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Tom Brown's School Days (1940)

Approved | | Drama | 19 July 1940 (USA)
A young boy starts at Rugby boarding school. He is tormented by Flashman, the school bully.



(novel), (adaptation) | 4 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Dr. Thomas Arnold (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Billy Halop ...
Hughie Green ...
Walker Brooke
Alec Craig ...
Old Thomas
Tom Brown's Nanny


Thomas Arnold is hired to be the new headmaster at Rugby, whose students have acquired a reputation for being wild, disruptive, and dishonest. He institutes strict disciplinary policies, and expels numerous boys as a result. Many of the teachers, trustees, and parents turn against him. Squire Brown, his most vocal supporter, decides to send his own son Tom to Rugby as a demonstration of confidence. Tom soon learns that the school is plagued by bullies, and he is frequently targeted by them. He and the other boys are hindered, though, by an unwritten understanding that none of them will ever report the misdeeds of another to the authorities. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | rugby | school | bully | headmaster | See All (25) »






Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 July 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adventures at Rugby  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film in New York City occurred Monday 30 December 1946 on DuMont Television Network's WABD (Channel 5) and in Los Angeles Sunday 29 February 1948 on DuMont's KTLA (Channel 5). See more »


When the boy shoots a pea-shooter at Fleishman from the back, it hits near the top of his stovepipe hat yet he grabs back of his neck in pain. See more »


Dr. Thomas Arnold: A new boy is always important. He may be an influence for good or for evil.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Movie based on Thomas Hugh's novel, yet he's given no credit for it. See more »


Spin-off Royal Flash (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

A Film That Takes The Measure Of A Man.
20 April 2001 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

This work is primarily occupied with the major incidents in the life of Thomas Arnold, headmaster of Rugby, and his overcoming of a good deal of resistance in lifting that institution from a tepid state to a position of England's finest public school. The strong direction is by Robert Stevenson, who also contributed mightily to the script, which is rather faithfully based upon the novel of the same name by Thomas Hughes, and which employs the student Tom Brown as Arnold's tactical and ethical surrogate within the scholastic body. Arnold, who must find an answer to the prevalent bullying of the day, is portrayed by Sir Cedric Hardwicke with a stunning performance, ably supported by Josephine Hutchinson as Mrs. Arnold. The film proceeds at a very crisp pace, with the scenario building well as Brown, played with feeling by Jimmy Lydon, prepares to make a stand against older and tyrannical students led by Billy Halop as Flashman. The arteries of the novel are presented with some depth, demonstrating the inculcation into the students of the importance of physical and mental courage, loyalty, and self-reliance, albeit apparently at the cost of some amount of intellectual achievement. The love of the students for Rugby and for their headmaster is presented throughout, the production design, costumes, and editing are all first-rate, and a superb musical score is contributed by Anthony Collins.

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