Drama about life at Rugby School in Victorian England. The headmaster is fair but not effective and life is brutal for the young boys because of bullying and it's consequences. The acting ... See full summary »
When crime-writer Robert Southley finds his well-healed London lifestyle threatened by blackmail from a former American criminal associate he murders him. He is surprised when a Scotland ... See full summary »
In a seaside village, a group of local young men mingle among the seasonal tourists in search of sexual conquests. Near the end of one summer, the leader of the group, Tinker, a strolling ... See full summary »
With the help of a relative, a hopeless railway employee is made stationmaster of Buggleskelly. Determined to make his mark, he devises a number of schemes to put Buggleskelly on the railway map, but instead falls foul of a gang of gun runners.
A faithful rendition of the Thomas Hughes book of life at the famed Rugby School for Boys in 1834, when Dr. Thomas Arnold, headmaster, was trying to alleviate the brutality of the 'hazing system' which was supposed to make men of the young boys, but which actually was a mask for passionate, unregenerate cruelty. The primary story has Tom Brown ragged continually by one particularly brutal upper-class-man, Flashman. Tom's bravery and school-spirited silence gains him Arnold's admiration. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
'Tom Brown's School Days', one of the best depictions of schoolboy life in literature, was previously adapted in 1940. While not the truest to the source material either, that was also a good film, especially for Cedric Hardwicke's performance, and it is hard to say which is the better one out of that and this film.
1951's adaptation is not perfect. The direction is a bit staid and lacklustre, Robert Stevenson in the 1940 film directed with more sympathy, energy and style to me, here the direction is not bad, just that it could have been more.
The story is sometimes a little too episodically told, and while it's well paced on the whole there are occasions where it sags. John Howard Davies is more age appropriate than Jimmy Lydon and has cuteness and charm, but is also a little too delicate and wistful in the title role, which due to being the main focus is more interestingly written, the earlier version focusing more on Arnold.
However, 'Tom Brown's School Days' looks great, beautifully shot and the period setting is suitably atmospheric and quaint. Richard Adinsell's score complements well and has the right amount of jauntiness and whimsy as well as stirring atmosphere. The script is very thought-provoking, with some nice charming, humorous and poignant moments, and much of the story is charming and lively, with Arnold's strictness and progressiveness and Flashman's very vindictive bullying (to the point of being reprehensible, have to agree that one cannot feel sympathy for him as a result) very well-realised.
Particularly notable here in 'Tom Brown's School Days' is the acting. A more restrained than usual Robert Newton gives an authoritative and very sincere performance as strict but saintly Arnold, while John Clarlesworth is appealing as East and John Forrest comes very close to stealing the show making for a viciously snobbish and quite intimidating bully in Flashman. Supporting turns are splendid, though some are brief.
Overall, solid film with the acting being especially noteworthy. 7/10 Bethany Cox
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?