Iconic Images: Dead Poet’s Society (1989)

Robin Williams brought joy & laughter into our world with a selfless devotion to his art. Perhaps his role as an unorthodox teacher in Dead Poet’s Society is the best example in film of the man behind the character.


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The late Robin Williams was an actor of immense warmth who had an astute understanding of the human condition from which he found a manic humour that though his work gave us – his audience – both laughter and joy. Director Peter Weir’s 1989 film Dead Poet’s Society, which arguably features Williams’ most loved performance, sees the actor and comedian play an unorthodox English teacher who inspires a privileged group of young people to embrace literature through inspired, spontaneous and witty teaching methods. Robin Williams won his second Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination at that year’s Academy Awards for a performance described by acclaimed critic Pauline Kael as “more graceful than anything he’s done before.”

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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