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Mr. Holland's Opus

4.7 out of 5 stars 524 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Acclaimed star Richard Dreyfuss gives the performance of a lifetime (1995 Academy Award(R)-nominee, Best Actor -- MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS) in this uplifting hit cheered by audiences everywhere! Glenn Holland (Dreyfuss) is a passionate musician who dreams of composing one truly memorable piece of music. But reality intrudes when he reluctantly accepts a "day job" as a high school music teacher to support his family. In time, however, Mr. Holland realizes that his real passion is teaching, and his legacy is the generations of young people he inspires. Also featuring Glenne Headly (BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS) and Olympia Dukakis (MAFIA!) -- you're sure to find this electrifying motion picture both entertaining ... and unforgettable!

Special Features

Production Featurette|Chapter Search

Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis, William H. Macy
  • Directors: Oliver Wood, Stephen Herek
  • Writers: Patrick Sheane Duncan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment / Hollywood Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 1999
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (524 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305428352
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mr. Holland's Opus" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Recent showing of "Music of My Heart" starring Merryl Strepp as a substitute teacher striving to sustain a violin program for low-income kids in New York City reminds me of this all-time favorite classic released back in 1996. The bottom line is love.
Situated in Oregon in the fall of 1964, Glen Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) took up a job as a high school music teacher as his wife became pregant. Holland, now shouldered with added responsibility as a soon-to-be father, a composer, and a teacher, faced the immediate challenge of working with a diverse group of students: the naturally talented, the rebellious, and the physically impaired.
This is a movie about love and love of music. Glenn Holland is the central figure who strives to love his students and family through his devotion to music. Born deaf-toned, the dream of teaching his own son to become an eminent violinist inevitably bursts with much frustration. Glenn Holland is not perfect; in fact, interactions with his students through failures and triumphs gradually refine him to be a loving and well-respected man. Love propels him to reconcile his frustration for his son and breaks the ice in his relationship with his wife.
For over 30 years, this young composer has taught generations of students not only about music, but love, respect, faith, and confidence. The final reunion of his students features orchestration of "American Symphony" to pay the highest tribute to this self-sacrificing teacher.
This is a movie that will move every soul and make everyone's tears roll down the cheek. It's all about love, and love moves. After 4 years since I first watched the premiere, it still touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I see it again on my flight to Asia.
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Format: DVD
The quality of Mr. Holland's Opus spreads evenly throughout its plot, its message, and its marvelous appreciation of music and the arts. In fact, this movie delivers both definition and demonstration of music appreciation as a whole, absent of selective bias. Devoid of senseless killings, violence, or notable language, Opus is a family movie without the corny overtones. For many it's a tearjerker.
But Mr. Holland's Opus unfolds an issue. It is a simple plea for an increase in music appreciation among society--particularly our young people. Mr. Holland's career is pressured more and more by the gradual, yet perpetual governmental cuts in school funding for the arts amid the US. In sharp contrast, the movie makes it clear that support for the sports programs in public schools remain firm and solid. Careful to avoid cursing this predicament or hurling insults toward society, this message is rather Hollywood's way of calmly saying, "Take a look," using the common life of an otherwise forgotten music teacher.
The central beauty of the movie is in the character of Mr. Holland himself. He is an ardent yet sensible lover of music. The viewer will find no arrogance or snootiness in Mr. Holland. It's not his style. Instead, Holland's concern for the progressive loss of interest in the arts is voiced simply, directly, and peacefully.
The movie delivers a powerful message through ordeals within his family. Struggling with the hardships of common fate (and some not so common), Holland learns new depths of love and companionship from both his wife and son. He is a man of emotions like anyone else. He looses his temper on occasions. But Mr. Holland is always in control of himself. He deals with pressures to the best of his ability as they occur.
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By A Customer on December 21, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I've seen a lot of classic films over my lifetime, but there was something about this movie that made it stand above the rest. Perhaps it was the moving story about a composer who turns to teaching in a high school to pay the bills, but winds up staying there for 30 years through a series of personal tragedies and triumphs. Maybe it was the spectacular cast that includes Richard Dreyfuss in an Oscar nominated turn as the title character, Glenne Headley as his loyal wife, Jay Thomas as his trusted friend, and Olympia Dukakis as the boss he hates and loves. It might have been the realistic way it portrays high school life over thirty years, or the wonderful use of music from different periods to add to the story, or even the way it doesn't stay away from sensitive issues in our world (death, war, the deaf, and the struggles of balancing work and family are all talked about). However, I feel the reason I love this movie so much is because of the realistic way it depicts a man's contributions to the world. The movie shows Glen Holland not as a saint, but as a flawed man who loved music deeply, and managed to pass on his love to some other children. It doesn't seem like much, but as we see in the teary final scene, the small things that Glen Holland did, in their own little way, made the world a better place.
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By A Customer on February 22, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
If you've ever once wondered how you might have touched the lives of those around you, you will both laugh and cry at "Mr. Holland's Opus". It's the story of a man who decided to devote his entire life to composing a great opus but practicality interfered and in order to pay the bills, he decided to fall back on his teaching certificate by taking a teaching job at a local high school. For the first five months, he went through the motions and the students were as bored in his class as he was. Furthermore, the student he was tutoring in clarinet was making no progress. He then realized that the boredom and frustration his students were feeling was due to his failing them, rather than the reverse so he began teaching them about classical music through the rock 'n roll that they could relate to. Soon, his students' performance began to improve and they began to appreciate the music that HE could relate to. His clarinet student drastically improved as well. As he gained the love and respect of his students and the faculty at the school, Mr. Holland's duties began to increase. He was in charge of the orchestra, the marching band and later, the school play. All the while, he hadn't given up trying to compose his opus. During that time, his wife gave birth to their son, Cole and soon afterward, it was discovered that Cole was deaf and Holland realized that he couldn't share the music that he loved with his own son. He continued teaching students, dealing with the frustration of not being able to communicate with his son and trying desperately to finish his opus. What was intended to be a short "gig" at the local high school, turned in to a career spanning 30 years. At the age of 60, Mr.Read more ›
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