Dead Poets Society

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Transcript of Dead Poets Society


A young boy, dressed in a school uniform and cap, fidgets as his motheradjusts his tie.

MOTHERNow remember, keep your shoulders back.

A student opens up a case and removes a set of bagpipes. The youngboy and his brother line up for a photograph

PHOTOGRAPHEROkay, put your arm around your brother.That's it. And breathe in.

The young boy blinks as the flash goes off.

PHOTOGRAPHROkay, one more.

An old man lights a single candle. A teacher goes over the oldman's duties.

TEACHERNow just to review, you're going tofollow along the procession until youget to the headmaster. At that pointhe will indicate to you to light thecandles of the boys.

MANAll right boys, let's settle down.

The various boys, including NEIL, KNOX, and CAMERON, line up holdingbanners. Ahead of them is the old man, followed by the boy with thebagpipes with the two youngest boys at the front.

MANBanners up.

The boys hoist the banners and the bagpipes begin to play loudly. Thesmall group marches out of the room and down a set of stairs into achurch. The pews are filled with students and parents while theteachers, all dressed in robes, are seated at the front of the churchbehind the headmaster.

The boys break off to either side at the front of the church. Thebagpipes cease and the headmaster, MR. NOLAN, walks over to the oldman carrying the candle.

MR NOLANLadies and gentlemen, boys, the lightof knowledge.

An organ begins to play as the old man goes forward with shaking handsto the young boys in the front pew. Each boy is holding a candle andhe bends over to light the first one. Each boy in turn lights thecandle of the boy next to him.

MR NOLANOne hundred years ago, in 1859, 41 boys sat in thisroom and were asked the same question that greetsyou at the start of each semester. Gentlemen, whatare the four pillars?

All throughout the pews, uniformed boys rise to their feet. TODD, whois not wearing a uniform, is urged by his father to stand with them.

BOYSTradition, honor, discipline, excellence.

The boys quickly return to their seats.

MR NOLANIn her first year, Welton Academy graduated fivestudents. Last year we graduated fifty-one. Andmore than seventy-five percent of those went on tothe Ivy League. This, this kind of accomplishment isthe result of fervent dedication to the principles taughthere. This is why you parents have been sending usyour sons. This is why we are the best preparatoryschool in the United States.

Mr. Nolan soaks up the applause from the audience.

MR NOLANAs you know, our beloved Mr. Portius of the Englishdepartment retired last term. You will have theopportunity later to meet his replacement, Mr. JohnKeating, himself a graduate of this school. And who,for the past several years, has been teaching at thehighly regarded Chester School in London.

The crowd applauds once again.


The school lawn is a filled with luggage, students, and parents mullingabout in every direction.


Mr Nolan stands by the entrance, speaking with each family as they leave.

MR NOLANGlad you could come by.

MR ANDERSONThrilling ceremony as usual Dr. Nolan.

MR NOLANYou've been away too long.

MRS ANDERSONHello Dr. Nolan.

MR NOLANGood to have you back.

MRS ANDERSONThis is our youngest, Todd.

MR NOLANMr. Anderson.You have some big shoes to fill,young man. Your brother was one of our finest.

TODDThank you.

Todd and his parents leave while others file past Mr. Nolan.

WOMANLovely ceremony.

MR NOLANThank you. So glad you liked it.

MR PERRY approaches with his son Neil. He shakes Mr. Nolan's hand.



MR PERRYGood to see you again.

NEILHello Mr. Nolan.

MR NOLANNeil. We expect great things from you this year.

NEILThank you, sir.

MR PERRYWell he won't disappoint us. Right Neil?

NEILI'll do my best sir.


A bell tolls. Parents begin wishing their boys farewell.

FATHERHey, come on son.

MOTHERChin up.

FATHERNo tears now.


MOTHERChin up.

Another boy hugs his mother.

BOYI don't want to go here.

MOTHERYou be a good boy and do your lessons.


Neil emerges from a building and sees Todd.

NEILHey, I hear we're gonna be roommates.

He shakes Todd's hand.

NEILI'm Neil Perry.

TODDTodd Anderson.

NEILWhy'd you leave Balincrest?

TODDMy brother went here.

NEILOh, so you're that Anderson.


DR. HAGER is standing in his room doorway while SPAZ and his father aregoing over some last minute precautions over the boy's allergies. Spaz'sfather hands Hager various bottles.

FATHERThis is for sinuses. Oh, and if he can't swallow yougive him one of these. And if he had trouble breathingyou can give him some of those.

