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Dead Poets Society (1989)

by Tom Schulman.
Final script.

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On the left is a life-sized mural depicting a group of young 
school boys looking up adoringly at a woman who represents 
liberty.  On the right is a mural showing young men gathered 
around an industrialist in a corporate boardroom.  Between the 
murals stands a boy.

An odd, blaring MUSICAL SOUND starts and stops, interrupted 
by the noise of pumping.  A teacher hurries to the boy, 
adjusts his tie, and leads him off.

On another wall is a full-sized portrait of a 19th century 
Scotsman in a kilt.  In front at this, young boys carrying 
banners, and several elderly men in old-fashioned costumes 
assembling into a processional formation.  Nervous younger 
boys (7th graders) are shown their places in line and handed 
candles.  They light each others.' candles until all their 
candles are lit.

Suddenly the MUSIC BLASTS FORTH in its full splendor.  It is 
a BAGPIPE.  The bagpiper, in a kilt like the one in the 
portrait, begins a processional march. 

2       INT CORRIDOR ADJACENT THE DINING ROOM - SAME                    2

The bagpiper enters a long slate and stone hallway.  The 
haunting timbre of his antiquated instrument reverberates 
through the building.  Momentarily, he is followed by the 
other processional marchers. He leads them down the corridor 
and down a threshold staircase into:

3       INT. WELTON'S OLD, STONE CHAPEL  - CONTINUOUS                   3

Where two hundred high school-aged boys--most of whom wear 
black blazers--sit on either side of the central aisle 
watching the procession move onto the dais in front.  Beside 
most of these boys are their parents.



Each boy is dressed in an archaic, turn-of-the-century 
outfit.  On each banner is emblazoned a different word.  One 
reads "TRADITION," another reads "HONOR",' a third reads 
DISCIPLINE, the last reads 'EXCELLENCE."

in their 70s and SOS, obviously the school's oldest alumni, 
each wearing a name tag and the uniform of his day, make their 
way toward the stage.


carrying candles are nervous and self-conscious.  Most 
concentrate intently on keeping their candles lit while they 
march.  One young boy's candle has gone cut and he can barely 
keep from crying.

The bagpiper stands at the corner of the dais, marching in 
place.  Behind him, in black robes, sit the school's 30-odd 
teachers.  The processional's elderly alumni fill the chairs 
of honor on the dais.

The four young BANNER CARRIERS peel off from the main aisle 
and take seats beside their parents in the audience.  The 7th 
graders take seats with their parents too.  A purple and black 
robed man who brings up the rear of the procession walks up to 
the podium.  Me is HEADMASTER GALE NOLAN, a big man, in his 
mid-60s.  The music stops.

         Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished 
         alumni, and students:  This year marks 
         the one hundredth year that Welton 
         Academy has been in existence.

Applause begins.  Soon the whole room is standing in a 
thunderous ovation.  After an appropriate amount of time, 
Nolan motions for everyone to be seated.

                        NOLAN (CONT'D)
One hundred years ago, in 1859, forty-one boys sat in this 
room and were asked the same question that now greets you at 
the start of each semester:  Gentlemen, what are the four 

All of the students stand at attention.  Find TODD ANDERSON 
sitting between his parents.  Todd is 16, good looking, but he 
seems beaten down, lacking confidence, unhappy.  He wears a 
name tag and no Welton blazer.  When the others stand, Todd's 
mother nudges him.  Todd stands.  He watches as the other 

                        ALL THE BOYS IN UNISON 
         Tradition!  Honor!  Discipline!  

All the boys sit.  Todd sits too.  All is silent again.

         In her first year, Welton Academy 
         graduated five students.  Last year we 
         graduated fifty-one and over seventy-five 
         percent of those went to the Ivy League!

Applause.  During it we rind KNOX OVERSTREET and CHARLIE 
DALTON, both 16, and both in Welton blazers.  Knox (sitting 
between his parents) carries a banner.  He has curly hair, 
looks outgoing, is short but well built.  Charlie, also with 
his parents, has a handsome yet friendly face.  He carries no 
banner but, when Nolan mentions Ivy League, both these boys 
fit the bill.

                        NOLAN (CONT'D)
         This kind of accomplishment is the 
         result of fervent dedication to the 
         principles taught here.  This is why you 
         parents have been sending us your sons, 
         and this is why we are the best 
         preparatory school in the United States.
                (more applause)
         New students

All turn to look at the new students the 7th graders and 
transfer students.  Todd Anderson is among them and he looks 
incredibly self-conscious.

                        NOLAN (CONT'D)
         The key to your success rests on our 
         four pillars.  These are the bywords of 
         this school and they will become the 
         cornerstones of your lives.  Welton 
         Society candidate Richard Cameron...

In the audience, not far from Todd is Richard CAMERON, one of 
the banner carriers, 16, his father's little clone.  He stands 
eagerly to attention.  Too eagerly.

         Yes sir!

         What is Tradition?

         Tradition, Mr. Nolan, is love of school, 
         country, and family.  Our tradition at 
         Welton is to be the best!

         Good, Mr. Cameron.  Welton Society 
         Candidate George Hopkins.  Honor.

Cameron sits.  His father beams smugly.

                        HOPKINS (O.S.)
         Honor is dignity and the fulfillment of 

         Good, Mr. Hopkins.  Honor Society 
         Candidate, Knox Overstress

Knox, as mentioned, is a banner-holder.  He stands.

         Yes sir.

         What is discipline?

         Discipline is respect for parents, 
         teachers, headmaster.  Discipline comes 
         from within.

         Thank you, Mr. Overstress.  Honor 
         Candidate Neil Perry.

Knox sits.  Knox's proud father and mother give him pats of 
encouragement.  NEIL PERRY stands.  Whereas some boys have two 
or three achievement pins an the lapels of their coats, Neil 
has a huge cluster of them on the pocket of his jacket. Neil 
is 16, intense, a born leader.  However, there is more than a 
hint of anger and dissatisfaction in his eyes.  Beside him 
sits his unsmiling father, MR. PERRY.

         Excellence, Mr. Perry.

                        NEIL (rote)
         Excellence is the result of hard work.   
         Excellence is the key to all success, in 
         school and everywhere.

Neil sits.  He doesn't look at his father nor does his father 
look at him.

         Gentlemen, at Welton you will work 
         harder than you have ever worked in your 
         lives, and your reward will be the 
         success that all of us expect of you.  I 
         would now like to call to the podium 
         Welton's oldest living graduate- Mr. 
         Alexander Carmichael, Jr., Class of 1866.

An octogenarian on stage shuns help from those beside him and 
makes his way slowly--excruciatingly slowly--to the podium As 
the audience rises to another standing ovation

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

4       EXT. THE WELTON ACADEMY - MAIN LAWN - DAY                       4

Welton Academy is a cluster of traditional weathered stone 
buildings.  The time is 1959 but at Welton this is irrelevant.  
This school with its traditions is completely isolated from 
the politics or trends of the outside world.

The students stand with their parents under a giant tent. 
Finger food, coffee, tea and punch are laid cut on white 
clothed tables.

Charlie's mother stands dotingly fixing Charlie's hair.  Then 
she kisses him.

Knox's father has his hand affectionately around his son.

Mr. Perry stands adjusting the achievement pins on Neil's 

Todd Anderson's parents stand chatting with another couple, 
paying no attention to Todd who looks very much alone.  
Mr.Nolan walks by and looks at Todd's name tag.

         Ah, Mr. Anderson.  You have some big 
         shoes to fill, young man.  Your brother 
         was one of our best.

                (faint, almost inaudible)
         Thank you.

Neil's father, Neil in tow, approaches Nolan and interrupts.

                        MR. PERRY
                (somewhat disturbed)
         Gale. what's this I hear about a new 
         junior English teacher?

         Mr. Gladden took the Headmaster's post 
         at Malford, so we've hired John Keating.

                        MR. PERRY
         A former student, I hear?

         A star student, Mr. Perry.  And he's 
         spent the last ten years teaching at the 
         McMillan School in Edinburgh.

                        MR. PERRY
                (acting impressed)
         Oh.  McMillan.

Nolan looks around.  He finds, then indicates:

ACROSS THE LAWN a black-robed teacher stands with his back to 
us, staring at the beautiful Welton LAKE.  As if he sensed he 
was being watched, he turns and faces us. This is JOHN 
KEATING, late 30s, sparkling eyes.

Nolan puts his arm on Mr. Perry's shoulder and leads him off.

         Come meet him.  You'll like him.

We watch Nolan escort Mr. Perry across the lawn and introduce 
him to Mr. Keating who walks up to greet them.  Todd stands 
alone, looking around.  Neil Perry, now left alone, does the 
same.  Both watch the other students saying good-byes to their 

5       EXT. THE WELTON ACADEMY PARKING LOT - DAY                       5

The 7th graders are saying good-bye to their parents.  Chins 
quiver.  Young eyes hold back tears.  Some boys sob.  For most 
of these young boys this is the first time in their lives that 
they will be away from their parents and their homes, and it 
is a devastating experience.


Welton Academy sits in a lonely and isolated valley in woods 
of Vermont.  Though the setting is beautiful, its isolation 
only highlights the loneliness that most of the 7th graders 
feel at this moment.

6       OMIT                                                            6


The 50 or so members of the junior class sit in chairs or 
stand around the room.  The students that were featured 
earlier are here:  Todd Anderson, Neil Perry, Knox Overstress, 
Charlie Dalton, Richard Cameron.  All except Todd wear Welton 
blazers.  Todd sticks out and he knows it.

A staircase against a wall leads to a 2nd-floor door.  That 
door opens and down the stairs file five boys.  An old teacher 
(DR. HAGER) comes to the door and calls out five names.

         Overstreet, Perry, Dalton, Anderson, 

These boys file up the staircase.  As they do, a seated boy 
(PITTS) leans to the boy next to him (STEVEN MEEKS).  Meeks 
has sweet egghead looks and very short hair.  He wears a 
pocket watch and chain.

         Who's the new boy? 


Old Hager sees this conversation.

         Misters Pitts and Meeks.  Demerits.

Pitts and Meeks look down. Pitts glances at Necks and rolls 
his eyes.

                        HAGER (CONT'D)
         That's another demerit, Mr. Pitts.

Pitts' smile vanishes.  Hager closes the door.

8       INT THE HEADMASTER'S OFFICE - SAME                              8

The five boys take seats in a row of chairs facing Mr. Nolan.
Nolan sits behind his desk, a HUNTING DOG on the floor beside 

         Welcome. back, Mr. Dalton.  How's your 

         Doing fine, sir.

         Your family move into that new house, 
         Mr. Overstreet?

         Yes sir, about a month ago.

         Wonderful.  I hear It's beautiful. (he 
         gives the dog a snack)
         Mr. Anderson, since. you're new here, 
         let me explain that at Welton, I assign 
         extracurricular activities on the basis 
         of merit and desire.  These activities 
         are taken every bit as seriously as your 
         class work...  right, boys?

                        CHARLIE, CAMERON, KNOX
         Yes sir!

         Failure to attend required meetings will 
         result in demerits.  Mr. Dalton the 
         school paper, the Service Club, soccer, 
         rowing.  Mr. Overstress  Welton Society 
         Candidates, the school paper, soccer, 
         Sons of Alumni Club.  Mr. Perry  Welton 
         Society Candidates, Chemistry Club, 
         Mathematics Club, school annual, soccer. 
         Mr. Cameron  Welton Society Candidates, 
         Debate Club, rowing, Service Club, 
         forensics, Honor Council.  Mr. Anderson 
         based on your record at Balincrest, 
         soccer, Service Club, school annual. 
         Anything else I don't know about?

Todd struggles.  He looks like he is trying to speak but 
nothing is coming out of his mouth.

                        NOLAN (CONT'D)
         Speak up, Mr. Anderson.

                (barely audible)
         I would prefer rowing sir.

It is apparent that Todd's fear of speaking is overwhelming. 
Nolan looks at him.

         Rowing? Did he say rowing?  It says here 
         you played soccer at Balincrest.

                (again barely audible)

Sweat breaks out on Todd's brow.  He clinches his hands, 
turning his knuckles white.  He looks like he is going to 
burst into tears.  The other boys look at him.

         You'll like soccer here, Anderson.

The boys stand and exit.  Todd looks absolutely miserable. 
The teacher at the door calls out more names.

9       EXT. WELTON CAMPUS - DAY                                        9

The Welton students walk toward their dorms.  Neil Perry 
approaches Todd Anderson who walks alone.  Neil offers his 

         I hear we're going to be roommates.  
         Neil Perry.

         Todd Anderson.

Todd keeps walking.  There is an awkward silence.

         Why'd you leave Balincrest?

         My brother went here.

         Oh, so you're that Anderson.

10      INT. THE JUNIOR DORM LOBBY - CONTINUOUS                        10

Neil and Todd have walked into the dorm lobby.

         My parents wanted me here all along but 
         my grades weren't good enough.  I had to 
         go to Balincrest to pull them up.

         Well, you've won the booby prize.  Don't 
         expect to like it here.

         I don't.


Each small room contains two single beds, two closets, and 
two desks.  Suitcases sit on the floor.  Neil enters. Richard 
Cameron sticks in his head.

         Heard you got the new boy.  He's a hell 
         of a speaker, huh? Oops.

Todd Anderson walks in.  Cameron ducks out.  Todd has heard 
Cameron s comment, but he ignores it.  He puts his suitcase on 
his bed and begins unpacking.

         Don't mind Cameron.  He's an asshole.

There is a knock on the door.  Knox Overstress, Charlie 
Dalton, and Steven Meeks enter.  Charlie speaks to Neil.

         Hey, I heard you went to summer school?

         Yeah, chemistry.  My father thought I 
         should get ahead.

         Well, Meeks aced Latin and I didn't 
         quite flunk English so if you want, we've 
         got our study group.

         Sure, but Cameron asked me too.  Anybody 
         mind including him?

         What's his specialty, brown-nosing?

Some chuckles.

         Hey, he's your roommate.

         That's not my fault.

Nobody is excited about Cameron but no one objects. 

                (to Todd)
         I don't think we've met.  I'm Steven 

                (shyly extending his hand)
         Todd.  Anderson.

Knox and Charlie offer Todd handshakes.

         Charlie Dalton.

         Knox Overstreet.

Todd shakes their hands.

         Todd's brother is Jeffrey Anderson.

         Oh yeah.  Sure.  Valedictorian, National 
         Merit Scholar

Todd nods affirmative.

         Well, welcome to "Hell"ton.

         It's every bit as hard as they say. 
         Unless you're a genius like Meeks.

         He flatters me so I'll help him with 

         And English, and trig

Meeks smiles.  There is a knock on the door.

         It's open.

Neil's father enters.  Neil is surprised.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         Father.  I thought you'd... gone.

All the boys stand.

                        MEEKS, CHARLIE, KNOX
         Mr. Perry.

                        MR. PERRY
         Keep your seats, boys.  How's it going?

                        THE BOYS
         Fine, sir.  Thank you.

                        MR. PERRY
         Neil, I've decided that you're taking 
         too many extracurricular activities.  
         I've spoken to Mr. Nolan about it and you 
         can work on the school annual next year.

         But father, I'm assistant editor.

                        MR. PERRY
         I'm sorry, Neil.

         But father, it's not fair.

                        MR. PERRY
         Fellows, would you excuse us a minute?

Mr. Perry walks into the hall,  Neil follows.

12      INT. THE JUNIOR DORMITORY HALLWAY - SAME                       12

                        MR. PERRY
         I will not be disputed in public, do you 
         understand me?

         Father, I wasn't disputing you.

                        MR. PERRY
         When you've finished medical school and 
         you're on your own, you can do as you 
         please.  Until then, you will listen to 

         Yes sir.  I'm sorry.

                        MR. PERRY
         You know what this means to your mother, 
         don't you?

