Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) Poster

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Vastly underrated treasure
broberts-26 October 2000
I was led to this film when it first opened by Pauline Kael's review which, although critical of the music and other things, was an unqualified rave for Peter O'Toole's performance, as well as highly complimentary to Petula Clark as well. Seeing this projected in 70MM with 6-track stereo sound was an extraordinary experience, so much so that I went back the following day to see it again, bought the soundtrack, and even returned to see it a third time a week later. It is still one of my favorite films and the letterboxed Laserdisk has kept it looking fresh. Seeing Peter O'Toole in this, just a year after he screamed his way (brilliantly) through "The Lion in Winter" I was convinced he was the greatest actor of the day. The shock was Petula Clark, who gives such a warm and fine performance here that there is no doubt that theirs is one of the most affecting love stories on film. This was Herbert Ross' first directing effort and, like Bob Fosse on "Sweet Charity" the same year, you can just feel their excitement at the possibilities of the medium. I was always sad at the critical slaughter this film received, Ms. Kael stood alone, and am so pleased to see all the positive comments this film now earns. Quickly, I love the cinematography, supporting performances, and production design and finally, the music. This was one of the first examples I can think of the stream-of-consciousness musical score, songs are sung partly as voiceovers and partly on screen, switching back and forth, songs will stop and start again after lines of dialog, and return later in the film with different arrangements and lyrics, etc., etc. And a special note to John Williams' wonderful arrangements. Try to see this in widescreen and stereo, forget your prejudices about it and sit back and let it sweep over you
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A Total Delight
rube242419 June 2002
When it opened in London during the Christmas season of 1969 this musical version of James Hilton's famous story was drubbed by the critics. The same reception greeted it when it opened in the US, prompting MGM to withdraw its "Roadshow" status and cut almost all of its songs. What a mistake!!!

Watched years later, when the trendy world of the 60's and 70's has turned in upon itself, this version of GOODBYE, MR.CHIPS is a total delight. First of all, as "Chipping", Peter O'Toole gives one of his greatest performances. To watch him turn from the hated, cold, emotionless Latin teacher at a boy's boarding school, to a man who finally can see the colors in the world (after falling for and marrying musical star Catherine Briskit) is to see a genius at work. (If you can, watch LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE LION IN WINTER, MY FAVORITE YEAR and CHIPS back to back over a number of days or weeks. Then you will see what a truly great actor O'Toole is, and how magnificent he is in CHIPS.)

Catherine, as played by the glowing Petula Clark, at the height of her popularity, is ever man's dream; beautiful, loving, understanding, with a great voice to boot. Most of the songs are beautiful and fit the story perfectly, while the direction by the late Herbert Ross brings the proceedings wonderfully to life.

Okay, this film may be a bit too romantic for some people, but for those who are looking for a beautifully acted, sung, and directed love story, look no further. (If you can get your hands of the laser disc wide screen version, better yet. I am anxiously awaiting CHIPS' debut on DVD.)
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A Musical Remake That Didn't Need The Songs
SFTVLGUY229 January 2005
Thirty years after the 1939 classic film won Robert Donat an Oscar and made Greer Garson a star, "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" overcame a multitude of problems before stumbling to the screen in this musical version. Original stars Rex Harrison and Samantha Eggar were replaced by Richard Burton and Lee Remick, who in turn were given the heave-ho in favor of - thankfully - Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark. Andre Previn's score was rejected, and the one eventually used was composed by - unfortunately - Leslie Bricusse. First-time director Herbert Ross was handed the monumental task of transforming a simple love story - that of a man for both his wife and students - into a big-budget extravaganza. That it succeeds as well as it does despite the many obstacles in its way is a testament to its two stars.

Arthur Chipping is a Latin teacher at Brookfield, a boys' school in suburban England where he himself was educated. Introverted and socially inept, he is dedicated to his students but unable to inspire them. Prior to summer holiday, a former student takes him to a London music hall to see an entertainment starring Katharine Bridges, the young lady he hopes to wed. The post-performance meeting is awkward for all, and Chips - as he is commonly known - sets off to explore some of Italy's ancient ruins. Unexpectedly, he runs into Katharine, who has booked a Mediterranean cruise to allow her time to mourn a failed love affair and ponder the direction of her career. In the time they spend together, she discovers a kind and gentle man beneath the befuddled exterior, and upon returning to London pursues him in earnest. When the fall term begins, Chips returns to Brookfield with his young bride, and the two settle into a life of quiet domesticity. Complications arise when aspects of Katharine's past surface, and again when World War II intrudes in their lives, but Chips is bolstered by his wife's support, and his new-found confidence makes him a favorite among the students.

