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Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951)

Approved | | Drama | 2 November 1951 (USA)
Tom Brown (John Howard Davies) starts at Rugby boarding school. He is tormented by Flashman (John Forrest), the school bully.


Gordon Parry


Thomas Hughes (novel), Noel Langley (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Howard Davies ... Tom Brown
Robert Newton ... Dr. Thomas Arnold
James Hayter ... Old Thomas
John Charlesworth John Charlesworth ... East
John Forrest John Forrest ... Flashman
Michael Hordern ... Wilkes
Max Bygraves Max Bygraves ... Coach Guard
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Squire Brown (as Francis de Wolff)
Amy Veness Amy Veness ... Mrs. Wixie
Brian Worth Brian Worth ... Judd
Rachel Gurney ... Mrs. Arthur
Michael Brennan Michael Brennan ... Black Bart
Michael Ward Michael Ward ... Master
Neil North ... Diggs
Glyn Dearman Glyn Dearman ... Arthur


A faithful rendition of the Thomas Hughes book of life at the famed Rugby School for Boys in 1834, when Dr. Thomas Arnold (Robert Newton), headmaster, was trying to alleviate the brutality of the "hazing system", which was supposed to make men of the young boys, but which actually was a mask for passionate, unregenerate cruelty. The primary story has Tom Brown (John Howard Davies) ragged continually by one particularly brutal upper-class-man, Flashman (John Forrest). Tom's bravery and school-spirited silence gains him Arnold's admiration. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Thrilling New Motion Picture!




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Revolt i plugget See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Talisman Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Uncredited theatrical movie debut of Ben Aris (Tadpole). See more »


At the very end when Tom Brown is chasing behind the camera car, 3 sets of tyre marks can clearly be seen in the grass. See more »


Flashman: [To Ned] You lying blackguard!
Dr. Arnold: Silent.
Flashman: [flustered] ...but...this man has a private grudge against me sir..!
Dr. Arnold: Silent, I say!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "This story was filmed at Rugby against the authentic background of Rugby School as it was in 1834, and follows closely the style, language and atmosphere of those ancient days. The school is the birthplace of the game of Rugby as depicted in this film, and from which American football has developed". See more »

Alternate Versions

A colorized version exists. See more »


Version of Tom Brown's Schooldays (1916) See more »

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User Reviews

Well staged but lacklustre in parts
4 August 2019 | by shakercoolaSee all my reviews

A British drama; A story set in 1834 at Rugby School in England about a boy's efforts to adjust to boarding-school life, and contend with the calculated cruelties of a bully. A new, benevolent schoolmaster Doctor Arnold believes that discipline and reform are necessary, and he puts his faith in the boy as his seed of success. This is a third film version of Thomas Hughes' book. The staging is more authentic, atmospherically shot on location in the old school itself. The story has a slow but steady pace but becomes sketchy at times. John Howard Davies, who plays Tom Brown gives a good performance but appears a little too wistful and believable as a match for his bully. Robert Newton is well cast and impressive as that heroic schoolmaster, but not enough screen time is given to his character and his principles, strength which underpin the story, especially for viewers who read the book. Flashman is given strong presence by John Forrest as the epitome of snobbery, though he is weaker than expected in the scene of his character's physical confrontation.

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