         Yes sir.

Using the pressures of guilt and punishment, Mr. Perry is the 
most subtle of bullies.  Neil's resolve crumbles in front of 
his authoritarian father.  Neil fills the pause.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         You know me, always taking on too much.

                        MR. PERRY
         Good boy.  Call us if you need anything.

He turns and walks off.

13      INT. NEIL'S ROOM                                               13

The others wait in silence.  A chastened Neil enters.

         Why doesn't he let you do what you want?

         Yeah!  Tell him off!  It couldn't get 
         any worse.

         Oh that's rich.  Like you tell your 
         parents off, Mr. Future Lawyer and Mr. 
         Future Banker!

Neil takes the school annual achievement pin off his shirt 
and hurls it at his desk.

         Wait a minute.  I don't let my parents 
         walk on me.

         Yeah, you just do everything they say!  
         You'll be in daddy's law firm as sure as 
         I'm standing here.  
                (to Charlie)
         And you'll be approving loans till you 

         Okay, so I don't like it any more than 
         you do.  I'm just saying

         Then don't tell me how to talk to my 
         father when you're the same way.  All 

         All right.  Jesus, what are you gonna 

         What I have to do.  Screw the annual.

         I certainly wouldn't lose any sleep over 
         it.  It's just a bunch of people trying 
         to impress Nolan.

         Screw it all.  I don't give a damn about 
         any of it.

He slams his hand into his pillow and lies back silently. 
Everyone is quiet, sensing Neil's disappointment.  Finally, 
Charlie breaks the silence.

         I don't know about anyone else, but I 
         could use a refresher in Latin.  Eight 
         o'clock in my room?


         You're welcome to join us, Todd.

         Yeah, come along.

         Thank you.

The boys leave.  Neil lies in silence.  He sees the 
achievement pin that he threw and picks it up.  Todd continues 
to unpack.  He unpacks a photo of his mother and father with 
their arms around an older boy who is obviously Todd's brother 
Jeffrey.  Todd stands to one side, slightly apart from the 
family group.  Todd unpacks an engraved leather desk set 
(pens, blotter, etc.) and puts it on his desk.

         So what do you think of my father?

                (softly, to himself) 
         I'll take him over mine.



         Todd, if you're gonna make it around 
         here, you've gotta speak up.  The meek 
         might inherit the earth but they don't 
         get into Harvard. know what I mean?

Todd nods.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         The goddamn bastard!

He presses the metal point of the pin into his thumb, drawing 
blood.  Todd winces.  Neil doesn't.  Neil hurls the pin again.

14      INT. A CHEMISTRY CLASSROOM - DAY                               14

The classroom is a laboratory: filled with flasks, etc.  
Neil, Todd, Knox, Charlie, Cameron, Meeks and other members of 
the junior class sit around the room.  A bespectacled teacher 
stands in front, passing out thick textbooks.

                        CHEMISTRY TEACHER
         In addition to the assignments in the 
         text, you will each pick three lab 
         experiments from the project list and 
         report on one every five weeks.  The 
         first twenty problems at the end of 
         chapter one are due: tomorrow.

ANGLE ON CHARLIE DALTON as the thick textbooks arrive at his 
desk.  He shoots a disbelieving glance at Knox Overstreet who 
can only acknowledge with a shake of his head.  Todd takes his 
books without reacting.

15      INT. LATIN CLASS - DAY                                         15

The same students sit before a Latin teacher in his early 
60's  He declines a Latin noun with a thick Scottish brogue.

         Agricola, agricolae, agricolas, 
         Agricolas, agricolatis, agricolatus

struggle to follow along with McAllister's lesson.

16      INT. A MATHEMATICS CLASS - DAY                                 16

Mathematical charts hang on the walls.  The elderly bald 
teacher (the one from Nolan's doorway), Dr. Hager, passes out 
books.  The students' work load is huge.

         Your study of trigonometry requires 
         absolute precision.  Anyone failing to 
         turn in any homework assignment will be 
         penalized one point off his final grade. 
         Let me urge you now not to test me on 
         this point.  Who would like to begin by 
         defining a cosine?

Richard Cameron stands.

         A cosine is the sin of the compliment of 
         an angle or arc.  If we define an angle 
         A, then...

17      INT. ENGLISH CLASSROOM - DAY                                   17

The junior students--Todd, Neil, Knox, Charlie, Cameron, 
Meeks and some of the others we've seen--enter.  They are 
loaded down with books and look weary.  Sitting in the front 
of the room, staring out the window is JOHN KEATING, the 
teacher we glimpsed earlier.  He wears a collared shirt, tie, 
no jacket.

The boys take seats and settle in.  Keating stares out the 
window a long time.  The students start to shuffle 
uncomfortably.  Finally Keating stands, picks up a yardstick, 
and begins slowly strolling the aisles.  He stops and stares 
into the face of one of the boys.

                (to the blushing boy)
         Don't be embarrassed.

He moves off, then stops in front of Charlie Dalton.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
                (as if discovering 
                 something known only to 
                (he moves to Todd Anderson)
                (he moves to Neil Perry)

Keating slaps his free hand with the yardstick, then strides 
to the front of the room.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Nimble young minds!

He steps up onto the desk, turns and faces the class.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Oh Captain, My Captain. Who knows where 
         that's from?

No one raises a hand.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         It was written by a poet named Walt 
         Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln.  In 
         this class you may refer to me as either 
         Mr. Keating, or Oh Captain, My Captain.

Keating steps down and starts. strolling the aisles.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         So that I become the source of as few 
         rumors as possible, let me tell you that 
         yes, I was a student at this institution 
         many moons ago, and no, at that time I 
         did not possess this charismatic 
         personality.  However, should you choose 
         to emulate my manner, it can only help 
         your grade.  Pick up a textbook from the 
         back, gentlemen, and let's retire to the 
         honor room.

He steps off the desk and walks out.  The students sit, not 
sure what to do, then realize they are to follow him.  They 
quickly gather their books, pick up texts, and follow.

18      INT. THE WELTON OAK PANELED HONOR ROOM - DAY                   18

This is the room where the boys waited earlier.  The walls 
are lined with class pictures: dating back into the 1800s. 
School trophies of every description fill trophy cases and 
shelves.  Keating leads the students in, then faces the class.

                (Keating looks at his roll)
         Pitts.  An unfortunate name.  Stand up, 
         Mister Pitts.

Pitts stands.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
Open your text, Pitts,  to page forty and read for us the 
first stanza of the poem.

Pitts looks through his book.  He finds the poem.

         To The Virgins to Make Much Of Time?

         That's the one.

Giggles in the class.  Pitts reads.

         Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

Old time is still a flying

         And this same flower that smiles today

         Tomorrow will be dying.

         Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.  The 
         Latin term for that sentiment is "Carpe 
         Diem." Anyone know what that means?

         Carpe Diem... seize the day.

         Very good, Mr._?


         Seize the day while you're young, see 
         that you make use of your time.  Why does 
         the poet write these lines?

                        A STUDENT
         Because he's in a hurry?

         Because we're food for worms, lads!  
         Because we're only going to experience a 
         limited number of springs, summers, and 
         falls.  One day, hard as it is to 
         believe, each and every one of us is 
         going to stop breathing, turn cold, and 
         die!  Stand up and peruse the faces of 
         the boys who attended this school sixty 
         or seventy years ago.  Don't be timid, go 
         look at them.

The boys get up.  Todd, Neil, Knox, Meeks, etc. go over to 
the class pictures that line the honor room walls.

stare at us from out of the past.

         They're not that different than any of 
         you, are they?  There's hope in their 
         eyes, just like in yours.  They believe 
         themselves destined for wonderful things, 
         just like many of you.  Well, where are 
         those smiles now, boys?  What of that 

THE BOYS are staring at the pictures, sobered by what Keating 
is saying.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Did most of them not wait until it was 
         too late before making their lives into 
         even one iota of what they were capable?
         In chasing the almighty deity of success 
         did they not squander their boyhood 
         dreams? Most of those gentlemen are 
         fertilizing daffodils!  However, if you 
         get very close, boys, you can hear them 
         whisper.  Go ahead, lean in.  near it?
                (loud whisper)
         'Carpe Diem, lads.  Seize the day.  Make 
         your lives extraordinary. -

         Todd, Neil, Knox, Charlie, Cameron, 
         Meeks, Pitts all stare into the pictures 
         on the wall.  All are lost in thought.

19      EXT. THE WELTON CAMPUS - DAY                                   19

The class files out of the honor room.  Todd, Neil, Knox, 
Charlie, Cameron, Necks, and Pitts walk together, books in 
hand.  All thinking about what just happened in class.


         But different.

         Spooky if you ask me.

         You think he'll test us on that stuff?

         Oh come on, Cameron, don't you get 


         How about a trig study group?  Right 
         after dinner.

                        VARIOUS BOYS
         Good by me.  Sure.  Great.

         I can't make it.  I got a sign-out to 
         have dinner at the Danburrys' house.

         Who are the Danburrys?

         Big alum,. How'd you pull that?

         They're friends of my dad.  Probably in 
         their nineties or something.

         Listen, anything's, better than mystery 

         I'll second that.

The group disperses.  Neil finds himself walking near Todd 
who has been silent through this whole discussion.

         Want to come to the study group?

         Thanks but  I'd better do history.

20      INT. TODD AND NEIL'S DORM ROOM - LATE AFTERNOON                20

Todd enters alone.  He puts down his books and sits at his 
desk.  Flipping through the stack of books in front of him, he 
sighs at the work load that is piling up.

Todd takes out his notebook and opens his history book.  He 
stares at his notebook for a moment, then writes "SEIZE THE 
DAY" in big letters.  He looks at the words that he's written, 
sighs, tears the page off, then plunges into his homework.

A21     EXT. THE WELTON CAMPUS - DUSK - WIDE SHOT                     A21

The autumnal colors are muted by the onset of nightfall.  Old 
Dr. Hager drives the school "woody" station wagon out of the 


21      EXT./INT. A LARGE MANSION - DUSK                               21

Knox Overstreet gets out of the woody.  Dr. Hager pulls away.  
Knox walks to the door of the home and is admitted by a maid. 
Knox is amazed by this palatial home.

22      INT. THE DANBURRY MANSION LIBRARY - DUSK                       22

JOE DANBURRY is a sharp looking man of about 40, well 
dressed, friendly.  His wife, an attractive blonde about the 
same age, sits beside him.

                        JOE DANBURRY
         Knox, come in.  Joe Danburry.  This is 
         my wife, Janette.

         Nice to meet you.

                        MRS. DANBURRY 
         You're the spitting image of your 
         father. How is he?

         Great.  Just did a big case for GM.

                        JOE DANBURRY
         Ah.  I know where you're headed.  Like 
         father like son, eh? 
                (looking off screen) 
         Ginny.  Come meet Knox.

GINNY DANBURRY--15, cute, shy, a shock of misplaced hair--

                        MRS. DANBURRY 
         Knox, this is our daughter, Virginia.

         Ginny, mom.

Knox shakes her hand.  His "hello" is polite.  Her "hi" is 

CHET DANBURRY--a tall jock of a guy a couple of years older 
than Knox--enters.  With him is a lovely teenage brunette, 
CHRIS NOEL, in a short tennis dress.  Soft glowing eyes, 
athletic figure, this girl is stunning.

         Dad, can I take the Buick?

                        JOE DANBURRY
         What's wrong with your car?

                        MRS. DANBURRY 
         Chet, where are your manners?  Knox, 
         this is my son Chet and his girlfriend 
         Chris Noel.  This is Knox Overstreet.  
         Excuse me while I check on dinner.


Knox shakes Chet's hand.  Knox is THUNDERSTRUCK by Chris. 
Chris offers Knox her hand and a smile.  Knox shakes her hand1 
his mouth practically hanging open.

         Pleased to meet you.

         The pleasure is mine.

         Come on, Dad, why is this always a big 

                        JOE DANBURRY
         Because I bought you a sports car and 
         suddenly you want my car all the time.

         Chris' mom feels safer when we're in a 
         bigger car.  Right, Chris?

Chet shoots her a wicked smile.  Chris blushes.

         It's all right, Chet.

         It's not all right.  Come on, Dad

Joe Danburry walks out of the room.  Chet follows him.

                        CHET (CONT'D)
         Come on, Dad.

Knox, Ginny, and Chris remain in the room.  Knox smiles at 

         So, uh, where are you in school?

         Ridgeway High.  How's Henley Hall, Gin?


                (to Knox)
         That's your sister school, right?

         Sort of.

                (to Ginny)
         You going out for the Henley Hall play? 
                (to Knox)
         They're doing "A Midsummer Night's 


         How did you meet Chet?
                (both girls look at him) 
         I mean...   Er...

         He plays on the Ridgeway football team 
         and I'm a cheerleader.  He used to go to 
         Welton but he flunked out.
                (to Ginny)
         You should do it, Gin.  You'd be great.

Ginny looks down, shyly.  Chet comes to the door.

         Chris.  We got it.  Let's go.

         Nice meeting you, Knox.  Bye, Gin.

                (dying inside)
         Nice meeting you.  Chris.

Chris and Chet exit.  Through the window, we see Chet and 
Chris walk out and put their arms around each other.

                (confiding to Knox)
Chet just wants the Buick so they can go parking.


Outside, Chris and Chet get in the Buick and kiss.  Knox 
stares with envy.

         something wrong? 


23      EXT. DANBURRY HOUSE - DUSK                                     23

Chet and Chris drive off.

24      INT. THS JUNIOR CLASS LOUNGE - NIGHT                           24

The dorm is quiet.  Neil, Cameron, Weeks, Charlie and Pitts 
are gathered studying math.  As they do, Pitts works to 
assemble a small crystal radio.  Todd is in his room, studying 
alone.  Knox, looking shell-shocked, shuffles into the lobby.

         How was dinner?

         Terrible.  Awful!  I met the most 
         beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life!

         Are you crazy? What's wrong with that?

         She's practically engaged to Chet 
         Danburry.  Mr. Mondo Jocko himself.

         Too bad.

         It's not too bad.  It's a tragedy! Why 
         does she have to be in love with a jerk?!

         All the good ones go for jerks, you know 
         that.  Forget her.  Take out your trig 
         book and figure out problem twelve.

         I can't just forget her, Pitts.  And I 
         certainly can't think about math!

         Sure you can.  You're off on a tangent--
         so you're halfway into trig already

         Duh, Meeks!

         I thought it was clever.

                (sitting down)
         You really think I should forget her?

         You have another choice.

Knox drops to his knee like he is proposing.

         Only you, Pittsie.

Pitts pushes Knox away.  Knox sits back down but despair is 
beginning to wash over him.

25/26   OMIT                                                        25/26

26A     EXT: WELTON CAMPUS - MORNING                                  26A

The Welton bagpiper marches on the lawn, practicing. Students 
emerge from their dorms and head to breakfast.

27      INT. KEATING'S ENGLISH CLASS - DAY                             27

The lights are out and shades are drawn.  Keating sits in a 
chair beside the teacher's desk.  He looks solemn.  All is 

                (soft and soothing voice)
         Boys, quietly open your texts to page 

The boys follow instructions.  Keating reads the following in 
a tone of quiet reverence.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Little Boy Blue, by Eugene Field:
         The little toy dog is covered with dust,
         But sturdy and staunch he stands.
         And the little toy soldier is red with rust,
         And his musket moulds in his hands;
         Time was when the little toy dog was new,
         And the soldier was passing fair;
         And that was the time when our Little Boy Blue,
         Kissed them and put them there.
         'Now don't you go till I come,' he said,
         'And don't you make any noise!'
         So toddling off to his trundle bed
         He dreampt of pretty toys;
         And as he was dreaming, an angel song,
         Awakened our Little Boy Blue--
         Oh the years are many, the years are 
         But the little toy friends are true.
         Ay, faithful to Little Boy Blue they stand,
Each in the same old place--
         Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
         The smile of a little face.
         And they wonder, as waiting the long years thru,
         In the dust of that little chair,
         What has become of our Little Boy Blue,
         Since he kissed them and put them there.

