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Mr. Perrin and Mr. Traill (1948)

An elderly British schoolmaster is upset when a new teacher comes to the school and is an immediate success with the boys. The older man thinks he isn't getting the respect he deserves.

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(additional dialogue), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marius Goring ...
...
Isobel Lester
Raymond Huntley ...
Moy-Thompson
Edward Chapman ...
Birkland
Mary Jerrold ...
Mrs. Perrin
Ralph Truman ...
Comber
...
Sir Joshua Varley
Maurice Jones ...
Clinton
Lloyd Pearson ...
Dormer
May MacDonald ...
Mrs. Dormer
Viola Lyel ...
Mrs. Comber
Archie Harradine ...
White
Donald Barclay ...
Rogers (as Don Barclay)
Pat Nye ...
Matron
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Storyline

An elderly British schoolmaster is upset when a new teacher comes to the school and is an immediate success with the boys. The older man thinks he isn't getting the respect he deserves. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

teacher | school | based on novel | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

27 September 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hemlig kärlek  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marius Goring, who played the aging Mr Perrin, was actually four years younger than David Farrar, who played the much younger Mr Traill. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The dark side of Goodbye Mr. Chips
27 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Hugh Walpole is better known in England than the U.S. His novels, like "Rogue Herries" were best sellers from 1910 to 1950. He was a keen literary figure, who rubbed at least one serious rival wrong. That rival, unfortunately, was a better novelist, William Somerset Maugham. If Americans recall Walpole at all it's for Maugham's mean portrait of him as the ambitious mediocrity Alroy Kear in "Cakes and Ale". But Maugham was sending up the English literary establishment in "Cakes and Ale", basing his central figure of "Edward Driffield" (the grand old man of English letters) on Thomas Hardy.

Walpole wrote "Mr. Perrin and Mr. Trail" in the 1930s, and it dealt with a subject not touched too frequently in British fiction: the public schools. The best known 19th Century public school tale was "Tom Brown's School Days", in which the experiment of Dr. Thomas Arnold in school reform was used for the basis of the novel. Oddly enough though, Thomas Hughes' novel is best remembered for the creation of the school bully Flashman (who George MacDonald Fraser turned into the "hero" of a series of good Victorian spoofs). Aside from that novel (and a few comments by Dickens and Thackeray in their autobiographical novels) there was silence. Walpole changed that and made a serious study of the dark world of public school rivalries between teachers, and the politics inside the schools.

Perrin (Marius Goring) is a boring mediocrity of a teacher. He is not upset about this, as there has been nothing to threaten his position at the school Then a new teacher, Trail (David Farrar) is hired. He is exciting and interesting and the boys like him. Perrin starts to fear for his job. He tells this to the headmaster Moy-Thompson (Raymond Huntley). Actually Perrin's position was never endangered, as he has been a source of information to Moy-Thompson of what the other teachers and the students are up to. But Moy-Thompson (the real villain in the story) takes advantage of this to squeeze Perrin even more. Perrin starts finding himself questioning why he is such a failure, but he finally brings himself together at the time of the story's crisis. I won't reveal this to the reader - see the film for that.

This film and "The Browning Version" (which is similar in it's way) are the dark side of public school teaching, as opposed to James Hilton's "Goodbye Mr. Chips". Yet Hilton is still read, while Walpole seems to have drifted into oblivion (the last time I heard of Walpole in any visual media is in the "Cheese shop" sketch of "Monty Python" when John Cleese mentions he got hungry for cheese while reading "Rogue Herries"). I suspect it is because "Chips" was lovable to his students, and became a school institution. But keep in mind that initially Mr. Chipping was a dry, pedantic bore. It was only when he marries that he softens, telling jokes to his students and taking an interest informing their characters. In short, Chipping was a luckier man than Perrin was, just as Hilton was a luckier novelist than Walpole.


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