Dead Poet's Society is a 1989 movie starring Robin Williams and directed by Peter Weir. It is set at ultra-conservative and highly prestigious Welton Academy, an aristocratic public school in the North East and tells the story of John Keating, an innovative English teacher who inspires his students to see their own potential through his classes about poetry. In 1959 Welton Academy innovation and change are not welcome and the questioning of tradition is punished.
The script was written by Tom Schulman who based the screenplay on his own experiences at a similar school, Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville and the character of John Keating on his inspirational teacher Samuel Pickering.
The film was an outstanding worldwide success and for the most part was received favorably by critics although Siskel and Ebert found Robin Williams' performance to be spoiled by occasional appearances of his stand-up comedian persons and they also criticized the script for being over populated by platitudes. Theirs proved lone voices of dissent when the film received four Academy Award nominations, winning the Oscar for Tom Schulman's best original screenplay.