Keating is a masterful reader.  With his marvelous voice, he 
has milked this sentimental poem for everything it is worth. 
Many of the boys are on the verge of tears.  Suddenly Keating 

                        KEATING (CONT'D)

The students jump halfway out of their seats.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Treacle!  Mawkish treacle!  Rip it out 
         of your books.  Rip out the entire page!  
         I want this sentimental rubbish in the 
         trash where it belongs!

He marches down the aisles with the trash can and waits for 
each boy to deposit the page from his textbook.  The boys, 
having been led down the sentimental path, cannot help but 
laugh at this sudden change of mood.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Make a clean tear.  I want nothing left 
         of it!  Eugene Field!  Disgraceful.

27A     INT.MCALLISTER'S CLAS5RDOM - DAY                              27A

Mr. McAllister, the Scottish Latin teacher, exits his room 
and walks across the hall to Keating's classroom.  He peeks in 
the door window and sees boys ripping pages out of their 
books.  Alarmed, McAllister opens the door and enters 
Keating's room.

27B     INT. KEATING'S CLASSROOM - SAME                               27B

McAllister is about to reprimand the boys when suddenly he 
sees Keating.

         What the...  Sorry, I didn't think you 
         were in here, Mr. Keating.

Baffled and embarrassed, McAllister exits.  Keating strides 
back to the front of the room, Flits the trash can on the 
floor, and jumps into it.  He stomps the trash a few times, 
then kicks the can away.

         This is battle, boys.  War!  You are 
         souls at a critical juncture.  Either you 
         will succumb to the will of hoi polloi 
         and the fruit will die on the vine--or 
         you will triumph as individuals.  It may 
         be a coincidence that part of my duties 
         are to teach you about Romanticism, but 
         let me assure you that I take the task 
         quite seriously.  You will learn what 
         this school wants you to learn in my 
         class, but if I do my job properly, you 
         will also learn a great deal more.  You 
         will learn to savor language and words 
         because they are the stepping stones to 
         everything you might endeavor to do in 
         life and do well.  A moment ago I used 
         the term 'hoi polloi.'  Who knows what it 
         means?  Come on, Overstreet, you twirp.
         Anderson, are you a man or a boil?

More laughter.  All eyes are on Todd.  He visibly tenses all 
over.  He cannot bring himself to speak.  He shakes his head 
jerkily "no.'.  Meeks raises his hands and speaks:

         The hoi polloi.  Doesn't it mean the 

         Precisely, Meeks. Greek for the herd. 
         However, be warned that, when you say 
         "the hoi polloi" you are actually saying 
         the the herd.  Indicating that you too 
         are "hoi polloi."

Keating grins wryly.  Meeks smiles.  More chuckles.  Keating 
paces to the back of the room.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Now, many will argue that nineteenth--
         century literature has nothing to do with 
         business school or medical school.  They 
         think we should I read our Field and 
         Pipple, learn our rhyme and meter, and 
         quietly go about it our business of 
         achieving other ambitions.

He slams his hand on the wall behind him.  The wall booms 
like a drum.  The boys jump and turn around.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
                (defiant whisper)
         Well, I say drivel!  One reads poetry 
         because he is a member of the human race 
         and the human race is filled with 
         passion!  Medicine, Law, Banking-these 
         are necessary to sustain life-but poetry, 
         romance, love, beauty!  These are what we 
         stay alive for.  I read from Whitman.
         Oh me, Oh life of the questions of these 
         recurring.  OF the endless trains of the 
         faithless of cities filled with the 
         foolish... skipping... What good amid these O 
         me, O life?  Answer: That you are here-
         That life exists and identity That the 
         powerful play goes on, and you may 
         contribute a verse."

Keating pauses.  The class sits, taking this in.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
                (awestruck tone)
         "That the powerful play goes on, and you 
         may contribute a verse."  Incredible.
Poetry is rapture, lads.  Without it we are doomed.
Keating waits a long moment. 

                        KEATING (CONT'D)

         What will your verse be?

PITTS, and TODD as they contemplate this question.  Softly, 
Keating breaks the mood:

                        KEATING (CONT'D)

         Let's open our textbooks to page sixty 
         and learn about Wordsworth notion of 

25      INT. THE WELTON DINING ROOM - DAY                              25

On the dais in the front of the room is the teacher's dining 
table.  Below them are the students' tables.  Mr. McAllister 
sits to Keating's right.

         Quite an interesting class you had 
         today, Mr. Keating.

         Sorry if I shocked you.

         No need to apologize.  It was quite 
         fascinating, misguided though it was.

         You heard it all?

         You're hardly a Trappist monk.

McAllister smiles.  So does Keating.

                        McALLISTER (CONT'D)
         You take a big risk encouraging them to 
         be artists, John.  When they realize 
         they're not  Rembrants or Shakespeares or 
         Picassos, they'll hate you for it.

         Not artists, George, free thinkers.  And 
         I hardly pegged you as a cynic.

         A cynic?  A realist!  Show me the heart 
         unfettered by foolish dreams and I'll 
         show you a happy man. 

He chews a bite.

                        McALLISTER (CONT'D)
         But I will enjoy listening to your 

Keating grins with amusement


Todd, Knox, Charlie, Cameron, Pitts, and Meeks sit at a table 
eating.  Neil enters and joins them.

         I found his senior annual in the 

Neil opens the annual and reads.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         Captain of the soccer team, editor of 
         the annual, Cambridge bound, Man most 
         likely to do anything, Thigh man, Dead 
         Poets Society.  

Hands grab the old annual away from Neil.

         Thigh man?  Mr. "K" was a hell raiser.

         What is the Dead Poets Society?

         Any group pictures in the annual?

         Nothing.  No mention of it. 


Mr. Nolan approaches the boys' table.  Under the table, 
Cameron insistently hands the annual to Todd.  Todd looks at 
Cameron, then takes it.  

Enjoying your classes, Mr. Perry?

         Yes sir.  Very much.

         And our Mr. Keating.  Finding him 
         interesting, boys?

         Yes sir.  We were just talking about 

         Good.  We're very excited about him.  He 
         was a Rhodes Scholar, you know. 

Nolan exits.  Todd looks at the annual that he hides in his 
lap under the table, then continues eating. 

29      EXT. THE CAMPUS - LATER                                        29

Keating walks across the school lawn wearing his sport coat 
and a scarf, carrying his books.  Pitts, Neil, Cameron, Knox, 
Charlie, Meeks and Todd approach him. 

         Mr. Keating? Sir? Oh Captain My Captain.  
                (Keating stops)  
         What was the Dead Poets Society?

         Ah, so you boy's have been snooping.

         I was just looking in an old annual and...

         Nothing wrong with research.

The boys wait for more.

         But what was it?

Keating checks around to be sure they are unwatched.

         The Dead Poets was a secret 
         organization. I don't know how the 
         present administration would look upon it 
         but I doubt the reaction would be 
         favorable. Can you keep a secret?

An instant sea of nods.

         The Dead Poets Society was dedicating to 
         sucking the marrow out of life.  That 
         phrase is by Thoreau and was invoked at 
         every meeting.  A small group of us would 
         meet at a cave and there we would take 
         turns reading Shelley, Thoreau, Whitman, 
         our own verse-any number of poets-and, in 
         the enchantment of the moment, let them 
         work their magic on us.  

         You mean it was a bunch of guys sitting 
         around reading poetry?

         Both sexes participated, Mr. Overstreet. 
         And, believe me, we did not simply read, 
         we let it drip from our tongues like 
         honey.  Women swooned, spirits soared... 
         Gods were created, gentlemen. 

The boys think a minute. 

         What did the name mean.  Did you only 
         read dead poets.  

         All poetry was acceptable.  The name 
         simply referred to the fact, that to join 
         the organization, you had to be dead.


         Full membership required a lifetime of 
         apprenticeship.  The living were simply 
         pledges.  Alas, even I am still a lowly 

The boys don't quite know what to say.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         The last meeting must have been 25 years 
         ago.  Hasn't been another since.

Keating exits.  The boys stand watching.  Neil turns to them.

         I say we go tonight.  Everybody in?

         Where is this cave he's talking about?

         Beyond the stream.  I think I know.

         That's miles.

         Sounds boring to me.

         Don't come.

         You know how many demerits we're 

         So don't goddam come!  Please.

         All I'm saying is we have to be careful.  
         We can't get caught.

         Well, no shit, Sherlock

         Who's in?

         I'm in.

Neil looks at Knox, Pitts, and Weeks.


         Oh come on, Pitts...

         His grades are hurting, Charlie.

         Then you can help him.

         What is this, a midnight study group?

         Forget it, Pitts, you're coming.  Meeks, 
         your grades hurting too?


         All right.  I'll try anything once. 

         Except sex.

More laughter.  Meeks blushes.

         I'm in as long as we're careful.


         I don't know.  I don't get it.

         Come on.  It'll help you get Chris.

         It will?  How do you figure?

         Women swoon!

         But why?

The group walk off.  Knox holds, then follows,

                        KNOX (CONT'D)
         Why do they swoon?!  Charlie, tell me 
         why they swoon!

Knox moves off after the others.  Todd remains behind. No one 
asked Todd and he moves off by himself.

30      INT. THE STUDY HALL - LATE AFTERNOON                           30

Students study.  Neil sits near Todd.

                (hushed voice)
         Listen, I'm inviting you.  You can't 
         expect everybody to think of you all the 
         time.  Nobody knows you.


         Thanks but it's not a question of that.

         What is it then?

         I... I just don't want to come.

         But why?  Don't you understand what 
         Keating is saying?  Don't you want to do 
         something about it?

         Yes.  But

         Put what?  Goddamn it, tell me.

         I don't want to read.


         Keating said everybody took turns 
         reading.  I don't want to do it.

         God, you really have a problem, don't 
         you?  How can it hurt you to read?  I 
         mean isn't that what this is all about? 
         Expressing yourself?

31      INT. THE DORM - LATE NIGHT                                     31

Old Dr. Hager, the resident dorm marshal, putters in his 
room, door ajar, making tea.  Neil, Charlie, Knox, Meeks, 
Pitts, Cameron, and Todd sneak silently past his door and out.

32      EXT. THE WELTON CAMPUS - NIGHT                                 32

The school hunting dog comes up and growls at the boys. Pitts 
slips the dog a piece of food and it goes away.

33      EXT. THE SCHOOL GROUNDS - NIGHT                                33

The stars are out and the wind is blowing.  A SERIES of SHOTS 
show the boys crossing the campus.  They reach a stone wall 
with an old iron gate that is chained shut.  The boys squeeze 
through the gate and disappear into the woods beyond.

34      EXT. THE WELTON WOODS AND STREAM - NIGHT                       34

The boys make their way through the eerie forest searching 
for the cave.  They reach the bank of the stream and begin 
looking for an appropriate spot amongst the tree roots and 
erosion.  Charlie suddenly looms out of the cave entrance.

         Yaa, I'm a dead poet!

                (then recovering)
         Eat it, Dalton!

         This is it.

                                              SHORT DISSOLVE TO:

34A     INT. THE CAVE - A BIT LATER                                   34A

A newly lit fire comes to life  The boys huddle around the 

         I hereby reconvene the Welton Chapter of 
         the Dead Poets Society.  These meetings 
         will be conducted by myself and by the 
         rest of the new initiates now present. 
         Todd Anderson, because he prefers not to 
         read, will keep minutes of the meetings.

Todd is unhappy with this role but he tries not to show it.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         I will now read the traditional opening 
         message from society member Henry David 

Neil opens Keating's copy of Thoreau's Walden, and reads.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         I went to the woods because I wanted to 
         live deliberately."
                (skips thru the text)
         I wanted to live deep and suck out all 
         the marrow of life!"

         All right.  I'll second that.

         To put the rout all that was not life.
                (skips thru the text)
         And not, when I came to die, discover 
         that I had not lived.  Pledge Overstreet.

Knox steps up.  Neil hands him Walden.  Knox flips thru the 
book until he finds another underlined passage.  He reads.

         The millions are awake enough for 
         Physical labor; but only one in a million 
         is awake enough for effective 
         intellectual exertion, only one in a 
         hundred millions to a poetic or divine 
         life.  To be awake is to be alive.

         Hey, this is great.

Knox hands the bock to Cameron.  Cameron reads.

         If one advances confidently in the 
         direction of his dreams and endeavors to 
         live the life which he has imagined, he 
         will meet with a success unexpected in 
         common hours.

         Yes!  I want success with Chris!

Cameron hands the book to Todd.  Todd holds the book, frozen. 
Before the others notice Todd's fear, Neil takes the book from 
Todd and hands it to Meeks.

         If you have built castles in the air, 
         your work need not be lost.  That is 
         where they should be.  Now put 
         foundations under them.

         God, I want to do everything!  I'm going 
         to explode.

Neil looks imbued with the desire to break out of his mold. 
He slams the palms of his hands together with an expression of 
determination.  Charlie opens a book he brought and flips 
through it.

         Listen to this: Out of the night that 
         covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to 
         pole, I thank whatever gods may be for my 
         unconquerable soul!"

PULL BACK from this small band of boys standing huddled in 
the night.  Something is swirling their heads, something alive 
and exciting like the wind and the swaying trees that surround 
them.  Charlie raises his hands in the air.

                        CHARLIE (CONT'D)
         I here and now commit myself to daring!

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

35      INT. KEATING'S CLASSROOM - DAY                                 35

         So avoid using the word 'very' because 
         it's lazy.  A man is not very tired, he 
         is exhausted.  Don't use very sad, use 
         morose.  Language was invented for one 
         reason, boys--to woo women--and, in that 
         endeavor, laziness will not do.  It also 
         won't do in your essays.

The class laughs appreciatively.  Keating closes his book, 
then walks over and raises a map that covers the blackboard in 
the front of the room.  On the board is a quote, which Keating 
reads aloud:

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Creeds and schools in abeyance   I 
         permit to speak at every hazard, Nature 
         without check, with original energy. -- 
         Walt Whitman.  Ah, but the difficulty of 
         ignoring those creeds and schools, 
         conditioned as we are by our parents, our 
         traditions, by the modern age.  How do 
         we, like Whitman, permit our own true 
         natures to speak?  How do we strip 
         ourselves of prejudices, habits, 
         influences?  The answer, my dear lads, is 
         that we must constantly endeavor to find 
         a new point of view.

He leaps onto his desk.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Why do I stand here?  To feel taller 
         than you?  I stand on my desk to remind 
         myself that we must constantly force 
         ourselves to look at things differently.  
         The world looks different from up here.  
         If you don't believe it, stand up here 
         and try it.  All of you.  Take turns.

Keating jumps off.  The boys, with the notable exception of 
Todd, go to the front of the room and a few at a time take 
turns standing on Keating's desk.  As they do, Keating strolls 
up and down the aisles.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Try never to think about anything the 
         same way twice.  If you're sure about 
         something, force yourself to think about 
         it another way, even if you know it's 
         wrong or silly.  When you read, don't 
         consider only what the author thinks, but 
         take the time to consider what you think. 
         You must strive to find your own voice, 
         boys, and the longer you wait to begin, 
         the less likely you are to find it at 
         all.  Thoreau said, "Most men lead lives 
         of quiet desperation."  I ask, why be 
         resigned to that?  Risk walking new 
         ground.  Now.  A flame in your hearts 
         could change the world, lads.  Nurture

Keating goes to the door.  He locks at the class, then 
flashes the room lights on and off over and over.  He makes a 
noise like crashing thunder.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         In addition to your essays, I want you 
         each to write a poem--something your own 
         to be delivered aloud in class.  See
         you Monday.

