In honor of our 20th birthday, we'll be celebrating movies and their impact on individual people. If there is a movie that has changed or inspired you, let us know by emailing

Years ago I watched a movie that helped to change the direction of my life. The movie is called 'Mr. Hollands Opus,' which stars Richard Dreyfuss as a music teacher whose career and family get in the way of his dreams: Becoming a great composer.

We see the decades pass and the students come and go. And in the final scene of the film, just as Mr. Holland is set to retire, his students past and present honor him with a surprise performance of a symphony he'd been composing for years.
Seeing four decades worth of students celebrating this man's life and acknowledging his dedication to his career is likely to bring tears to your eyes. In that moment, he realizes his life was not wasted. In fact, he had influenced so many to be successful and lead wonderful lives. They are his greatest creation. They are his epic composition.

Watch the Scene:

What this movie made me realize is that in order for me to reach my goals and dreams I had to start acting on them. So I wrote a song and sent it to Nashville for a shot at publication. Not only was it published, but six months later, another one of my songs was published as well. These successes inspired me to pursue my interest in the music industry, and today I am a performing singer/songwriter with several CD projects under my belt.

I had the courage to follow my dreams because of Mr. Holland's Opus and will always be happy I watched that movie.

Submitted by: Paige Turner

Related Content On Moviefone:
The Movie That Changed My Life: 'Sleepless in Seattle'
The Movie That Changed My Life: 'Pay It Forward'
The Movie That Changed My Life: 'Puppet Master 3: Toulon's Revenge'

More On 'Mr. Holland's Opus':
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Olympia Dukakis, William H. Macy
Directed by: Stephen Herek
You Might Enjoy It If You Like:'Dead Poets Society,' 'The Mighty Ducks'
Where You Can Get It:Buy It Here | Rent It Here
Mr. Holland's Opus
In Theaters on December 29th, 1995

Life steers a passionate musician away from composing and toward a teaching career. Read More

categories Features