Mr. Holland's Opus


2h 25m 1995

Brief Synopsis

A composer gives up his dreams to change lives as a high school music teacher.

Film Details

Also Known As
Professeur Holland
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Musical
Music
Period
Release Date
1995
Distribution Company
Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Location
Portland, Oregon, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 25m

Synopsis

When we're young our dreams lie out in front of us, there for the taking, and our plans seem so clear. But like many of us, Glenn Holland never could have predicted the course his own life would take, when he reluctantly accepts a job as a teacher. A musician and composer consumed with a love for music, Holland's true goal is to write one memorable piece of music to leave his mark on the world. But instead, he finds his calling in the most unlikely place, sharing his love of music with his students--to let it fill their lives, the way it fills his. His students respond to his contagious passion, and as the years unfold, Holland finds himself on an unplanned path. Redefining success and his own dreams, Holland realizes that his legacy will be greater than he ever dreamed. And with the help of his students and his family, Glenn Holland learns that though our lives don't always turn out the way we plan them, life is what happens when you embrace the unexpected.

Crew

Sonny Aprile

Driver

Kristen Autry

Music Contractor

Don Baldwin

Assistant Location Manager

Audrey Bamber

Assistant

William D Barber

Camera Operator

Alex Bellen

Camera Assistant

Jan Bergstrom

Set Decorator

Sharon Bialy

Casting

Linda Bloom-hedine

Craft Service

Samuel Bokobza

Assistant Production Accountant

Sue Bokobza

Production Accountant

Susan Booker

Casting Associate

Sharon Boyle

Music Supervisor

Steve Boyum

Stunt Coordinator

Ricahrd J Brewer

Assistant

Christopher S Brooks

Music Editor

Christopher S Brooks

Music Supervisor

Andy Brown

Music Contractor

Trevor Cable

Apprentice

John S Carson

Production Assistant

Kelly M Casey

Technical Advisor

John Ceniceros

On-Set Dresser

Ken Chase

Makeup

Tim Chau

Sound Design

Susan Chernus

Assistant Editor

Kay Colvin

Other

Robert Cort

Producer

Ken Cosci

Assistant

Yvonen Couture

Extras Agent/Coordinator

Jim Crawvord

Lighting Technician

Tyler Daum

Stunts

Tyler Daum

Transportation Coordinator

Jeffrey Downer

Production Supervisor

Patrick Duncan

Screenplay

Patrick Duncan

Executive Producer

Kobe Enright

On-Set Dresser

Geno Escarrega

Post-Production Supervisor

Ted Field

Producer

Leonard Finger

Casting

April Fitzsimmons

Production Assistant

Ann Flannery

Other

Dave Flower

Music

Carrie Elizabeth Foresman

Apprentice

Kirk Francis

Sound

Rick Franklin

Sound Design

Vic Fraser

Music

Kelly M Gabbert

Extras Agent/Coordinator

Michael Gall

Electrician

Albert Gasser

Sound Editor

Phil Gitomer

Other

Taj Gombart

Assistant Camera Operator

Robert Grahamjones

Editing

Michael Scott Greenwood

Assistant Camera Operator

Shari Griffen

Other

Barklie K Griggs

Music Supervisor

Joanna Guzzetta

Location Manager

Martin Hagood

Makeup Artist

Glenn R Hale

Grip

Adrienne Hamalian-mangine

Script Supervisor

Shane Hawkins

Other

David Heckendorn

Music

David Heckendorn

Original Music

Linda Henrikson

Costumes

Dave Hewitt

Other

Carmen Hocson

Assistant Sound Editor

Hilda Hodges

Foley

John Houlihan

Music Coordinator

Steve Itano

Other

Judith James

Coproducer

Mark A James

Transportation Captain

Chris Jargo

Adr Editor

Nils C Jensen

Sound Editor

Michael Steve Jones

Stunts

Steve Jones

Stand-In

Susan V Kalinowski

Hair Stylist

Michael Kamen

Music

Doc Kane

Adr Mixer

Gene Kearney

Dolly Grip

David Kern

Sound Editor

John Killeen

Stunts

Carl J Kirchner

Consultant

John R Knotts

Stunts

David Kohn

Electrician

Mike Kolb

Scenic Artist

Stephanie Krivacek

Adr Editor

Scott Kroopf

Executive Producer

Valerie Mickaelian Kucera

Production Coordinator

Michael Kuhn

Special Thanks To

James R Lafrati

Consultant

Gemma Lamana

Photography

Mary Jo Lang

Foley Mixer