Aside from a couple of musical interludes - the delightful music hall production number "London is London" and Katharine's declaration of love, "You and I" - most of Bricusse's songs, some of them performed in voice-over as the characters explore their emotions, are easily forgettable and in no way enhance the film. Eliminate the score entirely, and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" works quite well as a drama. Terrence Rattigan's script retains elements of the original while expanding upon it and updating it by a couple of decades. He has crafted several scenes between Chips and Katharine that beautifully delineate their devotion to each other, and infused a few with comic relief courtesy of Katharine's friend and cohort, over-the-top actress Ursula Mossbank (delightfully played by Sian Phillips, O'Toole's real-life wife at the time). He also captures life at a British public school - the equivalent of a private academy here in the States - with unerring perfection.

Ross does well as a first-time director, liberally sprinkling the film with breathtakingly photographed moments - the opening credits sequence, during which the school anthem echoes in the vast stone hallways of the school, perfectly sets the tone for the film. Costumes and sets are true to the period. The students, portrayed by non-professionals who were enrolled at the school used as Brookfield, handle their various small supporting roles well.

Highest praise is reserved for Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark in the lead roles. O'Toole was long-established as a first-class dramatic actor, so his Academy Award-nominated performance here comes as no surprise. Clark, a veteran of some two dozen B-movies in the UK and the previous year's "Finian's Rainbow," is absolutely luminous as the music hall soubrette who forsakes a theatrical career in favor of life as a schoolmaster's wife. Her golden voice enriches her songs and almost allows us to overlook how insipid most of them are, and she more than matches O'Toole in their dramatic scenes together. The chemistry between the two is palpable and leaves us with no doubt that this is a couple very much in love.

This version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" is no classic like its predecessor, but hardly the disaster many critics described when it was released. Ignore the score, concentrate on the performances, and revel in the atmosphere Ross has put on the screen. It's a pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon with someone you love.
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A memorable piece of movie nostalgia!
rothwellstudios10 April 2000
MGM produced this beautiful film at a genuine British Public School and I think anyone who attended one of those institutions during the 1940s or 50s will agree that the mood and authenticity of the film is spot on! Peter O'Toole's performance in the title role is extremely moving and Petula Clark is an unexpected choice for "Mrs Chipping" but she is first rate in the part. I note that some commentators were unimpressed with the Leslie Bricusse score. Well, all I can say is that I wore out my vinyl LP copy within one month of buying it when the film was first released. Incidentally, a short version of the film was released on 16 millimetre film in the UK with virtually EVERY song cut out and it was just awful without the music. But the full musical version is a delight.
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Great Story, Great Music
jvp33320 July 2006
I saw this film when it first came out, and didn't know what to expect exactly. What followed the Overture was one of the most pleasurable filmgoing experiences I have ever had. A lush score of songs and music by Britisher Leslie Bricusse (of Doctor Doolittle & Wilie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory fame as well as making his mark on the Broadway musical scene), and scored by the incomparable John Williams. There's not a bad song in the entire film. Plus some of the most exquisite cinematography, costume design and filming locations I have ever seen in one film. Not to mention the Academy Award nominated performance by Peter O'Toole, and the equally strong performance, in my opinion, by the wonderful Petula Clark. Now, given that Peter is not the same caliber a singer that Petula is, he still manages to sell his songs to the audience, and that, after all, is what it is all about. This is a faithful adaptation of the excellent book by James Hilton, and deserves to be treasured for generations to come. I recommend this film for family viewing, though most men will consider this a 'chick' flick. But if you like a truly great film musical, then this film is for you. But be warned that a standby box of Kleenex is just as important as popcorn for your viewing pleasure.
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High quality and very entertaining, a true "love story".
epippin-16 September 2004
I enjoyed the movie and the story immensely! I have seen the original(1939 I believe) and enjoyed them both. To really appreciate the story one must be familiar with English culture and customs. The prof.(Peter O'Toole) was dedicated to his school and "the boys" in that school. It was an English "public" school, which we in the U.S. refer to as a private school (E.G. Andover). He is a very ascetic person and, on the surface, gives the appearance of being stiff, stuffy, uncaring, and weak to the point of being effeminate. He is strict in his educational standards because he DOES care for "his lads", i.e., he doesn't want them to get a cheap or weak education. He meets(through introduction) a "dance hall girl"(Petula Clark) and is totally smitten. In England at the time, the reference to "dance hall" carried the connotation of extreme sexual promiscuity and was definitely "lower class". We find that the Prof. is in fact a very tough and courageous person as well as loyal to people and institutions that he loves and/or respects. Clark becomes more than a lover and wife...she "leavens" his personality and allows him to grow as a man and a person, much to the benefit of his beloved school and his own happiness. The first movie was set BEFORE WW II, this one goes through WW II, also, it is 1969( we've had the "British Invasion"...Beetles, etc. Clark had hits and was very popular then...still is to me), the music is great, color and photography excellent. I think O'Toole played the character perfectly! There ARE dedicated people like "Chips"...all around us but many do not receive the recognition. Very enjoyable movie and story!
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My cup of tea: the pairing of O'Toole and Clark in director Herbert Ross' 1969 musical adaptation of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"
ruby_fff20 March 2005
Caught this 1969 film on cable TCM one night. I remember when I first saw the film in Hong Kong, I really enjoyed the songs and performances by Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark. I love Clark best in Francis Ford Coppola's "Finian's Rainbow" (1968) opposite Fred Astaire, Don Francks and Tommy Steele. Simply ecstatic to learn that finally, this delightful Irish-flavored pot of gold musical is released on DVD! Ah, "it's that old devil moon (in your eyes)."