He exits.  Momentarily, he pops his head back in.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
                (impish grin)
         And don't think I don't know this 
         assignment scares you to death, Mr. 
         Anderson, you mole.

Keating holds out his hands and pretends he is sending 
lightning bolts at Todd.  The class laughs.  Todd forces a 
hint of a smile.


Pitts and Meeks climb up the inside of the bell tower that 
sits atop the Welton Chapel.  They affix Pitts' crystal radio 
antenna to the chapel cross.  momentarily, they tune in a 
fuzzy rock 'n roll station.

         Radio Free America.

They try to tune in the music but it soon dissolves into 
static.  They jiggle the radio in frustration.

36                                                                     36

Some of the Welton students run on the green, kicking soccer 

37                                                                     37

Down at the lake, the Welton crew team is practicing.  Mr. 
Nolan sits in a rowboat, smoking a pipe, watching.

38                                                                     38

Knox rides down a wooded lane on his bike.  He comes to 
RIDGEWAY HIGH SCHOOL.  Beyond a fence, uniformed boys practice 
football.  Not far from them, cheerleaders practice.  Knox 
stops.  He sees:

Among the cheerleaders is Chris.  She laughs as she practices 
the cheers with the other girls.  Knox watches her with 
intense longing in his eyes.

Chet Danburry catches a pass in front of Chris, struts for 
her amusement, then moves on.  Chris laughs.

Knox gets back on his bike and pedals away

39      INT. TODD AND NEIL'S ROOM - AFTERNOON                          39

Todd sits at his bed, a pad of paper beside him.  He starts 
to write something, scratches it out, then covers his face in 
frustration.  The door opens.  Neil enters, looking like he's 
just seen God.  He lets his books fall to his desk.

         I've found it. 

         Found what?

         What I want to do!  Right now. What is 
         really inside of me.

He hands Todd a piece of paper.  Todd reads it.

         A Midsummer Night's Dream. What is it?

         A play, dummy.

         I know that.  What's it got to do with 

         They're putting it on at Henley Hall. 
         See, open try-outs.


         So I'm gonna act!  Ever since I can 
         remember I've wanted to try it.  Last 
         summer I even tried to go to summer stock 
         auditions but of course my father 
         wouldn't let me.

         And now he will?

         Hell no, but that's not the point.  The 
         point is for the first time in my whole 
         goddamned life, I know what I want, and 
         for the first time I'm gonna do it 
         whether my father wants me to or not! 
         Carpe diem, goddamn it!

Neil picks up the play and reads a coupe of lines aloud. They 
delight him.  He clenches his fists in the air with joy.

         Neil, how are you gonna be in a play if 
         your father won't let you?

         First I gotta get the part, then I'll 
         worry about that.

         Won't he kill you if you don't let him 
         know you're auditioning?

         As far as I'm concerned, he won't have 
         to know about any of it.

         Come on, that's impossible.

         Horseshit.  Nothing's impossible.

         Why don't you ask him first?  Maybe 
         he'll say yes.

         That's a laugh.  If I don't ask, at 
         least I won't be disobeying him.

         But if he said no before then...

         Jesus Christ, whose side are you on?  I 
         haven't even gotten the part yet.  Can't 
         I enjoy the idea even for a little while?

Todd turns back to his work.  Neil sits on the bed and starts 
reading the play.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         By the way, there's a meeting this 
         afternoon.  You coming?

         I guess.

Neil puts down his play and looks at Todd.

         None of what Mr. Keating has to say 
         means shit to you, does it?

         What is that supposed to mean?

         Being in the club means being stirred up 
         by things.  You look about as stirred up 
         as a cesspool.

         You want me out...  is that what you're 

         No, I want you in.  But being in means 
         you gotta do something.  Not just say 
         you're in.

                (turns angrily)
         Listen Neil, I appreciate your interest 
         in me but I'm not like you.  When you say 
         things, people pay attention.  People 
         follow you.  I'm not like that.

         Why not?  Don't you think you could be?

         No!  I don't know,  I'll probably never 
         know.  The point is, there's nothing you 
         can do about it so butt out, all right?  
         I can take care of myself just fine.  All 

         Er  No.

         No?  What do you mean 'no'?

                (shrugs matter-of-factly)

Neil opens his play.  Todd waits for Neil to relent.  He 

40      OMIT                                                           40

A41     EXT. CAVE - AFTERNOON                                         A41

The boys enter the cave.

41      INT. THE CAVE - AFTERNOON                                      41

It is a clear, crisp fall afternoon.  Charlie, Knox, Todd, 
Necks, Neil, Cameron, and Pitts sit around.  Neil recites from 

         "I went to the woods because I wished to 
         live deliberately.  I wanted to live deep 
         and suck out all the marrow of life."

                        KNOX (moans)
         God, I want to suck all the marrow out 
         of Chris.  I'm so in love, I feel like 
         I'm going to die!

         You know what the dead poets would say: 
         Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...

         But she's in love with: the moron son of 
         my father's best friend.  What would the 
         dead poets say about that?

Knox walks away from the group.  Despair is washing over him.

         I feel like I've never been alive.  For 
         years I've been risking nothing.  I have 
         no idea what I am or what I want to do! 
         Neil, you know you want to act.  Knox 
         wants Chris.

         Needs Chris!  Must have Chris!

         Meeks, you're the brain here.  What do 
         the dead poets say about somebody like 

         The romantics were passionate 
         experimenters, Charles.  They dabbled in 
         many things before settling, if ever.

         There aren't too many places to be an 
         experimenter at Welton, Meeks.

Charlie paces a moment, then gets an idea.  He addresses the 

         I hereby declare this the Charles Dalton 
         Cave for Passionate Experimentation.  In 
         the future, anyone wishing entry must 
         have permission from me.

         Wait a minute, Charlie. This should 
         belong to the club.

         It should, but I found it and now I 
         claim it.  carpe cavern, guys.  Seize the 

Charlie grins.  The boys look at each other and shake their 
heads.  Neil heads out.

         I gotta get to the tryouts.  Wish me 

         Good luck.

Neil exits.  Charlie finds a rock and begins carving his name 
on a wall of the cave.  Pitts shakes his head.

42      EXT. SOCCER FIELD - AFTERNOON                                  42

Gusts of wind blow across the field.  About 50 boys stand in 
their sweats, moving around, trying to keep warm.  Among them 
are Todd, Charlie, Pitts, and Knox who is in a state of 
lovesick despair.  Keating walks up, carrying same soccer 
balls under one arm and a case under the other.

         Say, look who's the soccer instructor.

         Here here, there are quite a few of us 
         so we have to be quiet if we're to get 
         anything accomplished.  Who has the roll?

                        SENIOR STUDENT
         I do, sir.

                        SENIOR STUDENT
Keating takes the three-page roll and examines it.

         Answer "present." please.  Chapman?

                        STUDENT (CHAPMAN)

         Perry?  (no answer)  Neil Perry?

Keating glances at Todd.  Todd doesn't know what to say.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Hmmmm.  Watson?  (no answer)  Richard 
         Watson? Absent too, eh?

         Watson's sick, sir.

         Hmm.  Sick indeed.  I suppose I should 
         give Watson demerits.  But if I give 
         Watson demerits, I will also have to give 
         Perry demerits  and I like Perry.

He crumples the roll up and tosses it away.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Boys, you don't have to be here if you 
         don't want to.  Anyone who wants to play, 
         follow me.

Keating marches off.  Astonished and delighted by this 
capriciousness, most of the boys excitedly follow.

43      NEW ANGLE - FAR SOCCER FIELD - LATER                           43

Most of the boys from earlier sit on the ground.  Keating 
stands before them.

         Devotees may argue that one game or 
         sport is inherently better than another.  
         For me the most important thing in all 
         sport is the way other human beings can 
         push us to excel.  Plato, a gifted man 
         like myself, said, "Only the contest made 
         me a poet, a sophist, an orator."  Each 
         person take a slip of paper and line up 
         single file.

He passes out slips of paper to the curious students.

44      EXT. THE SOCCER FIELD - LATER                                  44

The boys form a long line.  Todd stands listlessly at the 
rear.  Ten feet in front of the boy at the head of the line, a 
soccer ball rests on the ground.

         You know what to do... Now go!

McAllister walks past the soccer field.  He watches in 
fascination as the boy at the head of the line steps out and 
reads loudly from his slip of paper.

                        FIRST BOY
         Oh to struggle against great odds, To 
         meet enemies undaunted!

He runs and kicks the ball at the goal, missing.  Keating 
puts down another ball, then puts a record on a portable 
record player.  Classical music starts.  The second boy, Knox, 
steps out.

         Rhythm, boy!  Rhythm is important.

                        SECOND BOY (KNOX)
         To be entirely alone with them, to find 
         out how much one can stand!

Knox too runs and kicks the ball. Just before he smashes it 
with his foot, he yells:  "CHET!" ball. Keating puts down 
another ball

                        THIRD BOY (MEEKS)
         To look strife, torture, prison, popular 
         odium face to face!

Meeks runs and kicks the ball with great intent.  Next, 
Charlie steps out and reads.

         To indeed be a God!

With determination, Charlie kicks the ball through the goal. 
McAllister smiles and walks on.

45      OMIT                                                           45

46      INT. NEIL AND TODD'S ROOM - NIGHT                              46

Todd sits at his desk, a half-composed poem before him. He 
adds a line, then breaks the pencil in frustration.  He paces, 
sighs, then picks up another pencil and tries to again.

47      INT. THE DORM HALLWAY - SAME                                   47

Neil enters, looking stunned.

         I got it.  Hey, everybody, I got the 
         part!  I'm going to play Puck.  Hey, I'm 

                        VOICE FROM A ROOM
         Puck you!  Pipe down.

                        CHARLIE AND OTHERS
         All right, Neil.  Congratulations!

48      INT. NEIL AND TODD'S ROOM - NIGHT                              45

Neil enters and closes the door.  Incredibly excited, he 
pulls out an old typewriter and begins to type.  Todd watches.

         Neil, how are you gonna do this?

         Sssh.  That's what I'm taking care of. 
         They need a letter of permission.

         From you?

         From my father and Nolan.

         Neil, you're not gonna...

         Quiet.  I have to think.

Neil mumbles lines from the play, giggles to himself, then 
keeps typing.  Todd shakes his head in disbelief.

49      INT. KEATING'S CLASSROOM - DAY                                 49

Knox stands before class reading the poem he wrote.

         I see a sweetness in her smile
         Bright light shines from her eyes
         But life is complete: contentment mine
         Just knowing that she--

Knox stops.  He lowers his paper.

         I'm sorry.  It's stupid.

Knox walks back to his seat.

         It's fine, Knox.  Good effort.
                (to the class)
         What Knox has done demonstrates an 
         important point, not only in writing 
         poetry, but in every endeavor.  That is, 
         deal with the important things in life 
         love, beauty, truth, justice.

Keating paces.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         And don't limit poetry to the word. 
         Poetry can be found in a work of art, 
         music, a photograph, in the way a meal is 
         prepared--anything with the stuff of 
         revelation in it.  It can exist in the 
         most everyday things but it must never, 
         never be ordinary  By all means, write 
         about the sky or a girl's smile but when 
         you do, let your poetry conjure up 
         salvation day, doomsday, any day, I don't 
         care, as long as it enlightens us, 
         thrills us and--if it's inspired--makes 
         us feel a bit immortal.

         Oh, Captain, My Captain. Is there poetry 
         in math?

Chuckles from the class.

         Absolutely, Mr. Dalton, there is 
         elegance in mathematics.  If everyone 
         wrote poetry, the planet would starve, 
         for God's sake.  But there must be 
         poetry--and we must stop to notice it--in 
         even the simplest acts of living, or we 
         will have wasted the truly wonderful 
         opportunity that life as human beings 
         offers us.  That said, who wants to 
         recite next?  Come on.  I'll get to 
         everyone eventually.

Keating looks around.  No one volunteers.  Keating grins.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Look at Mr. Anderson.  In such agony. 
         Step up, lad, and let's put you out of 
         your misery.

All eyes are on Todd.  He is dying inside.  He stands and 
walks slowly to the front of the class like a condemned man on 
his way to his execution.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Todd, have you prepared your poem?

Todd shakes his head no.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Mr. Anderson believes that everything he 
         has inside of him is worthless and 
         embarrassing.  Correct, Todd?  Isn't that 
         your fear?

Todd nods jerkedly yes.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Then today you will see that what is 
         inside of you is worth a great deal.

Keating strides to the blackboard.  Rapidly, he writes:

Walt Whitman

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         A yawp, for those who don't know, is a 
         loud cry or yell.  Todd, I would like you 
         to give us a demonstration of a barbaric 

                (barely audible)
         A yawp?

         A barbaric yawp.

Keating pauses, then suddenly moves fiercely at Todd.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Good god, boy! Yell!


                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Again!  Louder!




         All right!  Very good!  There's a 
         barbarian in there after all!

Keating claps.  The class claps too.  Todd, red-faced, swells 
a bit.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Todd, there's a picture of Whitman over 
         the door.  What does he remind you Of? 
         Quickly, Anderson, don't think about it.

         A madman.

         A madman.  Perhaps he was.  What kind of 
         madman?  Don't think!  Answer.

         A crazy madman.

         Use your imagination!  First thing that 
         pops to your mind, even if it's 

         A... A  sweaty-toothed madman.

         Now there's the poet speaking!  Close 
         your eyes and think of the picture. 
         Describe what you see.  NOW!

         I... I close my eyes.  His image floats 
         beside me.

         A sweaty-toothed madman

         A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare 
         that pounds my brain.

         Excellent!  Have him act.  Give it 

         His hands reach out and choke me All the 
         time he mumbles slowly.  Truth... Truth is 
         like a blanket that always leaves your 
         feet cold.

This brings chuckles from the class.  This angers Todd.

         To hell with them, most about the 

Todd opens his eyes and addresses the class in defiant 

         Stretch it, pull it, it will never cover 
         any of us.  Kick at it, beat at it, it 
         will never be enough-

         Don't stop!

                (struggling, but getting it 
         From the moment we enter crying to the 
         moment we leave dying,  It will cover 
         just your head as you wail and cry and 

Todd stands still for a long time.  Both he and the students 
have felt the magic or what has just taken place.  Neil starts 
applauding.  Others join in.  Todd swells and, for the first 
time, there is a hint of confidence in him.  The applause 
stops.  Keating walks to Todd.

         Don't forget this.

49A     EXT. THE SOCCER FIELD - DAY                                   49A

A soccer ball careens off a kicking foot.  Beethoven's Ninth 
symphony, fourth movement, "Ode To Joy," blares forth. Keating 
stands on the sidelines beside his portable record player, 
watching the boys play soccer, waving his arms like an 
orchestra conductor.  In front of Keating the boys play soccer 
to this spectacular music.  They run, kick, pass, fall, block, 
head, dribble, take--all to the overpowering chorus of one of 
the most inspirational pieces of music ever written.

50A     EXT DEAD POETS CAVE - AFTERNOON                               50A

Boys enter the cave.

50      INT. DEAD POETS CAVE - AFTERNOON                               50

Neil hurries in carrying a small, broken statue.  The other 
pledges of the Dead Poets Society are assembled around 
Charlie who sits silently cross-legged before them.  His eyes 
are closed and, in one hand, he holds an old saxophone.

         Look at this.

         What is it?

         The god of the cave.

The statue has a stake sticking cut of its head with a candle 
stuck in it.  Neil plants the statue in ground and lights the 
candle.  It illuminates a red and blue drummer boy, face 
pitted from exposure, yet noble in its visage.  Charlie, who 
hasn't moved, clears his throat.  All turn to him and settle

         Gentlemen, "Poetrusic" by Charles 

He blows scattered notes on the saxophone.  Random, blaring, 
they sound like bad John Cage.  Suddenly Charlie stops.

