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
When the character of Ursula gushed over Chips, asking Katherine to let her have him when she was done with him, there was some truth in the line. Ursula, played by Siân Phillips, was in real life Mrs. Peter O'Toole. See more »
No, the allusion was to the stage which used to be my profession.
You're an actress, Mrs. Chipping?
Well, not even my best friends would call me that.
Aw, and what would they call you?
A soubrette. That's the girl in musical comedy who sings the big number and, in the end, loses the man.
In real life, they nearly always end up the wives of earls. I nearly did. But luckily... I met Chips.
See more »
I was led to this film when it first opened by Pauline Kael's review which, although critical of the music and other things, was an unqualified rave for Peter O'Toole's performance, as well as highly complimentary to Petula Clark as well. Seeing this projected in 70MM with 6-track stereo sound was an extraordinary experience, so much so that I went back the following day to see it again, bought the soundtrack, and even returned to see it a third time a week later. It is still one of my favorite films and the letterboxed Laserdisk has kept it looking fresh. Seeing Peter O'Toole in this, just a year after he screamed his way (brilliantly) through "The Lion in Winter" I was convinced he was the greatest actor of the day. The shock was Petula Clark, who gives such a warm and fine performance here that there is no doubt that theirs is one of the most affecting love stories on film. This was Herbert Ross' first directing effort and, like Bob Fosse on "Sweet Charity" the same year, you can just feel their excitement at the possibilities of the medium. I was always sad at the critical slaughter this film received, Ms. Kael stood alone, and am so pleased to see all the positive comments this film now earns. Quickly, I love the cinematography, supporting performances, and production design and finally, the music. This was one of the first examples I can think of the stream-of-consciousness musical score, songs are sung partly as voiceovers and partly on screen, switching back and forth, songs will stop and start again after lines of dialog, and return later in the film with different arrangements and lyrics, etc., etc. And a special note to John Williams' wonderful arrangements. Try to see this in widescreen and stereo, forget your prejudices about it and sit back and let it sweep over you
23 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?