Michael Lang

Consultant

Michael Laws

Best Boy

Taneia Lednicky

Costumes

Alain Levy

Special Thanks To

Dina Lipton

Art Director

Alan Locke

Set Designer

Amy Michelle London

Assistant

David Luckenbach

Steadicam Operator

David Luckenbach

Camera Operator

Charles Lyons

Stock Footage

Patty Macdonald

Assistant

Don Malouf

Sound Editor

Jeff Mann

Music

Alan Manzer

Set Designer

Brian Markey

Construction Coordinator

Guy Massey

Music

Matt Mcbride

Stunts

Sean Mcclintock

Rerecording

Robert D Mcclung

On-Set Dresser

Bruce Mcdonald

Choreographer

Mickie Mcgowan

Adr Voice Casting

Gary Mclarty

Stunts

Stephen Mclaughlin

Music

Greg Mcmickle

Property Master

Mel Metcalfe

Rerecording

Stephen Metcalfe

Screenplay

Deanne Montesanto

Costumes

Robert Morey

Assistant Camera Operator

Robert Munoz

Key Grip

David Nichols

Production Designer

Michael Nolin

Producer

Jeff Okabayashi

Assistant Director

David Orr

Color Timer

Donald Ortiz

Assistant Sound Editor

Nick Papanickolas

Dolly Grip

Mark A Peterson

Costumes

Terry Porter

Rerecording

Mary Pyanowski

Hair Stylist

Gerald Quist

Makeup Artist

Matthew A Rask

Other

Tatiana S Riegel

Editing

Bob Riggs

Special Effects Coordinator

Dave Roberts

Other

J. N. Roberts

Stunts

Jimmy N. Roberts

Stunts

Aggie Guerard Rodgers

Costume Designer

John Roesch

Foley

David Sabee

Music Contractor

Terrylene Sacchetti

Advisor

Earl Sampson

Boom Operator

Damon Sarafian

Grip

Linda Sasser

Other

Rick Scheil

Post-Production Accountant

Gerard Schwarz

Music

Erin Scully

Post-Production Coordinator

Jeff Seats

On-Set Dresser

Werner Sherer

Hair Stylist

Trudy Ship

Editor

Stacey Siegel

Assistant

Philip Slattery

Apprentice

Dawn Soler

Executive Consultant

Nicholas Q Staring

Assistant Property Master

Albert Swanson

Engineering Supervisor

Laura Tateishi

Assistant Production Coordinator

William Teitler

Unit Production Manager

William Teitler

Coproducer

Jonah Tennant

Stunts

Tara Timpone

Assistant Editor

Michael T Travers

Best Boy Grip

Darryl Tucker

Special Thanks To

Craig Walker

Other

Rick Waritz

Music

Robert Warner

Painter

Andy Warwick

Music

Kelly Way

Electrician

David Weinstein

Production Assistant

Suzanne Welch

Assistant

Marianne Wells

Other

Jeffrey Wetzel

Assistant Director

Thomas Whiting

Adr Editor

Melissa Wiechmann

Other

Oliver Wood

Director Of Photography

Gary Yahn

Grip

Dean A. Zupancic

Rerecording

Film Details

Also Known As
Professeur Holland
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Musical
Music
Period
Release Date
1995
Distribution Company
Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Location
Portland, Oregon, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 25m

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1995
Richard Dreyfuss

Articles

Mr. Holland's Opus


In Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), Richard Dreyfuss plays the title character, a man who takes a job teaching music to school kids as a temporary "gig" to support his lifelong dream of composing. As the years wear on, however, the "gig" becomes a career, and along with raising a family, Mr. Holland realizes the old adage-as pointed out in the film-"life is something that happens while you're making other plans." Reminiscent of Robert Donat's teacher in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), Dreyfuss begins the story as an idealistic young man and ends up a wiser old one. In an interview he explained, "I took the part in Mr. Holland's Opus because no one had ever asked me to play 'a life' before. I get to age through 30 years. The idea really challenged me." Glenne Headly plays his wife, a pillar of strength as she mediates between the growing resentment between their deaf son and her sound-obsessed husband. The supporting cast includes Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis, and William H. Macy as school colleagues, as well as a young Terrence Howard in his first major film role. Viewers may do a double-take during a scene where it appears to be recent Oscar® winner Forest Whitaker but it's actually his brother, Damon.

