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Mr. Holland's Opus (Bilingual)

Richard Dreyfuss , Glenne Headly , Oliver Wood , Stephen Herek    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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Mr. Holland's Opus (Bilingual) + Dead Poets Society (Special Edition) (Bilingual) + Patch Adams: Collector's Edition (Widescreen)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 56.98

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Product Description


An earnest and at times overblown story of a music teacher's impact on those around him, Mr. Holland's Opus is at times a genuinely touching drama in the vein of It's a Wonderful Life. Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) plays an aspiring composer and musician who takes a job teaching music at a local high school to save money while he composes his music. But when his wife (Glenne Headley) becomes pregnant, Glenn Holland must put aside his dreams and address the everyday realities of his life, from the melancholy and sometimes tragic fates of his students to the discovery that the son he cherishes is deaf. Building to a highly emotional climax in which the teacher sees the impact he's had on the world around him, Mr. Holland's Opus is a showcase for a fine Oscar-nominated performance by Dreyfuss and an engaging, heartwarming story. --Robert Lane

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Thinking Man's Forrest Gump Nov. 15 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I'm not a Richard Dreyfus fan. I rooted for the shark, and was disappointed when the aliens came in peace, so you can see why I expected to hate Mr. Holland's Opus.
And in fact, this film is a two and a half hour parade of stereotypes equaled only by the seven dwarves. It's the thinking man's Forrest Gump, and the crowning achievement of screenwriter and cliché master Patrick Duncan. I rarely remember who said something first, but I can guarantee you Patrick Duncan said it last. Look for the shy student who learns self-confidence, the devoted wife who stands by her man, the dumb-but-honest kid who dies for his country, the small town kid with big city talent who risks everything for a shot at Broadway, the dedicated educators, the bureaucrats who stand in their way... lay the beans on your card and you can hit bingo before the denouement.
But wait.
I saw this film for just one reason: to see how badly they handled the Deaf character. In Hollywood, Deaf characters slide along a sorry continuum between the shy and melancholic, and the isolated and hostile, all symbolic, none bearing any similarity to any actual Deaf person I've ever met. Hearing people have no idea what Deaf people are actually like. The community of Deaf people in America is tight, it's vibrant, it's joyful, and every child born Deaf in America has this tremendous society just waiting to embrace it. But this isn't common knowledge among hearing America, who can only imagine themselves, suddenly cut off auditorily from the world they know, and so they project this onto characters they don't know, and create a sad stereotype with no basis whatsoever in reality.
Anyway, so I walked into Mr.
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Format:VHS Tape
Hats off to Steven Herek for creating such a beautiful and realistic, life-affirming masterpiece. Unlike so many of today's films that rely on sex, violence, and trends that last all of 15 seconds, here is a movie that is appropriate for anyone who loves music and a thoroughly enjoyable story.
Glen Holland (Richard Dreyfuss)is a musician who hopes one day to compose a piece of music he will be immortalized for, so he takes a job as a high school music teacher believing that he'll have spare time to achieve his goal. He is sadly mistaken after, having had a few rough months reaching his students, he becomes one of the most popular teachers in his school and community. Free time for his own musical pursuits is the last thing he has left as his life becomes a parallel to the line in John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy"--Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.
This life involves a vice principal who's jealous of him for being more popular than he is, never ending schedules to teach marching bands, individual students how to play their instruments and lessons in life, driver's ed, and school plays.
The most challenging thing for Glen Holland may be that he has to come to terms with the disappointment of being a music teacher whose own son is deaf, and the most touching thing is the closure he finally discovers with him after realizing his own infalibilities when almost tempted to run away with a young student cast in one of the school's low budget musical productions.
Not only is this film moving, but it has several moments of down-to-earth humor: Check out the kids who think they have talent as they try out for the Gershwin review. It may remind you a bit of American Idol. My personal favorite?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Film Feb. 20 2004
By Egoman
This movie set up a pin and knocked it down. It follows a rather predictable path, and the script relies too heavily on coincidences (such as the music-teacher having a deaf son) rather than character depth to make its point. However, it was genuinely entertaining and not too far over the top to watch again.
The back of the DVD case provides an ample summary of the plot:
"(Mr. Holland) accepts a 'day job' as a high school music teacher... In time, however, Mr. Holland realizes that his real passion is teaching..."
Coming myself from Oregon, where the film was set (and filmed), I was able to feel a great deal of empathy for the budget cut issues raised in the latter part of the film. The resulting cut of the art and music programs in the state actually occurred there, during the time when I was a student. It has been mentioned that, perhaps, the ending was not as bright as it could have been. However, it successfully portrayed a real problem in the modern American school system. There's no doubt about the message this is trying to send. Subtlety isn't a part of the film's charm.
I actually felt that most of the scenes have relevance. The scene of the funeral for the boy killed in Vietnam was a stock moment, but at least it was mercifully brief and tasteful, rather than pouring on hokey dialogue. It allowed Mr. Holland to make a tired point to a stoner in his class, and prove his excellent and influential teaching methods by the end of the film.
The encounter Mr. Holland had with a young singer in his school play who fell in love with him did actually add to the story. She makes the point that he could come with her to New York and pursue the dreams he always had (and gave up when he had a child, bought a house, etc).
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD quality
I had this movie on VHS, thought the DVD would be better quality, was I wrong!

This DVD is so poorly mastered, whenever there are any type of lines in the background... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Denis
3.0 out of 5 stars This is Widescreen???
I love this story and the actor's performances. Richard Dreyfuss is certainly at his best here. I was, however, disappointed with the image presentation on my Flat Screen TV. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bruce M
5.0 out of 5 stars Another inspiring one
Based on a true story, this one will make you tear up while you cheer. A must for teachers out there; you can and do make a difference.
Published 15 months ago by movielover
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
One of my favourite movies. This is a modern classic and Richard Dreyfuss is superb in this role. Wonderful show!
Published 17 months ago by Ranae Hatch
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie that I think enspires the Deaf to watch
In my opinion this movie is an excellent way for the Hearing In Paired to watch movies like this one.There should be more movies like Mr Holland's Opus. Read more
Published on July 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great movie for the whole family
Glenn Holland[Richard Dreyfuss] is a man who has a dream of becoming a classical music composer. But it turns out that he teaches a high school music class. Read more
Published on April 11 2004 by Alexander Nordquist
Most of the reviewers on Amazon seemed to have loved this movie. They've said it made them cry, and think. This movie didn't provoke a tear from me. Read more
Published on March 19 2004 by Shashank Tripathi
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated.
'Mr. Holland's Opus' is a really overrated film. It is not as inspirational as everyone says it is. His life blows by way too fast and the movie glorifies 'The Beatles'. Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by Dhaval Vyas
5.0 out of 5 stars Proud to be sentimental over this treasured memory
I'd like to begin by saying that my rating for Mr. Holland's Opus is a 4.5. With my love for this movie, I chose to round to five. Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2004 by FloydWaters
4.0 out of 5 stars Performance of a lifetime for Richard Dreyfus
Yeah, it's a little overblown and melodramatic, but it's also genuine, beautifully acted, and inspiring. Dreyfus is a music teacher at a local high school. Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2003 by Peggy Vincent
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