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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
I don't think I do know you.
You must be mad. What's your name?
That's right. You take to drink.
I do not take to drink, madam. Excuse me.
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Watch this movie for the performance of Peter O'Toole alone. Clearly, this was a strong effort even when compared to his other triumphs: Lion in Winter, Lawrence of Arabia. I feel that his Mr. Chips exists a little in all of us. Again, O'Toole should have gotten that Oscar for this one too. Can't the academy ever get it right? On other fronts, I would agree with many other reviewers that this version would do better overall as a drama and NOT as a musical. While the songs were okay and clearly not offensive, they really didn't add anything here. The movie could have been 30+ minutes shorter and given even greater impact without them. Petula Clark was also excellent here, and it's a shame that she chose not to do more film roles. At any rate, this is worth a look for O'Toole and the fantastic English countryside as well as sites in Italy and Greece.
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