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 »
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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 and character development are good and the roles well cast. It's a good adaptation of the novel and was filmed at The Rugby School. Written by
"Tom Brown's Schooldays" is a story that has had a number of versions. This one is the latest and a TV-made. In my opinion, it's a pretty weak take on this classic story. They attempted to make it look "old fashioned" and "classic" but it can't hide the fact that it's a modernized version of a very old story, which doesn't work. It has many flaws typical of these modern-day films.
The story is familiar. A young boy, Tom Brown, is the newest pupil in a Rugby school for boys. Soon he makes a friend, East. Not much later, he wins the hate of Flashman, the big bully.
I see that many reviewers really like Alex Pettyfer and his acting as Tom Brown. I share a different point of view. He is okay but not in the same league as the wonderful John Howard Davies in the much better 1951 version. In some scenes he kinda looks like him. They probably chose him because of that, or maybe they attempted to make him look like him.
I like Stephen Fry's acting as Dr. Thomas Arnold but I rather the great Robert Newton in the 1951 version. Harry Mitchell's acting as East is slightly weak, the actor from the 1951 version is much better. Harry Lister Smith is decent as George Arthur but then again the kid in the 1951 version is superior. Joseph Beattie certainly convinces as Flashman but the actor in the 1951 version is better. Dane Carter is excellent as that poor boy who gets unfairly punished by Dr. Arnold in a very touching scene, shortly followed by another touching scene when Dr. Arnold apologizes for what he did to him.
George Arthur dies in this version and that is touching. Flashman is just as bad in this version as before. Tom Brown isn't as likable as in the 1951 version - here he has some puzzling actions such as in one scene which he steals a chicken and one scene which he shows off his butt in public. The infamous "roasting" scene is present in this version, but somehow it seems more tense and stronger in the 1951 film.
Overall, not a completely bad movie. Has some good moments but also a lot of flaws & inconsistencies. Also appears to be a wee bit less simple to understand than the 1951 version.
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