Andrew Manson, a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his attempts to prove its ... See full summary »
An old classics teacher looks back over his long career, remembering pupils and colleagues, and above all the idyllic courtship and marriage that transformed his life. Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
Although Mr. Chips is approximately 25 years older than his wife Katherine, Robert Donat was almost five months younger than Greer Garson in real life. See more »
After his retirement dinner, Chips is told of the assassination of "some Austrian arch-duke," leading to the outbreak of "the great war." Arch-duke Franz Ferdinand was killed on June 28, 1914, when public schools like Brookfield would not have been in session and students and faculty would not be on campus. See more »
Mr. Chipping 'Mr. Chips':
Well, remember me sometimes. I shall always remember you. "Haec olim meminisse iuvabit." I need not translate it for you.
[the phrase is from Virgil's Aeneid: "In the future, it will be pleasing to remember these things."]
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Excellent, Oscar worthy performance by Robert Donat
Director Sam Woods (`Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman,' `King's Row,' `For Whom the Bell Tolls') 1939 film `Goodbye Mr. Chips' features a top-notch performance by Robert Donat as the somewhat stuffy English prep school teacher, Mr. Chippings. Chippings early career difficulties are overcome, as is his shyness after he meets Greer Garson (`Mrs. Miniver') in the Alps while on holiday. Garson is able to show the stodgy Chips how to live life and her effect on him lasts throughout the rest of his life, although Garson is not around for long.
The film uses recurring patterns to show the passage of time, namely the showing of the boys arriving at the school each year in the autumn. These segments often contained little historical snippets between the boys, such as `we now have telephones, do you know how to use one?' and mention of Queen Victoria's death and the remark that `it is going to be strange to have a King.' Other historical comments occurred between the teachers such as the remark on a book by a new author, H.G. Wells and how he will never last because his writing is too fantastic. Sadly, Chip's historical error occurs when he comments to the boys that they will not have to go off to World War I as the war cannot possibly last more than a few weeks. So many of the teachers and students end up losing their lives in the Great War. Some other scenes from this film have been parodied through the years in comedies, most noticeably the scenes in the great hall when the headmasters are speaking to the boys is sent up hilariously by John Cleese in `Monty Python's the Meaning of Life' and the scene where Chips canes an insolent student (it is filmed as a shadow against the wall) is later parodied when a punisher is reprimanded for whipping the shadow, not the victim (my memory is failing me here, but I think this is in 1969s `Take the Money and Run' by Woody Allen, I could be wrong as a part of me also thinks that this could be in Mel Brooks' `Blazing Saddles.')
Donat aptly handles the complex role of Chips through the years, from about his mid-20s until his 80s. This may be one of the earlier movies that so aptly chronicles the life and times of a person through such an expanse of years, Dustin Hoffman in `Little Big Man' also performs n this manner, as does Al Pacino in `The Godfather Trilogy,' albeit over the length of three long movies. Even more outstanding and interesting about Donat and his character is that he covers so much of a common man's existence; Chips is a teacher, not a King, general, messiah or Mafia chieftain.
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