Peter O'Toole as Mr. Chips - yes, he did sing - quite a deliverance. He may not be a veteran at musical like Rex Harrison, but he inhabited the role marvelously. The scene of him running across the lawn in his cape a-flying reminds me of the PBS series, "To Serve Them All My Days" - a lovable schoolmaster and loving man, he is, 'Mr. Chipey.' Clark and O'Toole somehow gave us just the right mix of spunk and circumstance. The songs and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse are catchy as usual. The tunes of "You and I" and "Walk Through the World (with Me)" stayed with me the most all these years. And there's "What a Lot of Flowers," "And the Sky Smiled," "Fill the World with Love" - not syrupy at all. Sometimes I think if the world is immersed in Bricusse's songs and words, we would overcome all strife on earth and 'lovely' will be all our days! Yes, "Talk to the Animals," too. ("Doctor Doolittle" 1967)

Musicals are a blessing to the world of moviegoers, they are somehow larger than life. Like the music and lyrics by the Sherman Brothers (Richard M. and Robert B.) who gave us "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (1968) and "Mary Poppins" (1964) - who wouldn't feel absolutely delighted simply uttering "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"? I was tickled by even just one featured song & dance number in the Spanish film "Km.0 - Kilometer Zero" (2000). My all time favorite is French filmmaker Jacques Demy's "Young Girls of Rochefort" (1967) with colorful cast of Catherine Deneuve and (late sister) Francoise Dorléac, Jacques Perrin, Michel Piccoli, Danielle Darrieux, Gene Kelly and George Chakiris singing, dancing to Michel Legrand's music. Long live musicals.
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Wonderful and unjustly neglected film
christophernash2902 March 2013
Arthur Chipping is a 40 something Latin master in an English public school circa 1924. He's respected, but not particularly liked. He's seen as dull, hence his nickname: Ditchy, as in ditch water, dull as. The one person who seems to see beyond Chipping's exterior is his friend Max Staefel, the German master. One of his ex pupils takes him to a musical show which features the singer Katherine Bridges, and he meets this young lady again on holiday in Pompeii. Against all odds, they achieve a rapport, and thanks to Max, who memorises the address for him, they meet up in London and fall in love. They marry and the effect on Chipping is remarkable - his buried humanity is unlocked and the boys begin to love as well as respect the man they now affectionately call Chips.

Chips and Kathy have a blissful 20 years together until tragedy strikes in the form of World War II.

Often dismissed as inferior to the classic 1939 version with Robert Donat, this musical from 1969 with Peter O'Toole as Chips and Petula Clarke as Kathy, will always be THE version for me. I first saw it at the cinema on original release and although at the age of 8 I was vaguely aware that it was a film for adults, and some of it was above my ability to comprehend, I fell in love with it. I haven't fallen out of love since. As a matter of fact, when I saw the Donat version on TV shortly after seeing this, it struck me as a pale shadow of the O'Toole movie. I've learnt to respect and admire the original film, but it has never been able to engage my emotions as the O'Toole version does.

