Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995)

In the tradition of Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), this still-timely film gave Richard Dreyfuss the chance to age 30 years on screen while dealing with the conflict between private dreams and a teaching career. He stars as an aspiring composer who takes a job teaching high-school music to pay the bills until his own music becomes profitable. Over time, however, he finds his teaching taking precedence as he discovers his true calling—shaping the lives of the many students lucky enough to pass through his classroom. MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS marked Dreyfuss’ transition from the fiery, unpredictable young star of films like Jaws (1975) and THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977) to seasoned screen veteran. It also brought him, director Stephen Herek and composer Michael Kamen a mission beyond just making a great film. Kamen was so moved by the film’s plot, particularly its depiction of Dreyfuss’ struggles with decreasing funding for his music program, that he founded the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports music education at under-served schools.

Presented in collaboration with Buena Vista.

Dir. Stephen Herek

In attendance: Richard Dreyfuss