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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>
34-year-old Robert Donat ages 63 years (1870-1933) over the course of the film. He remarked: "As soon as I put the mustache on, I felt the part, even if I did look like a great Airedale come out of a puddle." See more »
Miss Kathy tells Chips that the ballroom in Vienna is where Metternich drew up "the treaty of the five kings" (referring to the Congress of Vienna in 1814 ending the Napoleonic Wars) "nearly 100 years ago." But the montage after Kathy's death makes clear she died before the Boer War (1899) and Queen Victoria's funeral (1901). 100 years after the Congress of Vienna was 1914, the start of World War I when Chips becomes acting headmaster and Kathy is spoken of as having died long ago. 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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Goodbye Mr Chips must be one of the best films ever made.
The acting of boys, masters and other characters is superb, as is the capturing of the late Victorian/Edwardian period in England, the joy of 1914 on the declaration of war, followed by the sombre roll-calls of the dead in chapel during the war years.
The character of Chips is an instruction in how someone's life can be transformed for the better by fortuitous events, in this case the meeting on the mountain between Chips and Katherine, which changed him from being a shy but well-meaning schoolmaster who found it difficult to establish a rapport with his pupils and colleagues into someone whose hidden depths and charisma were brought into view by a woman he loved.
This gentle, decent and moving film illustrates, through both Chips and Katherine, the importance of giving of oneself to others who in their turn will benefit as human beings; concepts which might seem outdated in our modern world but remain valuable and timeless.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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