                        CHARLIE (CONT'D)
                (trance-like, run-on 
         Laughing, crying, tumbling, mumbling, 
         gotta do more.  Gotta be more

He plays more notes on the sax, then:

                        CHARLIE (CONT'D)
                (more rapid than before) 
         Chaos screaming, chaos dreaming, crying, 
         flying, gotta be more!!  Gotta be more!!

Charlie plays a simple but absolutely gorgeous melody.  The 
skeptical looks on the faces of the boys disappear.  As 
Charlie gets lost in the music, so do the others.  The melody 
ends with a long, beautiful, haunting note.

         Charlie, That was great!  Where did you 
         learn to play like that?

         My parents made me take clarinet but I 
         hated it.
                (putting on a mock British 
The sax is more sonorous.

Knox stands.  He backs away, full of torment and frustration.

         God, I can't take it anymore!  If I 
         don't have Chris, I'll kill myself.

         Knox, you gotta calm down.

         No, I've been calm all my life!  If I 
         don't do something, it's gonna kill me.

         Where are you going?

         I'm calling her!

51      INT. THE DORM PHONE ROOM - LATER                               51

All of the boys stand around.  Knox picks up the phone, 
boldly dials some numbers, then waits.

52      INT. CHRIS' HOUSE - AFTERNOON                                  52

Chris is in wet hair and a damp towel, but she looks 
stunning.  She enters and answers the phone.



Knox hears Chris' voice.  He starts to speak, then hangs up 
the phone.

         She's gonna hate me!  The Danburrys will 
         hate me.  My parents will kill me!

He looks at the faces of the others.  No one says a word.

                        KNOX (CONT'D)
         All right, goddamn it, you're right!  
         'Carpe diem' even if it kills me.

He picks up the phone and dials again.

54      INT. CHRIS~ HOUSE - SAME                                       54

Again the phone rings.  Again Chris enters and answers. 


55      INT. THE DORM - SAME                                           55

         Hello Chris, this is Knox Overstress.

56      INT. CHRIS' HOUSE - SAME                                       56

         Knox.  Oh yes, Knox.  I'm glad you 


         You are?
                (excitedly to his friends)
         She's glad I called!

58      INT. CHRIS' HOUSE - SAME                                       58

         I wanted to call you but I didn't have 
         the number.  Chet's parents are going out 
         of town this weekend so Chet's having a 
         party.  Would you like to come?

59      INT. THE DORM - SAME                                           59

         Well, sure!

60      INT. CHRIS' HOUSE - SAME                                       60

         Chet's parents don't know about it, so 
         please keep it quiet.  But you can bring 
         someone if you like.

61      INT. DORM - SAME                                               61

         I'll be there.  The Danburrys.  Friday 
         night.  Thank you, Chris.

He hangs up the phone.  He is thunderstruck.  He lets out a 

                        KNOX (CONT'D)
         Can you believe it?  She was gonna call 
         me!  She invited me to a party with her!

         At Chet Danburry's house.




         So you really think she means you're 
         going with her?

         Well hell no, Charlie, but that's not 
         the point.  That's not the point at all!

         What is the point?

         The point is she was thinking about me! 
         I've only met her once and already she's 
         thinking about me.  Damn it, it's gonna 
         happen!  I feel it.  She's going to be 

He exits the phone room, his head in a cloud.  The others 
look at each other, not sure what to think.

62      EXT. THE HENDLY HALL AUDITOMUM - DAY                           62

The buildings at this school are white brick.  Neil parks his 
bicycle and enters the auditorium.

63      INT. THE AUDITORIUM STAGE - LATER                              63

High school actors are on stage rehearsing Shakespeare's "A 
Midsummer Night's Dream."  Neil stands center stage, playing 
Puck.  He holds a stick with a bell accoutered jester's head 
on one end of it.

                        NEIL (AS PUCK)
         Yet but three?  Come one more.
         Two of both kinds makes up four.
         Here she comes, curst and sad.
         Cupid is a knavish lad
         Thus to make poor females mad.

Enter Ginny Danburry playing Hermia, crawling on stage, 
looking exhausted.  As she starts her lines, the DIRECTOR of 
the play, a woman in her 40s, interrupts.

         Good, Neil.  I really get the feeling 
         your Puck knows he's in charge.  Remember 
         that he takes great delight in what he's 

                (broadly, boldly impish) 
         Cupid is a knavish lad Thus to make poor 
         females mad!"

         Excellent.  Continue, Ginny.

As Ginny re-enters and starts her lines-

                        GINNY (AS HERMIA)
         Never so weary, never so in woe, 
         Bedabbled with the dew, and torn with 
         briars I can no further crawl, no further 

64      EXT. THLE WELTON DORMS - NIGHT                                 64

Neil rides up on his bike and parks it.  As he starts into 
the dorm, he spots a figure sitting motionless on a wall.


Neil walks over to get a better look.  It is Todd, sitting in 
the dark without a coat.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         What's going on?

Todd doesn't answer.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         Todd, what's the matter?

         It's my birthday.

         It is?  Happy Birthday.  You get 

Todd is motionless.  Then he points to a box.  Neil looks. In 
the box seems to be the monogrammed desk set that we've seen 
on Todd's desk.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         This is your desk set. 
         I don't get it.

         They gave me the exact same thing as 
         last year!



Long pause.

         Well, maybe they thought you'd need 
         another one.  Maybe they thought...

         Maybe they don't think at all unless 
         it's about my brother!  His birthday's 
         always a big to-do.
                (pause: looks at the desk 
         The stupid thing is, I didn't even like 
         the first one.

He puts the desk set down.

         Look, Todd, you're obviously under-
         estimating the value of this desk set.


         I mean, this is one special gift!  Who 
         would want a football or a baseball bat 
         or a car when they could get a desk set 
         as wonderful as this one!

         Yeah!  And just look at this ruler!

They laugh.  A silence falls.

                        TODD (CONT'D)
         You know what Dad called me when I was 
         growing up?  "Five ninty-eight."  That's 
         what all the chemicals in the human body 
         would be worth if you bottled them raw 
         and sold them.  He told me that was all 
         I'd ever be worth unless I worked every 
         day to improve myself.  "Five ninety-

Neil shakes his head.

                        TODD (CONT'D)
         When I was little, I thought all parents 
         automatically loved their kids.  That's 
         what my teachers told me.  That's what I 
         read in the books they gave me.  That's 
         what I believed.  Well, my parents might 
         have loved my brother but they did not 
         love me.

He takes a deep, anguished breath.  Neil is groping for 
something to say.  Todd walks into the dorm.

65      EXT. A WELTON BRICK COURTYARD - DAY                            65

The class pours into the courtyard expectantly.  Another 
Keating stunt?  Keating addresses them.

         People, I am delighted with your 
         progress as reflected in your essays and 
         poems. However, I know the school policy 
         is to encourage study groups and I 
         believe that a dangerous though 
         inevitable element of conformity has been 
         seeping into your work.  Misters Pitts, 
         Cameron, Overstreet, and Chapman line up 
         please over here.

Keating indicates for the four boys to stand near him.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         On the count of four, begin walking 
         together around the courtyard.  Nothing 
         to think about.  No grade here.  One, 
         two, three, go.

The boys begin walking.  They go down one side of the 
courtyard, across the back, up the other side, then across the 

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         That's the way.  Please continue.

As the boys walk around the courtyard again, they begin to 
walk together in step.  Soon it becomes like a march, 
producing a one-two-three-four cadence.  Keating begins to 

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         There it is  Hear it? 
                (clapping louder in time)
         One two, one two, one two, one two


McAllister sits in his empty classroom, reading a book.  He 
sees the commotion in the courtyard and watches.


The marching boys get into it.  The class joins in clapping. 
Soon the tour boys are marching vigorously to the rhythmic 
clapping of the entire class.


Inside his second-story office, Nolan is looking out his 
window at the marching boys below.


                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         All right, stop.  You way have noticed 
         how at the beginning Mister  Overstress 
         and Pitts: seemed to have a different 
         stride than the others, but soon they 
         were all walking in the same cadence.  
         Our encouragement made it even more 
         marked. Now this experiment was not to 
         single out Pitts or Overstress.  What it 
         demonstrates is how difficult it is for 
         any of us to listen to our own voice or 
         maintain our own beliefs in the presence 
         of others.  If any of you believe you 
         would have marched differently, then ask 
         yourself why you participated in the 
         clapping.  Lads, there is a great need in 
         all of us to be accepted.  However, that 
         need can be like a nasty current, 
         whisking us away unless we're strong and 
         determined swimmers.  Don't insist on the 
         separate path simply to be different or 
         contrary, but trust what is unique about 
         yourselves even if it's odd or unpopular.  
         As Mr. Robert Frost said, "Two roads 
         diverged in a wood, and I... I took the one 
         less traveled by, And that has made all 
         the difference."

A bell rings, signifying the end of class.  Keating walks 


Nolan moves away from the window.


Amused at Keating's antics, he turns back to his book.

66      INT. ENTRANCE TO THE DEAD POETS CAVE - NIGHT                   66

Todd. Neil, Cameron, Pitts, and Meeks sit around.  A fog has 
moved in and the trees sway in the breeze.

         where's Knox?

         Getting ready for that party.

         What about Charlie?  He's the one who 
         insisted on this meeting.

         I went to the woods because I wanted to 
         live deliberately.  To live deep and suck 
         out all the marrow of life-~

In the woods there is a noise the sound of girls' laughter.

                        GIRL'S VOICE
         I can't see a thing.

                        CHARLIE'S VOICE
         It's just over here.

Charlie and TWO GIRLS arrive at the cave.  One is pretty, the 
other is plain.  The girls are about 20, blonde, beers in 
their hands.  They aren't the type to be seriously interested 
in Charlie or the other boys.  They're just here for a good 

         Hey guys, meet Gloria and...

                        PLAIN GIRL (TINA)

         Tina and Gloria, this is the pledge 
         class of the Dead Poets society.

         It's such a strange name!  Won't you 
         tell us what it means?

         I told you, that's a secret.

         Isn't he precious?

Gloria gives Charlie an affectionate hug.  The other members 
or the club are flabbergasted.  These girls are wild, exotic 
creatures, the kind whose unashamed love of men causes young 
boys' hearts to come to rest in young boys' 

The girls giggle.

         I can't call you Charlie anymore? 
                (Puts her arm around 
         What does Numama mean, honey?

         It's Nuwanda, and I made it up.

         I'm cold.

Charlie puts his arm around Gloria.

         Let's build a fire.

Charlie shoots Meeks a look.  As the boys move off to gather 
wood, Charlie scrapes some mud off the wall of the cave and 
wipes it on his face like an Indian brave.  Me shoots Gloria 
his sexiest stare, then goes off with the other boys.  The 
girls whisper and giggle together.

67      EXT. THE DANBURRY HOUSE - NIGHT                                67

Knox parks his bicycle along the side of the house.  He takes 
off his overcoat, and stuffs it in the bike saddle bag.  He 
straightens his tie, then goes to the front door.  He knocks. 
He can hear music inside.  He knocks again.  Finally, since no 
one comes to the door, Knox opens it.

68      INT. THE DANBURRY HOUSE - SAME                                 68

Knox enters.  "Open the Door to Your Heart" by Darrell Banks 
is playing on the Hi-Fi.  On the entrance hall couch is a 
couple, making out like crazy.  Up and down the stairs are 
other couples doing the same.  Knox stands there, not knowing 
what to do.  Momentarily, Chris walks through, her hair an 
uncombed mass.


Chris turns and sees Knox.

         Oh, hi.  I'm glad you made it.  Did you 
         bring anybody?


         Ginny Danburry's here.  Look for her.

         But, Chris...

         I gotta find Chet.  Make yourself at 

She exits.  Knox watches her.  He slumps in dejection.

69      EXT. THE WOODS AROUND THE CAVE                                 69

Charlie is gathering wood.  Neil, Pitts, Todd and the other 
boys surround him.


         It's Nuwanda.

         Nuwanda, what is going on?

         Nothing, unless you object to having 
         girls here.

         Well, of course not.  It's just that...   
         You could have warned us.

         I thought I'd be spontaneous.  I mean, 
         that's the point of this whole thing, 
         isn't it?

         Where'd you find them?

         They were walking along the fence past 
         the soccer field.  Said they were curious 
         about the school so I invited them to the 

         Do they go to Henley Hall?

         I don't think they're in school.

         They're townies?!

         Cameron, what is the matter with you. 
         You act like they're your mother or 
         something.  You afraid of them?

         Hell no, I'm not afraid of them just, if 
         we get caught with them, we're dead.

                        GLORIA (O.S.}
         Say, what's going on out there?

         Just gathering wood.
                (low, to Cameron)
         You just keep your mouth shut, jerkoff, 
         and there's nothing to worry about.

         Watch who you call a jerkoff.

         Oh calm down, Cameron.

Charlie gives Cameron an expression of mock fear, then heads 
off.  The others follow.  Cameron watches Charlie and Neil for 
a moment, then walks after them.

70      INT. THE DANBURRY PANTRY - NIGHT                               70

Knox, looking suicidal, wanders through the crowded party and 
ends up in the pantry.  Kids stand talking.  A couple in the 
corner is involved in a long kiss.  His hand keeps wandering 
to her knee and her hand keeps pushing his away, yet the kiss 
never breaks.  This happens over and over through the entire 
next scene.

Ginny Danburry is in the corner and she and Knox exchange 
smiles.  At the sink a guy stands making bourbon and Cokes. 
The guy eyes Knox.

         You Mutt Sanders' brother?

Knox shakes his head no.

                        GUY (CONT'D)

BUBBA is a big, drunk jock leaning on the refrigerator.

                        GUY (CONT'D)
         This guy look like Mutt Sanders?

         You his brother?

         No relation.  Never heard of him.  

         Say Steve, where's your manners?  Here's 
         Mutt's brother and you don't offer him a 
         drink? Want some bourbon?

         Actually I don't

Steve puts a glass in Knox's hand and fills it with bourbon, 
adding only a hint of Coke.  Bubba clinks the glass with him.

         To Mutt.

         To Mutt.

         To Mutt.

Bubba and Steve drain their glasses.  Knox follows their 
lead, then bursts into a coughing fit.  Steve pours everyone 
more bourbon.

         So what the hell's Mutt been up to?

                (coughing fitfully)
         Actually I don't really know Mutt.

         To fucking Mutt.

         To fucking Mutt. 

         Fucking Mutt

They drain their glasses again.  Knox continues coughing.

         Well, I'd better find Patsy.
                (slaps Knox on the back)
         Say hello to Mutt for me.

         Will do.

Knox and Ginny exchange knowing smiles.  Bubba leaves Knox, 
who is still coughing.  Ginny wanders out.  Steve pours him 
and Knox more bourbon.

71      INT. THE CAVE - NIGHT                                          71

The boys have lit a fire and the girls are warming their 
hands.  The candle on the head of the "cave god" FLUTTERS. 
Tina notices the pitted statue.

         I heard you guys were weird but not this 

She takes out a pint of whiskey and offers some to Neil.  He 
takes it and sips.  He obviously hasn't had much whiskey in 
his life but he tries to act like he has.  He hands it back.

                        TINA (CONT'D)
         Go ahead, pass it around.

Neil does.  It goes from boy to boy.  Each boy tries to act 
like he likes the terrible bitterness he tastes.  Unlike most 
of the others, Todd manages to keep from coughing as he 
swallows the whiskey.  Everyone is impressed.

                (to Todd)
         Yeah!  (to the others)  Don't you guys 
         miss having girls here?

         Miss it?  It drives us crazy.  That's 
         part of what this club is about.  In 
         fact, I'd like to announce that I've 
         published an article in the school paper, 
         in the name of the Dead Poets society, 
         demanding girls be admitted to Welton, so 
         we can all stop beating off.

