets Society" places a lone independent teacher who is committed to teaching his students the power of ideas, the virtue of independence, and the need to live gloriously here on Earth. Mr. Keating (the teacher) speaks so explicitly about these values, and makes use of such beautifully poetic quotes, that I cannot help but be reminded of the soul of Cyrano de Bergerac.

How do Mr. Keating's students respond to such an influence on their lives? Will they come understand the importance of what they are being taught? That is the central question of the movie; and this question is resolved, logically and triumphantly, all the while dramatizing the crucial need for intellectual and moral independence. That it does so with teenagers makes the movie all the more special to me, because I will never forget what Ayn Rand's ideas meant to me when I was in high school, nor how crucial it was for me to hear at that young age the kinds of things that Keating tells his students.

"Dead Poets Society" is at once a movie about ideas, a movie about independence, a movie about flourishing in one's own life, and a movie about how and why they are all are connected. Needless to say, I recommend it highly.

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One of my all time favorites also. It's very moving. I gave it a ten.

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Until the ending I loved Dead Poets Society for all the reasons ADS mentioned. Unfortunately, for me, the ending undid all the good the movie had represented for me up until that point.

I will also say that it has been quite a few years since I saw it. Perhaps my general opinion would soften if I saw it again. I do remember enjoying it so very much until that ending.

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Until the ending I loved Dead Poets Society for all the reasons ADS mentioned.  Unfortunately, for me, the ending undid all the good the movie had represented for me up until that point.

I will also say that it has been quite a few years since I saw it.  Perhaps my general opinion would soften if I saw it again.  I do remember enjoying it so very much until that ending.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is interesting, because I regard the ending to be the best part of the movie. I suspect that what you are regarding as "the ending" is not the very ending, but a part before that -- a part that the very ending is meant to resolve. Since explaining myself any further would give away the movie, I will only encourage you to watch it again when you get the chance, as I bet you may have a different opinion of it if you do so.

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I just finished watching this movie again. I had seen it only once, when it first came out sixteen years ago, and though I had a pleasant memory of the story I was not prepared for the depth of my response now. I do not know what I missed on first viewing, or why, but this is one beautiful film. Alex's short description sums it up well, and the end of the film is truly triumphant, a magnificent end to an inspiring story.

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I saw Dead Poets Society with my father (also an Objectivist) when it first came out on video. I wasn't much younger than the protagonists in the film. I remember we talked at length about what the movie was about and how important these ideas were. It made a huge impact on me and is still one of my very favorite films to this day.

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I first saw The Dead Poets Society done as a senior directed play in Drama and was quite moved by it; this motivated me to watch the movie.

I disagree with Russell as well that the ending undid the movie; I think rather that it firmly concretized the good within that film.

Following suit of Alex's comment ("Since explaining myself any further would give away the movie, I will only encourage you to watch it again when you get the chance, as I bet you may have a different opinion of it if you do so.") I guess I will withhold why I thought the ending MADE the movie instead of detracting from it.

I need to watch it again though to rate it.

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Nothing substantive to add about Dead Poets Society (which I love), but I wanted to note that, solely in terms of looks, Kurtwood Smith (who plays the harsh father in this film) is just about dead-on perfect for the mental image I've always had of James Taggart.

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This movie was an emotional roller-coaster, from one emotion right into the next. From laughter filled with joy, to teary eyes filled with sadness. (Okay maybe I cried :D, but it was worth every tear).

I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the movie. And, I do think all aspects had to be part of the movie so that it could bring out the drama in the final choices.

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