Mr. Holland's Opus offered Dreyfuss an opportunity to reinvent himself as an actor. Beginning with his breakout role in American Graffiti (1973), he shot to stardom with leading roles in Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). At 30, he became the youngest man to win the Best Actor Oscar® for The Goodbye Girl (1977), a distinction passed on to Adrien Brody when he won -at 29- for The Pianist (2002). In the late '70s and early '80s, however, Dreyfuss struggled with drug addiction and bottomed out in 1982 after a debilitating car accident and subsequent possession arrest. Over the next fifteen years, he had his share of comeback projects, like Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) and What About Bob? (1991), but it's his performance in Mr. Holland's Opus that reestablished Dreyfuss' acting chops - earning him an Oscar® nomination for his work and new fans.

Portraying a teacher for the once-loose cannon was not as much of a stretch for him as some critics thought. Dreyfuss actually insisted, "If I wasn't an actor, I'd be a teacher, a history teacher. After all, teaching is very much like performing. A teacher is an actor, in a way. It takes a great deal to get, and hold, a class." A couple of things that Dreyfuss had to get during his preparation for the role included the ability to pull off convincing music teacher behavior, like conducting and piano playing. He confessed, "The most difficult aspect was the piano. The hands have to be just right. You can cheat, a little, with the conducting. The most fun was the scene in which I lead a pretty awkward marching band. It's the kind of scene in which everyone can overact."

Dreyfuss, along with Headly, also had to learn some sign language in regards to the subplot involving their deaf son. The deafness consultant for the film, Carl Kirchner, remembers the different approach the actors took in order to learn signing: "Richard chose to only learn enough sign to do his job. Glenne, on the other hand, came to the shoot saying, 'I want to learn this language. Please teach me.' And she spent hours practicing and refining her skills." Given their character's attitudes towards deafness in the film, their differences off-screen seemed appropriate. Every deaf character in the film was played by a deaf actor, and great care was taken to maintain historical accuracy with regards to methods used with deafness from the sixties through the nineties, including the flashing lights used in one of the pivotal scenes.

Esteemed composer Michael Kamen provided the original score and soundtrack for Mr. Holland's Opus. From his work on films such as Brazil (1985) and Die Hard (1988), to rock music collaborations with Pink Floyd and David Bowie, Kamen's work is widely respected by the industry and beloved by listening fans. During work on Mr. Holland's Opus, he returned to his own high school in New York and was appalled by what he described as a "graveyard of musical instruments" in the music department. After learning that the school system was no longer providing adequate funding, Kamen was inspired to create The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, its mission to "support music education and its many benefits through the donation and repair of musical instruments to under-served schools, community music programs and individual students nationwide." Richard Dreyfuss and the film's director, Stephen Herek, both serve on the Advisory Council. Kamen, unfortunately, died of a heart attack in November of 2003; the last film he worked on was First Daughter (2004), directed by Forest Whitaker, and starring Katie Holmes, Marc Blucas and Michael Keaton.

Producer: Robert W. Cort, Patrick Sheane Duncan, Ted Field, Judith James, Scott Kroopf, Michael Nolin, William Teitler
Director: Stephen Herek
Screenplay: Patrick Sheane Duncan
Cinematography: Oliver Wood
Film Editing: Trudy Ship
Art Direction: Dina Lipton
Music: Michael Kamen
Cast: Richard Dreyfuss (Glenn Holland), Glenne Headly (Iris Holland), Jay Thomas (Bill Meister), Olympia Dukakis (Principal Helen Jacobs), William H. Macy (Vice Principal Gene Wolters), Alicia Witt (Gertrude Lang).
C-143m. Letterboxed.