         You what?!  How did you do that?

         I'm one of the proofers.  I slipped the 
         article in.

         Oh God, it's over now!

         Why? Nobody knows who we are.

         Don't you think they'll figure out who 
         did it?!  Don't you know they'll come to 
         you and demand to know what the Dead 
         Poets Society is?   Charlie, you had no 
         right to do something like that!

         It's Nuwanda, Cameron.

                (putting her arm around 
         That's right, it's Nuwanda.

         And are we just playing around out here 
         or do we mean what we say?  If all we do 
         is come and read a bunch of poems to each 
         other, what the hell are we doing?

         You still shouldn't have done it, 
         Charlie.  You don't speak for the club.

         Hey, would you not worry about your 
         precious little necks?  If they catch me, 
         I'll tell them I made it up.  All your 
         asses are safe.  Look, Gloria and Tina 
         didn't come here to listen to us argue. 
         Are we gonna have a meeting or what?

         Yeah, how do we know if we want to join 
         if you don't have a meeting?

                (casts a surprised lock at 

Charlie ignores this.  He turns to Tina.

         "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 
         Thou art more lovely and more temperate..."

In his recital, Charlie has aimed these words directly at 
Tina.  She melts into warm goo.

         Oh, that's so sweet!

Tina hugs Charlie.  The other boys look at each other, trying 
unsuccessfully to hide their incredible jealousy.

         I wrote that for you.

         You did?

         I'll write one for you too, Gloria. 
               (closes his eyes then)
         "She walks in beauty like the night.."

Charlie's eyes open.  He has forgotten the words to this 
poem.  Covering, he walks across the cave.

                        CHARLIE (CONT'D)
         "She walks in beauty like the night..."

Charlie turns his back, opens a book, and reads quickly to 
himself.  He closes it, puts the bock down, and turns back to 

                        CHARLIE (CONT'D)
         'of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
         All that's best of dark and bright Meet 
         in her aspect and her eyes.'

Gloria squeals with delight.

         Isn't he wonderful?!

The other boys are absolutely appalled, but desperately 
jealous that Charlie is getting away with this.  Gloria hugs 

72      INT. THE DANBURRY LIVING ROOM - NIGHT                          72

Music by the Drifters is playing loudly.  Every light in the 
room is out.  The only illumination is moonlight through the 
windows.  Only after our eyes get adjusted to the dark can we 
see that the room is filled with couples making out.

Knox, carrying another drink and looking tipsy, enters.  He 
walks a bit, then trips over a couple on the floor.

                        ANGRY GUY'S VOICE


Knox falls onto the sofa.  To his left sit a couple making 
out heavily.  Their breathing is like that of some giant 
beast.  To Knox' right is another couple, making out too. Knox 
tries to get up but the couple he tripped aver has now rolled 
against his shins, pinning him.  Knox tries to get comfortable 
in his little spot on the sofa.

The music stops.  The room sounds like an artificial 
respiration ward.  The couple to Knox' right look and sound as 
if they are going to chew each other's lips off.  Knox glances 
at the couple to his left.  He hears:

                        BOY'S VOICE
         Oh Chris, you're so beautiful.

The couple are Chris and Chet.  Chris is sitting right next 
to Knox.  Music starts again.  It's "This Magic Moment" by the 
Drifters.  Chris and Chet continue petting heavily.  Knox 
tries to look away but can't keep his eyes off Chris.

         Chris, you are so gorgeous.

Chet kisses Chris hard and she leans against Knox.  In the 
moonlight-filled room, Knox sees the outline of Chris' face, 
the nape of her neck, the curves of her breasts.  He downs the 
rest of his drink and tries to look away.

         Oh my God help me.

Chris obliviously continues to lean against Knox.  Knox is 
struggling with temptation--trying not to even look--but he's 
losing.  Suddenly, he turns and looks at Chris again.  Every 
rational thing inside of him says "no" but his emotions are 
saying yes.

                        KNOX (CONT'D)
                (to himself)
         carpe breastum.  Seize the breast.

                (to Chet)

         I didn't say anything.

Chet and Chris continue to kiss.  As though his hand were 
being drawn by a magnet too powerful to resist, Knox' hand 
reaches out and begins to ever so lightly stroke the nape of 
Chris' neck down toward her breast.  Chris obviously thinks 
that the hand is Chet's and she lets it continue.  Knox moves 
his hand up and down her, sensuously.  He closes his eyes, 
breathing heavily.

                        CHRIS (IN THE DARK)
         Oh Chet, that feels fabulous,

                        CHET (IN THE DARK)
         It does?

                        CHRIS (IN THE DARK)
         You know,

Knox pulls his hand away. Chet thinks a moment, then kisses 
Chris again.

                        CHRIS (IN THE DARK)
         Don't stop.

                        CHET (IN THE DARK)
         Stop what?

                        CHRIS (IN THE DARK)

Knox puts his hand back on Chris' neck.  Again he starts 
rubbing her, ever so gently, moving down toward her breast.

                        CHRIS (IN THE DARK)
         Oh... oh...

We can see Chet's silhouette pausing over Chris, trying to 
figure out what she is talking about.  Giving up, he goes back 
to kissing her.  Chris continues to show her pleasure.

Knox leans his head back on the sofa and his breathing 
becomes heavy.  The music builds.  Unable to resist, he rubs 
Chris' chest, getting dangerously close to her breast.  Chris 
is breathing hard. Knox is slipping into ecstasy.  His drink 
falls out of his hand.

Suddenly Chet's hand grabs Knox's hand and a lamp light 
flicks on.  Knox is face to face with a furious Chet and a 
confused Chris.

         What are you doing?!


                (feigning surprise)
         Chet!  Chris!  What are you doing here?

         why you...

Chet smashes Knox in the face with his fist.  Chet grabs Knox 
by the shirt, throws him to the floor, and jumps on him.  He 
begins swinging at Knox's face which Knox is doing his best to 

                        CHET (CONT'D)
         You fucked up little prick!

                (beginning to feel sorry 
                 for Knox) 
         Chet, you don't have to hurt him.

Chet's fists hit Knox over and over.

                        CHRIS (CONT'D)
         Chet, stop!  He didn't mean anything.

She pushes Chet off.  Knox rolls over, holding his face.

                        CHRIS (CONT'D)
         That's enough!

Chet stands over Knox, who is holding his bloody nose and 
bruised face.

         I'm sorry, Chris.  I'm sorry!

         You want some more, you little son of a 
         bitch? Huh?!  Get the hell out of here!!

He moves at Knox again, but Chris and some others hold him 
back.  Others lead Knox out of the room.

         Chris, I'm sorry!

         Next time I see you, you're dead!

73      OMIT                                                           73

74      INT. THE CAVE - NIGHT                                          74

The fire casts warm light on the wall of the cave.  Gloria 
sits with her arm around Charlie, staring adoringly.  The 
bottle passes between Tina and the others.

         Hey guys, why don't you show Tina the 
         Dead Poets garden?


          What garden?

Charlie silently motions with his eyes for Pitts and the 
others to vamoose.  Neil elbows Pitts and makes a motion 
outside with his head.  Suddenly Pitts gets it.

                        PITTS (CONT'D)
          Oh. Right.  That garden.  Come on, guys.

The boys head out with Tina.

          This is so strange!  You guys even have 
          a garden?

Meeks stands in the cave, still not getting it.

          What are you guys talking about?

All of the others are gone.  Meeks looks at Charlie, who 
stares daggers at him.

                        MEEKS (CONT'D)
          Charles, uh, Nuwanda, we don't have a 

Neil comes back in and pulls Meeks out.  Charlie waits for 
them to go.

                (to Gloria)
          God, for a smart guy, he's so stupid.

Gloria stares into Charlie's eyes.  Charlie smiles.

          I think he's sweet.

          I think you're sweet.

Charlie looks at her.  He closes his eyes and leans slowly in 
to kiss her.  Just as he is about to, she stands.

          You know what really excites me about 


          Every guy that I meet wants me for one 
          thing my body.  You're not like that.

          I'm not?

          No!  Anybody else would have jumped my 
          bones by now but you're after my soul. 
          Make me up some more poetry.


          Please!    It's so wonderful to be 
          appreciated for my mind!

She gets up and starts pacing.  Charlie puts his hand over 
his face.  Gloria turns and looks at him.

                        GLORIA (CONT'D)
          Nuwanda?  Please?

          All right!  I'm thinking!
          "Let me not to the marriage of true 
          Admit impediments; love is not love
          Which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove."

Gloria emits sensual moans.

          Don't stop.

                (more and more rapidly and 
                 punctuated by Gloria's moans)
          "O, no, it is an ever-fixed mark That 
          looks on tempests and is never shaken; It 
          is the star to every wandering bark whose 
          worth's unknown, although his height be 

          This is better than sex any day.  This 
          is romance!

As a frustrated Charlie continues reciting

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

75      INT. WELTON ACADEMY CHAPEL - DAY                               75

There is a buzz in the student body as they move to their 
seats, passing school newspapers amongst themselves.  Knox's 
face is marked with bruises.  Neil, Todd, Pitts, Necks, 
Cameron and especially Charlie's faces are marked with 

Pitts hands Charlie a briefcase.

          All set.

Charlie nods.  Mr. Nolan enters.  All put away the newspapers 
and stand.  Nolan strides to the podium and motions for 
everyone to sit.  All obey.

          In this week's issue of Walter Honor, 
          there appeared an unauthorized and 
          profane article about the need for girls 
          at Welton.  Rather than spend my valuable 
          time ferreting out the guilty parties--
          and let me assure you I will find them--I 
          am asking any and all students who know 
          anything about this article to make 
         themselves known here and now.  Whoever 
         the guilty persons are, this is your only 
         chance to avoid expulsion from this 

Suddenly, somewhere in the room there is the sound of a 
TELEPHONE RINGING.  Charlie briskly lifts the briefcase into 
his lap and opens it.  Inside the briefcase is a ringing 
telephone.  Everyone in assembly is astounded.  No one has 
ever done something this outrageous here.  Charlie, undaunted, 
seemingly serious, answers the phone.

                        CHARLIE (INTO PHONE) 
                (for all to hear)
         Welton Academy, hello?  Yes, he is, just 
         a moment.  Mr. Nolan, it's for you.


Charlie places the receiver back to his ear.

                        CHARLIE (INTO PHONE)
         It is?  You do? I'll tell him.  Mr. 
         Nolan, it's God. He says we should have 
         girls at Welton.

There is a blast of laughter from the students.  On stage 
with the teachers, Keating is surprised and amused, but 
worried.  He and McAllister exchange concerned looks.  Blood 
red, furious, Nolan strides down the aisle to Charlie.  He 
sweeps the phone off of Charlie's lap.

         I will not be mocked, Mr. Dalton!

He takes Charlie by the arm and jerks him out of the 
assembly.  Keating watches with concern.

76      INT. NOLAN'S OFFICE - DAY                                      76

Charlie stands in the middle of the room.  Nolan paces 

         Who else was involved in this?

         No one, sir.  It was just me.  I did the 
         proofing so I inserted my article in 
         place of Rob Crane's.

         Mr. Dalton, if you think you're the 
         first to try to get thrown out of this 
         school, think again.  Others have had 
         similar actions and they have failed just 
         as surely as you will fail.  Bend over 
         and grab your shins.

Charlie obeys and Nolan produces a paddle. The paddle has 
holes drilled in it to speed its progress. Nolan takes off his 
jacket and moves behind Charlie.

                        NOLAN (CONT'D)
         Count aloud, Mr. Dalton.

He slams the paddle into Charlie's buttocks.


Nolan swings the paddle again.  This time he gets more power 
into it.  Charlie winces.

                        CHARLIE (CONT'D)

Nolan delivers and Charlie counts.  By the fourth lick, the 
pain is so intense that Charlie is barely audible.  By the 
seventh lick, tears are flowing down Charlie's cheeks.  The 
ninth and tenth licks have Charlie choking on his words, 
speechless.  Nolan stops after ten licks.

         Do you still insist that this was your 
         idea and your idea alone?

                (choking back pain) 
         Yes... sir.

         What is this "Dead Potts Society"?  I 
         want names.

                (still in agony)
         It's only me, Mr. Nolan.  I swear. I 
         made it up.

         If I find that there are others, Mr. 
         Dalton, they will be expelled and you 
         will remain enrolled.  Stand up.

Charlie obeys.  His face is blood red.  He fights back tears 
of pain and humiliation.

                        NOLAN (CONT'D)
         Welton can forgive, Mr. Dalton, provided 
         you have the courage to admit your 
         mistakes.  When you are ready to make 
         your apology to the entire school, let me 

77      INT. THE JUNIOR DORM - AFTERNOON                               77

The boys are milling in their rooms, waiting for Charlie's 
return.  Someone sees him coming.  All pretend to be studying.

Charlie enters, moving slowly, trying not to show his pain. 
As he walks toward his room, Neil, Todd, Knox (bruised face), 
Pitts, and Necks approach him.

         What happened? Were you kicked out?

                (not looking at anyone)

         What happened?

         I'm supposed to turn everybody in, 
         apologize to the school and all will be 

Charlie heads into his room.  The others look at each other.

         What are you going to do? - Charlie?

         Damn it, Neil, the name is Nuwanda.

Charlie gives the boys a pregnant look, then goes into his 
room and slams his door.  Smiles of admiration cross the boys' 
faces.  Charlie has not been broken.

78      INT. WELTON CLASSROOM BUILDING - AFTERNOON                     78

Keating walks down the corridor.  He is just about to stop 
and talk to McAllister when Nolan passes.

         Mr. Keating, could we have a word?

79      INT. KEATING'S EMPTY CLASSROOM - DAY                           79

Keating and Nolan enter.  Keating turns on the light.  Nolan 
looks around.

         This was my first classroom, John, did 
         you know that?
                (looks at Keating's desk)
         My first desk.

         I didn't know you taught.

         English.  Way before your time.  It was 
         hard giving it up, I'll tell you.
         I'm hearing rumors, John, of some 
         unusual teaching methods in your 
         classroom.  I'm not saying they have 
         anything to do with the Dalton boy's 
         outburst, but I don't think I have to 
         warn you that boys his age are very 

         Your reprimand made quite an impression 
         I'm sure.

                (letting this pass)
         What was going on in the courtyard the 
         other day?


Boys marching.  Clapping in unison.

         Oh that. That was an exercise to prove a 
         point.  About the evils of conformity.

         John, the curriculum here is set.  It's 
         proven.  It works.  If you question it, 
         what's to prevent them from doing the 

         I always thought education was learning 
         to think for yourself.

                (almost laughs)
         At these boys' age? Not on your life! 
         Tradition, John.  Discipline.
                (pats Keating on the 
         Prepare them for college, and the rest 
         will take care of itself.

Mr. Nolan smiles and leaves.  Keating stands, thinking. After 
a beat, McAllister sticks his head in the door.

         I wouldn't worry about the boys being 
         too conformist if I were you.

         Why is that?

         Well, you yourself graduated from these 
         hallowed halls, did you now?


         So if you want to raise a confirmed 
         atheist, give him a rigid religious 
         upbringing.  Works every time.

Keating stares at McAllister.  He suddenly lets cut a laugh. 
McAllister smiles, then disappears down the hall.

79A     INT. THE JUNIOR CLASS DORM - AFTERNOON                        79A

Boys are walking out on the way to their activities.  Keating 
enters and approaches Charlie, who is exiting with his 

         Mr. Keating!

         I don't know what misguided impulse 
         caused you to pull that ridiculous stunt, 
         Mr. Dalton, but, whatever it was, I hope 
         you've learned your lesson.

         You're siding with Mr. Nolan?!  What 
         about carpe diem and sucking all the 
         marrow out of life and all that?

