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Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 28 July 1939 (USA)
An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Staefel (as Paul Von Hernried)
...
...
Milton Rosmer ...
Chatteris
Frederick Leister ...
Marsham
Louise Hampton ...
Mrs. Wickett
...
...
Jackson
...
Colonel Morgan (as Edmond Breon)
Jill Furse ...
Helen Colley
Scott Sunderland ...
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

At The Top Of The Year's "Ten Best" - The picture that earns for 1939 a proud place in motion-picture history! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 July 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goodbye Mr. Chips!  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although called Chips, his full name was Charles Edward Chipping, based on the wedding announcement that was read to the group of masters announcing the marriage. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[dying words]
Mr. Chipping 'Mr. Chips': I thought I heard you saying it was a pity... pity I never had any children. But you're wrong. I have. Thousands of them. Thousands of them... and all boys.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Country Practice: Road to Nowhere: Part 1 (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen blauen Donau Walzer (The Blue Danube Waltz) Op. 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Arranged by Richard Addinsell
Played as dance music and often in the score
Danced by Robert Donat with Greer Garson and other couples
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent, Oscar worthy performance by Robert Donat
21 December 2003 | by (Peabody, MA, USA) – See all my reviews

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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