Dead Poets Society (film) John Keating, a dedicated English teacher, returns to his alma mater, a stuffy Eastern boys’ prep school. The administration frowns upon his teaching methods, which encourage the students not to learn by rote, but to think and feel for themselves. He awakens such passion in one group of students that they revive the “Dead Poets Society,” a secret club to which he once belonged. The “Dead Poets” meet at midnight in a cave to recite and even compose poetry. Ultimately their quest for self-knowledge leads to tragedy, as one student, whose dreams of becoming an actor are smashed by his tyrannical father, chooses to die rather than continue to pretend he is something that he is not. Keating’s career as a teacher is finished, but his spirit and his passion will live on in the students whose thoughts and minds he has helped to shape. Initial release on June 2, 1989; general release on June 9, 1989. Directed by Peter Weir. Academy Award winner for Best Screenplay (Tom Schulman). A Touchstone film. 129 min. Stars Robin Williams (John Keating), Robert Sean Leonard (Neil Perry), Ethan Hawke (Todd Anderson), Josh Charles (Knox Overstreet). Filmed at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware, primarily over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays so as not to disrupt the school’s academic schedule. Released on video in 1990.