         Sucking out the marrow doesn't mean 
         getting the bone stuck in your throat, 
         Charles.  You still have responsibilities 
         to yourself and those who care about you.

         But I thought-

         There is a place for daring and a place 
         for caution as well, Charles, and a wise 
         person understands which one is called 
         for.  Getting expelled from this school 
         is not an act of wisdom.  It's far from 
         perfect but there are still opportunities 
         to be had here.

         Yeah?  Like what?

         Like, if nothing else, the opportunity 
         to attend my classes, understand?

         Yes sir.

         So keep your head about you--the lot of 

                        NEIL, TODD, PITTS, MEEKS, CAMERON, KNOX
         Yes, Sir.

Keating gives then' a slight smile, then exits. 

80       OMIT                                                          80

81      INT. KEATING'S CLASSROOM - DAY                                 81

The boys are seated.  Keating walks to the blackboard and in 
a big scrawl writes:  "COLLEGE".

         Gentlemen, today we will consider a 
         skill which I consider indispensable for 
         getting the most out of college analyzing 
         books you haven't read. College will 
         probably destroy your love for poetry.  
         Hours of boring analysis, dissection and 
         criticism will see to that.  College will 
         also expose you to all manner of 
         literature--much of it transcendent works 
         of magic which you must devour; some of 
         it utter drek which you must avoid like 
         the plague.

Keating pauses.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Suppose you are taking a course entitled 
         "Modern Novels."  All semester you have 
         been reading masterpieces such as the 
         touching PERE GORIER by Balzac and the 
         moving FATHERS and SONS by Turgenev, but 
         when you receive your assignment for your 
         final paper, you discover that you are to 
         write an essay on the theme of parental 
         love in The Doubtful Debutante, a novel--
         and I use that term generously here--by 
         none other than the professor himself.

Keating looks at the boys with a raised eyebrow, then 

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         After reading the first three pages of 
         the book, you realize that you would 
         rather volunteer for combat than waste 
         your precious earthly time infecting your 
         mind with this sewage, but do you 
         despair?  Take an "F." Absolutely not 
         because you are prepared.

Keating paces.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
Open The Doubtful Deb and learn from the jacket that the book 
is about Frank, a farm equipment salesman who sacrifices 
everything to provide his social climbing daughter Christine 
with the debut she so desperately desires.  Begin your essay 
by disclaiming the need to restate the plot while at the same 
time regurgitating enough of it to convince the professor that 
you've read his book.  Next shift to something pretentious and 
familiar.  For instance, you might write, "What is remarkable 
to note are the similarities between the author's dire picture 
of parental love and modern Freudian theory. Christine is 
Electra, her father is a fallen Oedipus.'  Finally, skip to 
the obscure and elaborate like this:

Keating pauses, then...

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         what is most remarkable is the novel's 
         uncanny connection with Hindu Indian 
         philosopher Avesh Rahesh Non.  Rahesh Non 
         discussed in painful detail the 
         discarding of parents by children for the 
         three headed monster of ambition, money, 
         and social success.  Go on to discuss 
         Rahesh Non's theories about what feeds 
         the monster, how to behead it, etcetera 
         etcetera.  End by praising the 
         professor's brilliant writing and 
         consummate courage in introducing The 
         Doubtful Deb to you. 

Meeks raises his hand.

         Oh Captain, My Captain.  What if we 
         don't know anything about someone like 
         Rahesh Non?

         Rahesh Non never existed, Mr. Meeks.  
         You make him or someone like him up.  No 
         self important college professor such as 
         this one would dare admit ignorance of 
         such an obviously important figure and 
         you will probably receive a comment 
         similar to the one I received:

Keating finds a paper on his desk and reads from it:

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Your allusions to Rahesh Non were 
         insightful and well presented.  Glad to 
         see that someone besides myself 
         appreciates this great but forgotten 
         Eastern master.  A plus.

He drops the paper.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Gentlemen, analyzing dreadful books you 
         haven't read will be on your final exam, 
         so I suggest you practice on your own. 
         Now for some traps of college exams. Take 
         cut a blue book and pencil, boys. This is 
         a pop quiz.

The boys obey.  Keating passes out tests.  He sets up a 
screen in the front Of the room, then goes to the back of the 
room and sets up a slide projector.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Big universities are crowded Sodoms and 
         Gomorrahs filled with those delectable 
         beasts we see so little of here: females.  
         The level of distraction is dangerously 
         high, but this quit is designed to 
         prepare you.  Let me warn you, this test 
         will count.  Begin.

The boys begin their tests.  Keating puts a slide in the 
projector.  On the screen in the front of the room appears a 
blow-up of a beautiful girl, college age, leaning over to pick 
up a pencil.  Her figure is quite remarkable, and, bending 
over as she is, you can see her panties.  The boys glance up 
from their tests, then most do a double-take on the photo.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Concentrate on your tests, boys.  You 
         have twenty minutes.

Keating changes the slide.  This time we see a beautiful 
woman in scanty lingerie (an ad from "Vogue" or a similar 
magazine).   The boys find it extremely difficult to 
concentrate on their tests.  The slide show continues with 
slide after slide of beautiful women in revealing and 
provocative poses, tight blow-ups of naked female Greek 
statues, etc.  The boys try in vain to take their tests. Knox 
writes "Chris, Chris, Chris" over and over on his paper.

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

82-85   OMITTED                                                     82-85

86A     EXT. THE WELTON CAPGUS - DUSK                                 86A

Boys in heavy-hooded jackets and winter mufflers move from 
building to building.  The wind blows leaves around in 
swirling torrents.

ANGLE ON A PATH where Todd and Neil walk together.  Todd 
holds a copy of "A Midsummer's Night's Dream."  Neil is using 
his Puck jester's stick like a sword while practicing his 

         Here, villain, draw and ready. where art 

         I will be with thee straight.

                (from memory) 
         Follow me then to plainer ground.  God, 
         I love this!

         This play?

         Yes, and acting!  It's got to be one of 
         the most wonderful things in the world. 
         Most people, if they're lucky, live about 
         half an exciting life! If I could get the 
         parts, I could live dozens of lives.

With a theatrical flourish, he runs and leaps onto a wall.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         To be or net to be, that is the 
         question!  God, for the first time in my 
         whole life, I feel completely alive!  You 
         have to try it.

Neil jumps down from the wall.

                        NEIL (CONT'D)
         You should come to rehearsals.  I know 
         they need people to work the lights and 

         No thanks.

         Lots of girls.  The girl who plays 
         Hermia is incredible.

         I'll come to the performance.

         Chicken shit.  Where were we?

         Yea, art thou there?

         Put more into it!

         YEA, ART THOU THERE?!

         That's it!  "Follow my voice.  We'll try 
         no manhood here."  See you at dinner.

Neil and Todd have arrived at their dorm.  Neil runs in. Todd 
shakes his head and walks off.

86      INT. TODD AND NEIL'S DORM ROOM - DUSK                          86

Neil enters in a whirlwind of excitement, fencing the air 
with the Jester's stick.  Neil turns and sees his father, 
sitting at his desk.  Neil is shocked.


                        MR. PERRY
         Neil, you are going to quit this 
         ridiculous play immediately.

         Father, I--

Mr. Perry jumps to his feet and pounds his hand on the desk.

                        MR. PERRY
         Don't you dare talk back to me!  It's 
         bad enough that you've wasted your time 
         with this absurd acting business.  But 
         you deliberately deceived me!
                (paces furiously)
         Who put this in your head? How did you 
         expect to get away with it? Answer me!

         Nobody-  I thought I'd surprise you. 
         I've got all As and-

                        MR. PERRY
         Did you really think I wouldn't find 
         out?!  "My niece is in a play with your 
         son," Mrs. Marks says.  "You must be 
         mistaken," I say.  "My son isn't in a 
         play."  You made a liar out of me, Neil! 
         Now you will go tomorrow and tell them 
         you are quitting.

         Father, I have the main part.  The 
         performance is tomorrow night.  Father, 

                        MR. PERRY
                (moves at Neil)
         I don't care if the world is coming to 
         an end tomorrow night, you are through 
         with that play!  Is that clear?  Is that 

         Yes sir.

Mr. Perry stops.  He stares hard at his son.

                        MR. PERRY
         I've made great sacrifices to get you 
         here, Neil.  You will not let me down.

He turns and exits.  Neil stands there for a long time.  He 
goes to his desk, then suddenly begins pounding his fist on 
it. He pounds and pounds as tears roll down his face.

87      INT. THE WELTON DINING ROOM - EVENING                          87

All of the society "pledges" except Neil sit eating.  It 
could be noticed that the boys--Charlie, Knox, Todd, Weeks, 
and Pitts--seem to be having difficulty eating.  They look 
awkward.  Old Hager approaches.

         Mr. Dalton, what is wrong, son?  Are you 
         having difficulty with your meal?


Hager watches the boys.

         Misters Necks and Overstreet and 
         Anderson, are you normally left-handed?

         No sir.

         Then why are you eating with your left 

The boys look at each other.  Knox speaks for the group:

         We thought it would be good to break old 
         habits, sir.

         What is wrong with old habits, Mr. 

         They perpetuate mechanical living, sir. 
         They limit your mind.

         Mr. Overstreet, I suggest you worry less 
         about breaking old habits and more about 
         developing good study habits.  Do you 

         Yes sir.

         That goes for all of you.  Now eat with 
         your correct hands.

Hager watches.  The boys obey.  After he moves away, Charlie 
switches hands and begins eating with his left hand again.  
One by one, the others do the same.

Neil enters, looking solemn and upset.  He silently takes his 
seat at the table.

         Visit from my father.

         Do you have to quit the play?

         I don't know.

         Why don't you talk to Mr. Keating about 

         What good will that do?

         Maybe he'll have some advice.  Maybe 
         he'll even talk to your father.

         Are you kidding?  Don't be ridiculous.

88      EXT. KEATING'S ROOM - EVENING                                  88

Keating's quarters are on the second floor of a dorm, but 
they are entered from the outside.  Charlie, Todd, Pitts1 and 
Neil stand outside the door.  Charlie knocks.

         This is stupid.

         It's better than doing nothing.

No one comes to the door.

         He's not here.

Charlie tries the door and it opens.

         Let's wait for him.

Charlie goes in.

         Charlie!  Nuwanda!

Charlie doesn't come out.  Curiosity gets the best of the 
others, who reluctantly follow Charlie in.

89      INT. KEATINGS ROOM - SAME                                      89

The furniture is simple and spartan and the room looks almost 
lonely.  The boys stand around looking uncomfortable.

         Nuwanda, we shouldn't be in here.

Charlie and the boys survey the room.  There is a suitcase on 
the floor by the door.  A few books lay by the bed.  Charlie 
walks to the desk.

         Whoa, look at her!

On the desk is a framed picture of a beautiful girl in her 
20s.  Lying next to the picture is a half-written letter. 
Charlie picks it up and reads.

                        CHARLIE (CONT'D) (reading)
         My darling Jessica.  It's so lonely at 
         times without you bla bla bla.  All I can 
         do to put myself at ease is study your 
         beautiful picture or close my eyes and 
         imagine your radiant smile--but my poor 
         imagination is a dim substitute for you. 
         Oh, how I miss you and wish--

The other boys have sensed an extra presence in the room.  
They back away from Charlie.  Suddenly Charlie stops and sees 
Mr. Keating.

                        CHARLIE (CONT'D)

Keating calmly takes the letter from Charlie and folds it.

         A woman is a cathedral, boys.  Worship 
         at one every chance you get.

He OPENS a drawer.  

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Anything else you'd care to rifle 
         through, Mr. Dalton?

         I'm sorry.  I, we

Keating puts the letter in the drawer and closes it.  Charlie 
looks around for help.  Neil steps forward.

         Oh Captain, My Captain, we came here so 
         I could talk to you about something.


         Actually, I'd like to talk to you alone.

Charlie and the others are glad to be let out.

         I gotta go study.

         Yeah.  See you, Kr. Keating.

They hurry to leave.

         Drop by any time.

         Thank you, sir.

                (low, while exiting)
         Damn it, Nuwanda.  You idiot.

                (also exiting)
         I couldn't stop myself.

Keating can't help but smile to himself.  Neil and Mr. 
Keating are alone.  Neil paces, looking around.

         Gosh, they don't give you much room 
         around here, do they?

         Maybe they don't want worldly things 
         distracting me from my teaching.

         Why do you do it?  I mean, with all this 
         seize-the-day business, I'd have thought 
         you'd be out seeing the world or 

         Ah, but I am seeing the world, Neil.  
         The new world.  Seeing a student like you 
         take root and bloom.  It's worth 
         everything.  That's why I came back here. 
         A place like this needs at least one 
         teacher like me.
                (smiles at his joke, then:) 
         Did you come here to talk about my 

         Mr. Keating, my father is making me quit 
         the play at Henley Hall.  When I think 
         about carpe diem and all that, I feel 
         like I'm in prison!  I mean, I can see 
         his point.  We're not a rich family like 
         Charlie's.  But he's planned the rest of 
         my life for me and he's never even asked 
         me what I want!

         You can't live a life for someone else, 
         Neil.  You can only live for yourself. 
         Have you told your father what you just 
         told me?  Have you shown him your passion 
         about acting?

         Are you kidding?  He'd kill me!

         Then you're playing a part for him too, 
         aren't you?  A dangerously self-
         destructive one.

Keating watches Neil pace anxiously.

                        KEATING (CONT'D)
         Neil, I know this seems impossible but 
         you have to go to your father and show 
         him what you're feeling.  You have to let 
         him see who you are-  It's your only 

         I know what he'll say.  He'll say that 
         acting is just a whim and that it's  
         frivolous and that I should forget about 
         it.  He'll tell me how they're counting 
         on me and to put it out of my mind "for 
         my own good."

         Well, if it's more than a whim, then 
         you'll have to prove that to him.  You'll 
         have to show him with your passion and 
         commitment that it's what you really want 
         to do.  If that doesn't work, at least by 
         then you'll be eighteen and able to do 
         what you want.

         Eighteen!  That's two years!  What about 
         the play?  The performance is tomorrow 

         Give your father the benefit of the 
         doubt.  Talk to him.  Let him see who you

         Isn't there an easier way?

         Not if you're going to stay true to 

Neil sits there for a long time.

90/91   OMITTED                                                     90/91

92      INT. CHARLIE'S CAVE - NIGHT                                    92

The boys sit in the candle-lit room.  Charlie blows notes on 
his saxophone.  Knox sits in the corner, mumbling to himself, 
working on a love poem to Chris.  Todd sits writing something 
too.  Cameron is studying.  Pitts is scratching a quote out of 
a book into the wall.  Knox looks at his watch.

Ten minutes to curfew.

Nobody responds.  Knox looks at Todd.

                        KNOX (CONT'D)
         What are you writing?

         I don't know.  A poem.

         For class?

         I don't know.

Charlie keeps playing the sax.  Todd keeps writing.  Knox 
looks at his love poem to Chris.  He slaps it on the side of 
his leg.

         Damn.  Damn!  If I could just get Chris 
         to read this poem!

         Why don't you read it to her? It worked 
         for Nuwanda.

         She won't even see me, Pitts.

         Nuwanda recited poetry to Gloria and she 
         jumped all over him... right, Nuwanda?

Charlie stops blowing on his sax.  He thinks a moment about 
his answer.


He starts blowing notes again.  Off in the distance, we hear 
a bell ring.  Charlie finishes his melody, puts his sax in its 
case, and moves out.  Todd, Cameron, and Pitts exit too. Knox 
stands there, alone, looking at his poem. then exits 

         Damn!  Goddam!  If it worked for him, 
         it'll work for me.

