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Tom Brown's Schooldays (2005)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 1 January 2005
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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Harry Michell ...
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Flashman
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Brooke
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Matron
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Sally
Gerard Horan ...
Bill
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Huband
Ben Tillett ...
Speedicot
Tom Allen ...
Fothergill
John Carlisle ...
Mr. Lampard
...
Mr. Smith
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Storyline

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 AbundantDay@hotmail.com

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Drama

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1 January 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Oi sholikes meres tou Tom Brown  »

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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

The characters in this film were based in part on actual people from the original author's own childhood, including versions of the brother of the author, and the author himself. See more »

Goofs

When Tom Brown and East encounter Flashman the school bully while carrying water, at one point East is in front of Brown, the next view East is behind Brown. See more »

Connections

Version of Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Moving and Timeless Story of Bullies and Victims
6 January 2006 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

This at least fifth adaptation of Thomas Hughes' 1857 autobiographical novel "Tom Brown's School Days" provides a classic comparison to Harry Potter's Hogwarts, which has probably revived curiosity in portrayals of English boarding school life.

While I presume any 90 minute version (2 hours on BBC America with commercials), has to cut a lot more from the book than the 1971 mini-series that I haven't seen (nor have I read the book), the characters and the situations came through strongly.

Not the Dickensian deprivations of the poor house in "Oliver Twist", Ashley Pharoah's adaptation is much more about typical behavior in an all male environment that is a precursor to "Lord of the Flies," the dark side of "Peter Pan" where boys do adult actions without growing up, or at least various military movies (I only knew the naval song "Heart of Oak," used in a humiliating scene, because of "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World").

Key to enlivening this from just another costume drama with stock characters (the bully, the victim, the ineffectual leader, etc.) is the wonderful titular performance of Alex Pettyfer, billed as "introducing." I can't recall seeing a boy actor transform so much in front of our eyes other than Christian Bale in "Empire of the Sun," as he develops from timid to athlete to swaggerer to mature leader.

Stephen Fry is particularly good at conveying his guilt at the hypocrisy he gets trapped into as a well-meaning new headmaster trying to change a traditional den of testosterone gone wild. Jemma Redgrave doesn't get do very much as his oblivious wife.

Joe Beattie, in the thankless role of the arrogant, wealthy villain a la Malfoy in the Potter oeuvre, plays him foppishly, like Guy Pearce in the most recent version of "The Count of Monte Cristo." I was actually surprised when he cruelly seduced a maid, as I thought the homo-erotic potential in this hot house environment was implied, particularly when it is emphasized how "different" the weakest victim is as he shines at poetry readings.

A story of the perniciousness of bullying left unchecked never goes out of date, and this portrayal is universal and timeless, regardless of its period setting.


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