Peter O'Toole is brilliant as Chips, his awkwardness, embarrassment and growing self confidence and his all consuming love for Kathy and his care for the boys he teaches is enchantingly portrayed. The scene in which he reacts to the tragedy that World War II brings is incredibly powerful and moving. He really does look like a man whose whole life has crumbled around him.

True, it does make a number of radical changes to the original novel, but this doesn't matter - it works on it's own merits. Never mind the trendy critics of the day, treat yourself to a wonderful two and a half hours of pure magic.
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Can't top the original...but better than I thought..
olddiscs4 August 2003
Yes 1939/Robert Donat-Greer Garson version was the best...Perfection..Donat won the Oscar in a very tough year..Gable in GWTW & James Stewart as Mr. Smith. were 2 of his competitors. .wow was that a rough year.. Most critics in NY hated this version. so.didnt see in theatre! Finally saw this A.M. on TCM & enjoyed..Peter O'Toole was excellent & glad he was Oscar nominated for this,,& esp pleased Oscar finally gave him a special award this past year... Petula Clark was good as Mrs. Chips but her character,i feel was poorly written...Some good songs esp. You & I... sung by Ms.Clark & later recorded by many others including T.Bennett/S. Bassey & Carmen MacRae.... the b&w version was more authentic.. but this is a good film beautifully photographed in color & panavision... enjoyable worth seeing & Bravo, again, Mr. O'Toole!
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Peter O'Toole's performance is reason enough to see this film!
gitrich30 October 1998
Peter O'Toole, one of our finest actors, is magnificent as a reserved school master who is dedicated to teaching young boys. He meets a show girl and falls in love. The story is one of love and devotion. Petula Clark adds spirit and sensitivity, not too mention a remarkable voice. You will enjoy this film even though the ending might not be a happy one. I enjoyed it.
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Jolly Good Show
wright77007 October 2005
Watch this movie for the performance of Peter O'Toole alone. Clearly, this was a strong effort even when compared to his other triumphs: Lion in Winter, Lawrence of Arabia. I feel that his Mr. Chips exists a little in all of us. Again, O'Toole should have gotten that Oscar for this one too. Can't the academy ever get it right? On other fronts, I would agree with many other reviewers that this version would do better overall as a drama and NOT as a musical. While the songs were okay and clearly not offensive, they really didn't add anything here. The movie could have been 30+ minutes shorter and given even greater impact without them. Petula Clark was also excellent here, and it's a shame that she chose not to do more film roles. At any rate, this is worth a look for O'Toole and the fantastic English countryside as well as sites in Italy and Greece.
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Hail Rattigan
marcslope19 June 2012
Terrence Rattigan, who authored this screenplay at a time when he was out of fashion (and he still is), did a wonderful job renovating and updating James Hilton's sentimental novel, and his screenplay, and the playing of Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark, save the movie. Rattigan emphasizes the love story and carefully shows how Chipping, seemingly stiff and unemotional, has great reservoirs of tenderness and gallantry. It's a love story of two very different people who not only complement one another but bring out unforeseen qualities in each other: She teaches him to care, and he teaches her to function outside her shallow theatrical surroundings. O'Toole is as touching as Robert Donat in the original, and Clark, with less to play, is lovely and sympathetic and in superb voice. Of course, most of Leslie Bricusse's songs are dreadful, and O'Toole's no singer, and the internal-dialog nature of most of them (they don't advance plot, they don't define character, they just tell you what the protagonists are thinking) slows the action down. But with Rattigan's excellent touches, a splendidly showy supporting performance by Sian Phillips (then Mrs. O'Toole), and some eye-filling Oswald Morris photography, it's a love story you can weep copiously through--I know I did--and have a wonderful time doing so.
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Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark and company shine in this film
jeepsdude26 July 2008
I first saw this in the theater in 1969 when I was 9 and immediately fell in love with it. I'm sad that Sony has not seen fit to release this on DVD ("but one day, one day..."). I recently obtained a VHS copy of this on eBay and sat down to watch it 39 years later. I'm happy to report it still stands the test of time. The acting is spot-on, John Williams' orchestrations are lush and Leslie Bricusse's songs memorable ("When I Am Older," "You and I," "Fill the World With Love," "London Is London" are just a few of the standouts. And not enough can be said about Peter O' Toole, Petula Clarke, Michael Redgrave and Michael Bryant's acting. Terence Rattigan deserves an A+ for his update of the James Hilton story. There really is nothing not to like about this film. It's a good cheer-me-up selection. Glad they have released the original soundtrack as a three-CD set with lots of extras. Wish Sony would hurry up and do the same with the film.
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Acting 10, movie 5
Joel I22 November 1999
This re-make is worth seeing for the amazing performance by Peter O'Toole in the title role. He is the equal of Robert Donat who won an Oscar for the original version (beating out Clark Gable's Rhett Butler, no less). Unfortunately, in order to see this performance, you're going to have to sit through some of the worst songs ever written for the screen (yes, it's a musical re-make -- bad decision, but musicals were big in the post-"Sound of Music" 60's). The songs sabotage this touching story of a quiet English schoolmaster through the years. But O'Toole is amazing; it may be his best performance on film. He does an especially good job of "aging" his character, and with a minimum of makeup. Petula Clark is surprisingly good as the extroverted wife who brings Chips out of his shell, and Sian Phillips is unforgettable as Ursula Mossbank, an eccentric friend, even if the character seems to belong in a different movie. This is an ideal movie to watch on videotape. Savor the performances and fast forward through those wretched songs!
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I wish all teachers were like this!
gilligan196528 May 2015
This movie is an example of how and by whom children, world-wide, should be taught to act when in the presence of authority; and, how people of respect, like Mr. Chips, should be respected.

