Arthur Chipping is an academic teaching at Brookfield Boys School outside of London in the 1920's. Although he does what he considers best for his students, they don't much like him, nicknaming him "Ditchy", short for "dull as ditch water". His life changes when he meets Katherine Bridges, a music hall actress and a woman with a questionable past. She affectionately calls him Mr. Chips. Despite their differences, they fall in love. He in particular realizes that in striking a relationship, they will have many obstacles to overcome. He doesn't particularly like the world in which she is involved, including her friends and her profession, and she doesn't exactly fit the mold of a teacher's wife. Still, they decide to get married. She forgoes her career to be Mrs. Chips, living on campus as the housewife of a teacher at a proper boy's school. It is a world in which she will have to learn the rules, or at least bend them to her sensibilities, although she vows never to embarrass him. ... Written by
Elizabeth Taylor campaigned for female lead when Richard Burton was still in running to play Mr. Chips. See more »
Ursula, darling, you must see the bell tower. And here's your guide (pointing to Herr Staefel).
The bell tower? (realizing Katie's unspoken intention) Oh, yes, of course... the bell tower! (Laughs) Later...
I hope you like early English perpendicular.
Darling, I revel in early English perpendicular!
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I saw this film when it first came out, and didn't know what to expect exactly. What followed the Overture was one of the most pleasurable filmgoing experiences I have ever had. A lush score of songs and music by Britisher Leslie Bricusse (of Doctor Doolittle & Wilie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory fame as well as making his mark on the Broadway musical scene), and scored by the incomparable John Williams. There's not a bad song in the entire film. Plus some of the most exquisite cinematography, costume design and filming locations I have ever seen in one film. Not to mention the Academy Award nominated performance by Peter O'Toole, and the equally strong performance, in my opinion, by the wonderful Petula Clark. Now, given that Peter is not the same caliber a singer that Petula is, he still manages to sell his songs to the audience, and that, after all, is what it is all about. This is a faithful adaptation of the excellent book by James Hilton, and deserves to be treasured for generations to come. I recommend this film for family viewing, though most men will consider this a 'chick' flick. But if you like a truly great film musical, then this film is for you. But be warned that a standby box of Kleenex is just as important as popcorn for your viewing pleasure.
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