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
Handsome but misguided version of great British classic novel.
It's foolish to expect an exact equivalent in film/TV of a classic novel. Translating narrative prose into moving pictures offers opportunities as well as difficulties. But this was a botched job. The story was mangled and spiced up to a damaging extent. The story was seriously mangled. The aims of writer/production were confused. However quaint to us today, the story was real and based on Thomas Hughes' own schooldays. Hughes's sincere attempt to portray the great days at Rugby was thrown out the window. Several of the leading characters were retained but others were cut. Dr. Arnold was appointed to Rugby in 1827. Tom Brown (Hughes) came in the mid 1830's, this is clear from the book. Tom Brown and Scud East were pretty well portrayed. Bullyboy Flashman's wickedness was extended to include raping the matron's daughter. Brooke and Diggs, both important characters,were omitted. Young Arthur dies in this version. He does not die in the book but assists the reformation of the boys' behaviour by the example of his own piety.(He was based on Dean Stanley who actually wrote a celebrated biography of Dr. Arnold). Dr. Arnold's reforming character was fairly well presented. His regular meetings with the teaching staff etc. were pretty authentic, but his amazing reforms were more significant than shown here. His staff were all clerics with local livings but he made them sacrifice these, paid them handsome salaries and devote their professional careers to Rugby. Dr. Arnold's reforming zeal dragged British schools out of Regency degeneracy, brutality and educational sloth, paving the way for the golden age of the Victorian public school. He aimed to produce Christian Gentleman. He had little interest in games and the gift of a school gymnasium by the Flashman family an utter fiction. It was Thring at Uppingham who introduced games (as well as music) into the school curriculum twenty years later. Oddly enough, Stephen Fry was educated at Uppingham. As TV entertainment this was OK but taken as an attempt to bring a great classic to the small screen, well, really....
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