93A     EXT. THE WELTON GROUNDS - EARLY MORNING                       93A

The dawn rises over the frozen Welton campus.  Snow covers 
the ground.  The school bagpiper stands, playing a haunting 

93      EXT. THE JUNZOR DORMZTORY - SAME                               93

Knox comes out of the dorm building, bundled against the 
freezing weather.  Be hurries onto his bike and speeds away.

94      EXT. RIDGEWAY HIGH SCHOOL                                      94

A large sign proclaims Ridgeway High School.  Knox bikes up 
to the school at full speed.  He now carries a bouquet of 
flowers.  Out of breath, he quickly discards the bike and runs 
into the school.

95      INT. THE HALLWAYS OF RIDGEWAY HIGH - MORNING                   95

Students of both sexes move through the hallways of this 
public school.  Students are at their lockers, putting up 
their coats and getting out their books.  Knox runs through, 
erratically looking around.  He hurries down one hallway, 
stops and asks a student something, then runs up a flight of 

A96     INT. ANOTHER RIDGEWAY HIGH HALLWAY - SAME                     A96

Chris stands in front of her locker, chatting with a couple 
of girlfriends1 taking out some books.  Knox spots her and 


         Knox!  what are you doing here?

She pulls Knox away from her girlfriends.

         I came to apologize for the other night.  
         I brought you these and a poem I wrote.

He holds out the flowers and the poem.  Chris sees them, but 
doesn't take them.  

         If Chet sees you, he'll kill you, don't 
         you know that?

         I don't care.  I love you, Chris.  You 
         deserve better than Chet and I'm it.
         Please accept these.

         Knox, you're crazy.

A bell rings.  People clear the halls.

         Please.  I acted like a jerk and I know 
         it.  Please?

She looks at the flowers as if she's thinking about accepting 

         No!  And stop bugging me.

She walks into the classroom and closes the door.  The 
hallway clears.  Knox stands holding his flowers and his poem.  
There is a moment's hesitation, then he opens the door and 
walks into the classroom.

96      INT. CHRIS' CLASSROOM - SAME                                   96

Class hasn't started but students are taking their seats. The 
teacher leans over a student's desk, helping her with her 
homework.  Knox enters and walks to Chris' desk.

         Knox, I don't believe this!

         All I'm asking you to do is listen.
                (he opens his poem and 
         "The heavens made a girl named Chris, 
         With hair and skin of gold
         To touch her would be paradise To kiss 
         her glory untold."

Chris turns red with embarrassment.  Her friends restrain 
giggles.  Knox continues reading.

                        KNOX (CONT'D)
         They made a goddess and called her 
         Chris,  How?  I'll never know. But though 
         my soul is far behind, My love can only 

The rest of the class has now seen what is happening and all 
eyes are on Knox.  Chris covers her face but Knox continues.

                        KNOX (CONT'D)
         I see a sweetness in her smile, Bright 
         light shines from her eyes, But life is 
         complete--contentment is mine, just 
         knowing that she's alive."

Knox lowers the poem.  Chris looks up at him, utterly 
embarrassed.  Knox puts the poem and the flowers on her desk.

                        KNOX (CONT'D)

         I love you, Chris.

He turns and leaves.

97      INT. KEATING'S ENGLISH CLASSROOM - DAY                         97

The boys sit.  Keating hasn't arrived.  Momentarily, Knox 
enters and hurries to his desk.

         How'd it go?  Did you read it to her?


         All right!  What'd she say?

         I don't know.

         What do you mean you don't know?

         I'll tell you later.

The door to the room opens.  In walks Keating, wearing his 
usual scarf and jacket.  He puts his books on his desk, then 
looks out over the class.

         Neil, could I see you a moment.

He walks into the hallway.

98      INT. THE HALLWAY OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM - SAME                  98

The corridor is empty except for Neil and Keating.  Keating 
closes the door to the classroom.

         What did your father say? Did you talk 
         to him?


         Really?  You told your father what you 
         told me?  You let him see your passion for 

         Yeah.  He didn't like it one bit but at 
         least he's letting me stay in the play. Of 
         course, he won't be able to come. He'll  
         be in Chicago on business.  But I think he's 
         gonna let me stay with acting.  As long as 
         I keep my grades up.

Neil heads back into the classroom.  Keating watches.

99      INT. THE DORM PHONE ROOM/STAIRWELL - NIGHT                     99

Todd, Knox, Cameron, Pitts, and Meeks all wear coats and ties.  
They mill in the dorm lobby.  Knox is off to himself, still 
looking morose.

         Where's Nuwanda?  We're gonna miss Neil's 

         He said something about getting red before 
         he left.

         What the hell does that mean?

         You know Charlie.

Charlie scampers down the stairs.

         What's this getting red?

Charlie checks around, then opens his shirt, revealing that he 
has painted a red lightning bolt on his chest.

         What's it for?

         It's an Indian warrior symbol for virility.  
         Makes me feel potent.  Like I can drive girls 

         But what if they see it, Nuwanda?

         So much the better.

The others shoot each other looks, confirming their mutual 
suspicion that Charlie has finally lost his marbles.  As they 
head out of the lobby, they pass Chris who is entering.


         Knox, why are you doing this to me?

                (looking around) 
         You can't be in here.

He leads her out of the dorm.

99A     EXT. THE DORM BUILDING - NIGHT                                99A

It is snowing.  Knox ushers Chris out of the building and down 
the sidewalk away from the others.

         If they catch you here, we'll both be in 
         big trouble.

         Oh, but it's fine for you to come barging 
         into my school and make a complete fool out 
         of me?

         I didn't mean to make a fool of you.

         Well, you did!  Chet found out and he's 
         nuts.  It took everything I could do to 
         keep him from coming here and killing you.  
         You have to stop this stuff, Knox.

         But I love you.

         You say that over and over but you don't 
         even know me!

At the dorm, the others are waiting.  Knox waves them on.

         Go ahead.  I'll catch up.

The others walk on.  Knox waits for them to disappear.

                        KNOX (CONT'D)
         Of course I know you!  From the first time 
         I saw you, I knew you had a wonderful soul.

         Just like that?!  You just knew?

         Of course just like that.  That's how you 
         always know when it's right.

         And if it so happens that you're wrong? If 
         it just so happens that I could care less 
         About you?

         Then you wouldn't be here warning me 
         about Chet.

This gives Chris pause.

         Look, I've got to go.  I'm gonna be 
         late for the play.

         Are you going with Chet?

         Chet?  To a play? Are you kidding?

         Then come with me.

         Knox, you are so infuriating!

         Just give me one chance.  If you don't 
         like me after tonight, I'll stay away 


         I promise.  Dead Poets honor.  Come with me
         tonight, then if you don't want to see me 
         again, I swear I'll bow out.

         God, if Chet found out he'd...

         Chet won't know anything.  We'll sit in 
         back and sneak away as soon as it's over.

         Knox, if you promise that this will be the 
         end of it-

         Dead Poets honor.

         What is that? 

         My Word

He crosses his heart with his fingers and looks sincere.  He leads 
a reluctant Chris off.

         I must be losing my mind.


The auditorium is filled to near capacity with families, teachers 
and students.  Charlie, Todd, Meeks, Cameron, and Pitts find seats 
in the back.  They spot Mr. Keating a few rows over and wave at him.
Beside him is Mr. McAllister.

The lights go down.  A small musical accompaniment--panpipes, 
bongos, triangle--plays.  The curtain rises.  As the actors make 
their entrances, they are applauded by their friends and families.

As the actors begin the play, Charlie notices out of the corner 
of his eye  Knox entering with Chris.  They find seats and sit 
down together.  Charlie shoots Knox a surprised lock of excitement.
Knox gives a little nod.

                                               SHORT DISSOLVE TO:

101     THE STAGE                                                     101

Neil makes his entrance as Puck, he wears a crown of flowers.  
The members of the Dead Poets Society cheer loudly. For a moment 
Neil looks lost.  Todd crosses his fingers.

                        NEIL (AS PUCK)
         "flow now, spirit. wither wander you?"

                        HIGH SCHOOL ACTOR (AS FAIRY)
         Over hill, over dale, through bush, 
         through brier...

Keating glances back at the Dead Poets and gives them the 
thumbs up for luck for Neil.  They acknowledge with gestures 
of their own.

                        NEIL (AS PUCK)
         Thou speakest aright:
         I am that merry wanderer of the night.
         I jest to Oberon and make him smile
         when I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
         Neighing in likeness of a filly foal


intently watching the show.  As Neil delivers his lines, 
getting laughs in the right places, Todd sits mouthing the 
lines with him, as if this might help Neil get through it. 
Neil clearly needs no help, though, and his performance is 
quite winning.  Charlie leans to the others.

                (excited whisper)
         He's good!  He's goddamned good!

Someone from behind whispers '"Sssh."  Charlie whispers 
"sssh" back at them, then turns back and watches the show.  
Suddenly he does a double-take.  He sees:

Mr. Perry enters in the rear of the auditorium, and stands 
alone beside the door.

         Oh my God.


Charlie indicates for the others to lock.  Todd and the 
others glance back and see Mr. Perry.

                        TODD (CONT'D)

All turn back and watch the play, though they are now quite 
tense about Mr. Perry's presence.

102     THE PLAY                                                      102

On stage are the characters of Lysander and Hermia.  Hermia 
is played by Ginny Danburry, who is fetching1y dressed in a 
costume of leaves and twigs.

One turf shall serve as pillow for us both, One heart, one 
bed, two bosoms, and one troth.

                        GINNY (AS HERMIA)
         Nay good Lysander.  For my sake, my 
         dear, Lie further off yet: do not lie so 


Charlie is looking through the program.

         Hermia's Ginny Danburry.  Knox is crazy. 
         She's beautiful!

Meeks holds his finger to his lips for Charlie to be quiet.


                        GINNY (AS HERMIA)
         But gentle friend, for love and courtesy
         Lie further off, in human modesty.
         Such separation as may well be said
         Becomes a virtuous bachelor and a maid,
         So far be distant: and goodnight, sweet 
         Thy love ne'er alter till they sweet 
         life end.

Charlie sits absolutely enraptured by her.


As Ginny and Lysander play their scene, Neil stands in the 
wings looking out.  He spots his father sitting in the back of 
the auditorium.  There is no panic on Neil's face, however.  
His expression is calm.


         Here is my bed.  Sleep give thee all his 

                        GINNY (AS HERMIA)
         With half that wish the wisher's eyes be 

Lysander and Ginny lie down on the stage and their characters 
go to sleep.  The musical accompaniment plays, beginning a 
musical interlude.

                                                     DISSOLVE TO:

HERE is where my copy of the script ends.  Pages are missing
The section below are just the cut sections from the end of the movie 

After the play, the boys (minus Neil) return to the cave. 
Cameron is conspicuously missing. Knox brings Chris and Charlie 
brings Ginny. Then Mr. Keating himself arrives at the cave, 
thanking Charlie for inviting him. Someone brought wine and they 
all raise their glasses in a toast to Neil. 

         Now we mustn't be glum. Neil wouldn't want
         it that way. He did something special 
         tonight and worth celebrating. Let us join
         with the howling night. 

Keating exits the cave. The others follow. Chris and Ginny look
at Knox and Charlie. 

         Knox, what exactly is this? 

         You'll see. 

         I have to go home. Chet might call. 

         It's just for a little while. You promised. 

Charlie leads Ginny off. Chris reluctantly follows Knox. The 
moon is full, the stars are out, the night is clear and cold.
Every tree is covered with icicles. A freeze has turned the 
otherwise barren forest into a wintertime marvel. Mother Nature 
has covered the world with sparkling diamonds. Keating leads 
the group up a wooded path to a spot on a cliff overlooking the
creek. The boys and girls look around. It's an especially scenic 
place. All stand in silence for a moment, taking it in. 

         We used to meet here on special occasions.
         Who would like to convene the meeting? 

         "We went to the woods because we wanted to 
         suck all the marrow out of life." Anybody 
         want to read? 

Keating begins gathering up some firewood. Others help. 

         Come on boys, don't be shy. 

         I have something. 

         The thing you've been writing? 


Todd's volunteering surprises everyone. Todd steps forward and 
takes out some papers from his pocket. He passes slips of paper 
to each of the others. 

         Everybody read this between verses. 

Todd opens his poem and reads. 

         "We are dreaming of tomorrow and 
             tomorrow isn't coming, 
          We are dreaming of a glory that 
             we don't really want. 
          We are dreaming of a new day 
             when the new day's here already. 
          We are running from the battle 
             when it's one that must be fought." 

Todd nods. All read: 

         "And still we sleep." 

         "We are listening for the calling 
             but never really heeding, 
          Hoping for the future 
             when the future's only plans. 
          Dreaming of the wisdom 
             that we are dodging daily, 
          Praying for a savior 
             when salvation's in our hands." 

         "And still we sleep." 

         "And still we dream. 
          And still we pray. 
          And still we fear. 
          And still we sleep." 

Todd closes his poem. There is a big applause. 

         That was great! 

Todd beams, taking it all in. As he steps down, he gets 
congratulatory slaps on the back. Keating smiles with great 
pride at his student's progress. He plucks a ball-shaped icicle 
from a tree. 

         I hold in my hand a crystal ball. In it I 
         see great things for Todd Anderson. 

Todd faces Mr. Keating, then suddenly, powerfully, they hug. 
They break, then Keating strikes a match to light the fire.

The scene with Keating and the boys continues, interspersed with 
Neil's final scenes. 

         And now, "General William Booth Enters Into 
         Heaven," by Vachel Lindsay. When I pause, you 
         ask, "Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?" 
         "Booth led boldly with his big brass drum..." 

         "Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?" 

Reciting loudly, Keating takes off trotting through the woods. All 
trot after him: 

         "The Saints smiled gravely and they said, 
         'He's come.'..." 

         "Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?" 

The group follows Keating through the woods, past icy trees, 
over snow-covered hills, reciting Vachel Lindsay's poem. 

         "Walking lepers followed rank on rank, 
          Lurching bravos from the ditches dank, 
          Drabs from the alleyways and drug fiends pale-- 
          Minds still passion ridden, soul-powers frail:" 

         "Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?" 

 Keating stands before a towering, frozen waterfall. This gorgeous,
 icy sculpture seems to defy the laws of gravity. The night sky is
 incredibly clear. The people in the group are lit by moonlight off
 the snow. 

         "Christ came gently with a robe and crown, 
         For Booth the soldier, while the throng knelt down. 
         He saw King Jesus. They were face to face, 
         And he knelt a-weeping in that holy place." 

         "Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?" 

Keating stops. He turns and looks at the fields, valley, and 
the magnificent sky that surrounds them. All are out of breath, 
but exhilarated. 

         "We may or may not be the stuff of eternity, 
          people, but, while we are here, we are part 
          of a vast, awesome magnificence."

 He raises his hands to the heavens. 

         Don't waste a second of it, people. Exalt in it. 

 He holds his head back and shouts to the heavens. 

         ALIVE!! ALIVE!! 

The others do the same. Shouts go up, cries of joy and ecstasy.
Knox looks at Chris. Tears are streaming down both their faces. 
They turn to each other and kiss.

When Todd learns of Neil's death, he runs to the bathroom 
instead of outside into the snow. 

After Charlie decks Cameron, there is a scene at the cemetery 
for Neil's burial. After everyone places flowers on the coffin, 
Mr. Perry walks up to Mr. Keating and says "I hold you responsible
for this!" 

Todd refuses to sign the paper that implicates Mr. Keating in 
Neil's death. 

         That's all right! We don't need his signature.
         Let him suffer the consequences. 

Nolan walks around his desk to Todd. 

         You think you can save Mr. Keating? 
         You saw it, boy, we have the signatures 
         of all the others. But, if you don't sign,
         you're on disciplinary probation for the 
         rest of the year. You'll do work duty every
         afternoon and every Saturday. And, if you 
         set foot off campus, you'll be expelled.

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