I’m trying to remember the first time I saw this film and I have a vague recollection of seeing it on TBS when I was in middle school. I do know that when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school one of my teachers showed it and we had an in-depth discussion of the film’s themes (well, as in-depth as you can in a podunk small town high school class filled with asshole 14 years old – I include myself in that description). A lot of what I’ll write about here is based on that discussion of the film, actually. I guess it was sophomore year because I think it was the class where the teacher who normally taught geography/history had to take over our English class, so mostly instead of reading books we watched films and discussed them. It was kind of a wonderful class if memory serves. At least, for me it was, because, well, movies. Dead Poets Society was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one: Best Original Screenplay (won), Best Actor Robin Williams, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Born on the Fourth of July, Field of Dreams, My Left Foot and winner Driving Miss Daisy.
Old Biff: You always did have a way with women.
Young Biff: Get the hell out of my car, old man!
Old Biff: You wanna marry that girl, Biff? I can help make it happen.
Young Biff: Oh-oh, yeah, who are you, Miss Lonelyhearts?
Old Biff: Just get in the car, Butthead.
Young Biff: Who you callin’ “butthead”, Butthead?
[Old Biff starts the car]
Young Biff: How do you know how to do that? Nobody can start this car but me.
Old Biff: Just get in the car, Tannen. Today’s your lucky day.
Christy Brown: Why did you say you loved me?
Dr. Eileen Cole: Because I do love you.
Christy Brown: Ah, you mean platonic love. I’ve had nothing but platonic love all me life. Do you know what I say? Fuck Plato! Fuck all love that is not 100 percent commitment!
Buck Russell: I don’t think I want to know a six-year-old who isn’t a dreamer, or a sillyheart. And I sure don’t want to know one who takes their student career seriously. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t even have a job. But I know a good kid when I see one. Because they’re ALL good kids, until dried-out, brain-dead skags like you drag them down and convince them they’re no good. You so much as scowl at my niece, or any other kid in this school, and I hear about it, and I’m coming looking for you! Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.
Rae Ingram: What about those people? There wasn’t any food poisoning, was there?
Hughie Warriner: You wanna do this now? Alright. They tried to kill me, Rae. They tried to suck the light out of me if you can possibly grasp that concept!
Rae Ingram: Who were?
Hughie Warriner: All of them!
Rae Ingram: Look, nobody wants to kill you.
Hughie Warriner: What?! Repeat that!
Rae Ingram: I said, “Nobody. . .”
Hughie Warriner: Say the words, Rae, come on! You mean I just imagined it.
Rae Ingram: No.
Hughie Warriner: No?
Rae Ingram: I just meant that is must be a mistake.
Hughie Warriner: A mistake?! Lady! The mistake is that you think I’m making this up!
Rae Ingram: No! No, I don’t!
Hughie Warriner: You sound so much like them, Rae, it’s scary! They were trying to kill me! Do you understand?!
Rae Ingram: Yeah. Yeah, I understand.