HAGERAll right fine.

Dr. Hager takes the bottles and quickly backs into his room, shuttingthe door.

FATHER (to son)Did you remember your vaporizer?

SPAZYes, I put it in my room.

Spaz's father tries to say something else to Dr. Hager but realizes hehas already gone.


Neil pushes his way through a crowd of boys, carrying two suitcases. Ashe enters his room, Knox quickly passes by.

KNOXHey, how's it going Neil?

NEILHey Knox.

Cameron comes by and leans against the doorway.

CAMERONNeil, study group tonight?

NEILYeah, sure.

CAMERONBusiness as usual, huh? Hey, I hear you got the newkid. Looks like a stiff!

He begins laughing when he notices Todd coming into the room.


Cameron quickly leaves. Neil tries to keep from laughing as Todd entersthe room and sets his luggage down on his bed.

NEILListen, don't mind Cameron. He was born with hisfoot in his mouth. You know what I mean?

He pulls some papers from his blazer pocket and playfully whacks Todd across the back with it.

CHARLIE comes to the door with a smug expression on his face. Knox andMEEKS are close behind him. He points at Neil

CHARLIERumor has it, you did summer school.

NEILYep. Chemistry. My father thought I should get ahead.How was your summer Slick?


The boys enter the room. Charlie turns around and looks at Meeks who isjust entering.

CHARLIEMeeks. Door. Closed.

MEEKSYes sir.

NEILGentlemen, what are the four pillars?

BOYSTravesty. Horror. Decadence. Excrement.

Charlie makes himself comfortable on Neil's bed and lights up a cigarette.Meanwhile, Todd is by his bed unpacking his luggage.

CHARLIEOkay, study group. Meeks aced Latin. I didn't quiteflunk English. So, if you want, we've got our studygroup.

NEILSure. Cameron asked me too. Anyone mindincluding him?

CHARLIEHmm, what's his specialty, boot-licking?

NEILCome on, he's your roommate.

CHARLIEThat's not my fault.

Meeks seems to notice Todd for the first time.

MEEKSOh, I'm sorry, my name is Steven Meeks.

Neil quickly gets up from his spot by the window.

NEILOh, this is Todd Anderson.

Todd turns around and shakes hands with Meeks.

MEEKSNice to meet you.

TODDNice to meet you.

CHARLIECharlie Dalton.

Charlie continues to lay on the bed, looking smug. Knox extends a hand.

KNOXKnox Overstreet.

NEILTodd's brother was Jeffrey Anderson.

CHARLIEOh yeah, sure. Valedictorian. National merit scholar.

MEEKSOh well, welcome to Hell-ton.

CHARLIEIt's every bit as tough as they say, unless you're agenius like Meeks.

MEEKSHe flatters me. That's why I help him with Latin.

CHARLIEAnd English, and Trig.

Charlie begins coughing. There is a knock at the door. Charlie quicklystamps out his cigarette on the floor and Neil tries to wave the smokefrom the air.

NEILIt's open.

The door opens and Mr. Perry walks into the room. Neil quickly rises fromthe window.

NEILFather, I thought you'd gone.

The other boys stand up when he enters.

BOYSMr. Perry.

MR PERRYKeep your seats fellows, keep your seats. Neil, I'vejust spoken to Mr. Nolan. I think that you're takingtoo many extra curricular activities this semester, andI've decided that you should drop the school annual.

NEILBut I'm the assistant editor this year.

MR PERRYWell I'm sorry Neil.

NEILBut Father, I can't. It wouldn't be fair.

MR PERRYFellas, would you excuse us for a moment?

Mr. Perry walks towards the door and Neil hesitantly follows. Mr. Perrypauses by the door and smiles to the other boys.


The smile has gone from Mr. Perry's face. He grabs a hold of Neil's arm.

MR PERRYDon't you ever dispute me in public. Do youunderstand?

NEILFather, I wasn't disputing-

MR PERRYAfter you've finished medical school and you're on your own, then youcan do as you damn well please. But until then, you do as I tell you.Is that clear?

NEILYes sir. I'm sorry.

MR PERRYYou know how much this means to your mother,don't you?

NEILYes sir. You know me, always taking on too much.

MR PERRYWell, that's my boy. Now listen, you need anything,you let us know, huh?

NEILYes sir.

Mr. Perry slaps his son on the shoulder and leaves. Neil leans his headback against the wall as the other boys emerge from the room.

CHARLIEWhy doesn't he let you do what y