7.8/10
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Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 28 July 1939 (USA)
An aged teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school recalls his career and his personal life over the decades.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Mr. Chips
... Katherine
... John Colley / Peter Colley I / Peter Colley II / Peter Colley III
... Peter Colley (as a Young Man)
... Staefel (as Paul Von Hernried)
... Flora
... Wetherby
... Chatteris
Frederick Leister ... Marsham
Louise Hampton ... Mrs. Wickett
... Ralston
... Jackson
... Colonel Morgan (as Edmond Breon)
Jill Furse ... Helen Colley
Scott Sunderland ... Sir John Colley
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Storyline

An old classics teacher looks back over his long career, remembering pupils and colleagues, and above all the idyllic courtship and marriage that transformed his life. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Best Picture Of Any Year See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

28 July 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Goodbye Mr. Chips!  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Max Staefel was the German master at Brookfield School from 1890 to 1902. See more »

Goofs

After his retirement dinner, Chips is told of the assassination of "some Austrian arch-duke," leading to the outbreak of "the great war." Arch-duke Franz Ferdinand was killed on June 28, 1914, when public schools like Brookfield would not have been in session and students and faculty would not be on campus. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Chipping 'Mr. Chips': I know the world's changing, Dr. Ralston. I've seen the old traditions die, one by one. Grace, dignity, feeling for the past - all that matters here today is a fat banking account. You're trying to run the school like a factory, for turning out money-making machine-made snobs. You've raised the fees. And in the end, the boys who really belong at Brookfield will be frozen out, frozen out. Modern methods, intensive training - poppycock! Give a boy a sense of humor and a sense of proportion and ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Talking Saul: Mabel (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sherwood Forresters
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A wonderful, sentimental film
29 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

Sam Wood's film "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" is the story of Mr. Chipping (Robert Donat), an elderly schoolmaster at the prestigious Brookfield school in England. At the beginning of the current year's term, "Mr. Chips" is retired, but still living on campus and still interacting with the boys at the school. Suffering a cold, he retires to his living room in front of a fireplace and begins to reminisce about his long, 63 - year career at the school. Beginning as an idealistic teacher, he gains a reputation for stodginess, though his peers and students find that to be an almost endearing quality. Years later, he goes on holiday with a fellow teacher to Austria and meets the love of his life, Katherine (Greer Garson) who is an intelligent free spirit. After a whirlwind courtship, the two marry, and Chips (as she begins to call him) brings her to England with him in time for the next term. With her influence, Chips begins to open up more to his students and peers and quickly gains a very popular following among both. Throughout the years, Chips takes care of his students, and sees several generations of boys from the same families come under his care, personified by the Colley boys (all played by Terry Kilburn). Once WWI begins, most of the older students and schoolmasters enlist, so Chips is asked to come out of retirement to do the job that he has wanted to do his entire career at Brookfield – become Headmaster, leading the next generation of students while being forced to deal with the losses of his former students from the war.

"Goodbye, Mr. Chips" is obviously the inspiration for films like "Mr. Holland's Opus" in that it is a sentimental story of a young and insecure teacher who carries through with his career not really knowing the influence he has had on his students. "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" did not have a big emotional crescendo at the end that similar films from the last two or three decades generally did (and do) but rather it had a quieter, more dignified emotional catch. Robert Donat is spectacular in this Oscar-winning role. It is amazing that he was able to play a man that was between 10-50 years older than he really was so convincingly. Greer Garson is wonderful as always in her role as "Mrs. Chips". The film itself was charming and sentimental without being overly sappy; I certainly had tears streaming down my cheeks at the end, but didn't feel foolish about it. I would recommend this one to anyone, but I think that it will certainly get a much better response from classic film lovers due to its purity and its unabashed sentimentality. 7/10 --Shelly


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