by Eleanor Quin
Mr. Holland's Opus

Mr. Holland's Opus

In Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), Richard Dreyfuss plays the title character, a man who takes a job teaching music to school kids as a temporary "gig" to support his lifelong dream of composing. As the years wear on, however, the "gig" becomes a career, and along with raising a family, Mr. Holland realizes the old adage-as pointed out in the film-"life is something that happens while you're making other plans." Reminiscent of Robert Donat's teacher in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), Dreyfuss begins the story as an idealistic young man and ends up a wiser old one. In an interview he explained, "I took the part in Mr. Holland's Opus because no one had ever asked me to play 'a life' before. I get to age through 30 years. The idea really challenged me." Glenne Headly plays his wife, a pillar of strength as she mediates between the growing resentment between their deaf son and her sound-obsessed husband. The supporting cast includes Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis, and William H. Macy as school colleagues, as well as a young Terrence Howard in his first major film role. Viewers may do a double-take during a scene where it appears to be recent Oscar® winner Forest Whitaker but it's actually his brother, Damon. Mr. Holland's Opus offered Dreyfuss an opportunity to reinvent himself as an actor. Beginning with his breakout role in American Graffiti (1973), he shot to stardom with leading roles in Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). At 30, he became the youngest man to win the Best Actor Oscar® for The Goodbye Girl (1977), a distinction passed on to Adrien Brody when he won -at 29- for The Pianist (2002). In the late '70s and early '80s, however, Dreyfuss struggled with drug addiction and bottomed out in 1982 after a debilitating car accident and subsequent possession arrest. Over the next fifteen years, he had his share of comeback projects, like Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) and What About Bob? (1991), but it's his performance in Mr. Holland's Opus that reestablished Dreyfuss' acting chops - earning him an Oscar® nomination for his work and new fans. Portraying a teacher for the once-loose cannon was not as much of a stretch for him as some critics thought. Dreyfuss actually insisted, "If I wasn't an actor, I'd be a teacher, a history teacher. After all, teaching is very much like performing. A teacher is an actor, in a way. It takes a great deal to get, and hold, a class." A couple of things that Dreyfuss had to get during his preparation for the role included the ability to pull off convincing music teacher behavior, like conducting and piano playing. He confessed, "The most difficult aspect was the piano. The hands have to be just right. You can cheat, a little, with the conducting. The most fun was the scene in which I lead a pretty awkward marching band. It's the kind of scene in which everyone can overact." Dreyfuss, along with Headly, also had to learn some sign language in regards to the subplot involving their deaf son. The deafness consultant for the film, Carl Kirchner, remembers the different approach the actors took in order to learn signing: "Richard chose to only learn enough sign to do his job. Glenne, on the other hand, came to the shoot saying, 'I want to learn this language. Please teach me.' And she spent hours practicing and refining her skills." Given their character's attitudes towards deafness in the film, their differences off-screen seemed appropriate. Every deaf character in the film was played by a deaf actor, and great care was taken to maintain historical accuracy with regards to methods used with deafness from the sixties through the nineties, including the flashing lights used in one of the pivotal scenes. Esteemed composer Michael Kamen provided the original score and soundtrack for Mr. Holland's Opus. From his work on films such as Brazil (1985) and Die Hard (1988), to rock music collaborations with Pink Floyd and David Bowie, Kamen's work is widely respected by the industry and beloved by listening fans. During work on Mr. Holland's Opus, he returned to his own high school in New York and was appalled by what he described as a "graveyard of musical instruments" in the music department. After learning that the school system was no longer providing adequate funding, Kamen was inspired to create The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, its mission to "support music education and its many benefits through the donation and repair of musical instruments to under-served schools, community music programs and individual students nationwide." Richard Dreyfuss and the film's director, Stephen Herek, both serve on the Advisory Council. Kamen, unfortunately, died of a heart attack in November of 2003; the last film he worked on was First Daughter (2004), directed by Forest Whitaker, and starring Katie Holmes, Marc Blucas and Michael Keaton. Producer: Robert W. Cort, Patrick Sheane Duncan, Ted Field, Judith James, Scott Kroopf, Michael Nolin, William Teitler Director: Stephen Herek Screenplay: Patrick Sheane Duncan Cinematography: Oliver Wood Film Editing: Trudy Ship Art Direction: Dina Lipton Music: Michael Kamen Cast: Richard Dreyfuss (Glenn Holland), Glenne Headly (Iris Holland), Jay Thomas (Bill Meister), Olympia Dukakis (Principal Helen Jacobs), William H. Macy (Vice Principal Gene Wolters), Alicia Witt (Gertrude Lang). C-143m. Letterboxed. by Eleanor Quin

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the 1996 Golden Reel award for feature film music editing from the Motion Picture Sound Editors.

Released in United States December 22, 1995

Released in United States Winter January 19, 1996

Wide Release in United States January 19, 1996

Released in United States on Video July 2, 1996

Completed shooting August 20, 1994.

Began shooting June 6, 1994.

Released in United States December 22, 1995 (AMC Century City; Los Angeles; for for Oscar qualification)

Released in United States Winter January 19, 1996

Wide Release in United States January 19, 1996

Released in United States on Video July 2, 1996