I don't believe that most people nowadays would even understand a movie like this; and, the youth of today would most likely laugh at it as they're taught few manners and believe that they can go around acting as they please in any company they may find themselves in, as, there are never any consequences.

Mr. Chips earned every bit of respect he was shown; but, in order to be respected, one must be around those who were taught respect.

This is a really great movie about a really great man who was devoted to his profession.
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what a lot of followers!
ptb-810 March 2013
I first saw this 1969 remake of GOODBYE MR CHIPS on a double feature with HOT MILLIONS... and CHIPS had been edited down from 150 minutes to 109 minutes by the local Australian MGM distributor, itself about to be edited out of business. People in the cinema were audibly aghast when they realised the film was cut as I presume they had seen the full version in first release 6 months prior. Now that I have finally seen the proper version running 155 minutes on Australian TV as it was yesterday afternoon, I can agree that any cutting of this glorious romantic drama is vandalism. GOODBYE MR CHIPS is MGM craftsmanship in it's sunset years, all perfectly realised and sophisticated, presented majestically and for most satisfying for mature tastes. In 1970 there seemed to be a crazed corporate fad for trimming musicals down to pretend they are not musicals, thus crippling the reason why they were made in the first place and thus irritating the very audience they were intended for. STAR was cut from 180 to 120 mins, THE BOYFRIEND cut from 135 to 109 mins and CHIPS was hacked and ruined. The casting in this 1969 remake is perfect, the script witty and warm, the art direction and set design and costumes lavish MGM standard. However, the weak songs to allow critics to really be cruel. CHIPS 1969 has a lot in common with THE YELLOW ROLLS ROYCE and STAR so if you love the MGM British 60s you are in for a treat. I loved it and recommend it highly.
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Chips Of Brookfield
bkoganbing21 April 2011
Although MGM spent a lot of money to remake Goodbye Mr. Chips the film is good, but doesn't come close to the spirit of the classic version that got Robert Donat an Oscar amidst the shower of Oscars that Gone With The Wind got in 1939. Yet the best thing this film has going for it is Peter O'Toole cast against type as Mr. Chipping of Brookfield school.

Two things were radically different from this and the Donat version. First the book by James Hilton and the Donat version cover a period from before the Boer War until after World War I. This Goodbye Mr. Chips starts in The Roaring Twenties and ends post World War II a totally different period than the one Hilton was writing about. James Hilton was 14 years gone when this film came out, I wonder what he would have thought of the change in time period.

Secondly the marriage of Chips is a small part of the original story because the character of the wife dies young and in childbirth. Chips is a saddened widower for most the time the story covers which is a very radical change that Terrence Rattigan made to the original story.

Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark have a great deal more time together than Robert Donat and Greer Garson did in the original film. I guess the reason for that is to give Petula Clark a lot of songs. As she's a singer and O'Toole does his songs in the manner originated by Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady, this is one area where she blows him off the screen. The best numbers in the score by Leslie Bricusse are the production numbers London Is London and later on the one that Petula does with the Brookfield boys, School Days.

Michael Redgrave has a nice turn as the kind, but somewhat traditional schoolmaster. And although she only has a few scenes, Sian Phillips is brilliant as the Bohemian type actress who is a friend of Petula Clark's and a closer friend to Lord George Baker who is trying to get O'Toole sacked from Brookfield. Phillips's character might well have been based on Gertrude Lawrence.

When James Hilton wrote his best known stories Hollywood was fortunate to have a pair of actors who were born to play Hilton heroes, Robert Donat and Ronald Colman. They both exemplify the way the British see themselves, purveyors of civilization, sportsmanship, and fair play to the world. Despite the uphill battle to come close to what Donat gave us with his Mr. Chips, O'Toole did get a nomination for Best Actor, but lost to John Wayne for True Grit. Goodbye Mr. Chips also got a nomination for Best Musical Scoring for Leslie Bricusse and John Williams.

We may yet see another big screen adaption of Goodbye Mr. Chips and maybe this one will be set in modern times if such a film could be made. Sounds like a perfect part for Anthony Hopkins.
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What's not to love?
benovite16 March 2009
I wish I was first exposed to this in a movie theater when it was first released, as some of the commentors had been. It really is a treasure. To be fair I have not seen any other version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips and neither do I want to. To me this stands as a perfect version. I first saw it on TCM years ago and never forgot it. I had the pleasure of watching it with my girlfriend yesterday, although I had recorded it from TCM days earlier. There were portions of the movie in which both of us were teary-eyed, it really is a moving movie.

And shouldn't that be what movies are all about?

The music is beautiful, the film was shot wonderfully. The acting is top notch. And the story is delicate and timeless.

One of my favorite movies of all-time.
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Makes you wanna go back to school
adrianeverett746 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Peter O'Toole is Arthur Chipping a Latin Teacher with strict adherence to detail and thoroughness in helping young minds grasp the meaning and definition of Latin words and phrases. He is seen as being cold and unfair and not in touch with the times. But upon meeting Stage Actress Singer Katherine Briskit (Petula Clark) not only at a late supper after a performance of London is London but at an Amphitheater in Greece his closed minded world starts to open up.

Goodbye Mr. Chips is an MGM musical remake of the 1939 movie also from MGM. During this time musicals were out and the Hollywood studio system was in total shambles. When it premiered in New York Los Angeles and London the musical numbers were left intact but when it came to the local main street theaters world wide it was sans songs therefore making the movie shorter and gaped to the max.

Thanks to MGM/UA Home Video under Ted Turner in the late 1980's early 1990's when VHS and Laser Disc were the main home video formats of choice the musical numbers were re-instituted and the gaps closed. Laserdisc though was the only format chosen to view Goodbye Mr. Chips in the Widescreen Letterbox Format.

For awhile now the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was only available on the original out of print Vinyl and Cassette Tape and can still be found today on Ebay.

Thanks to the wonderful people at Film Score in 2006 the soundtrack has been digitally remastered and remixed into a 3 CD set featuring the completely reconstructed score, the original 1969 general release album score, and narrated sequences source music and interviews a plenty. You also get 1 unused song which is a real lost gem, "Tomorrow with Me" by Petula Clark which would have been chosen in place of "You and I" before hand.

This movie is both a classic musical and a real tribute to educators everywhere. I most certainly would buy this movie if Warner Bros. MGM and Sony would put their money where there mouth is and get this film restored from all master film sources and put it on both DVD and Blu Ray with all the bells and whistles put back into place with all the extras you can find and stuff into a release.
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No chemistry, excruciating songs
InigoDeMontoya27 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After Peter O'Toole's death, I read his obituary wherein it was noted that he received an Oscar nomination for his performance in this film. As he's one of my favorite actors, I felt compelled to acquire the DVD, expecting a treat.

O'Toole's performance is good, though in my book not in the same league as "Lawrence of Arabia," "A Lion in Winter," "The Stuntman," or even "My Favorite Year." But there is absolutely no chemistry between Petula Clark and him and many scenes are played as if they are merely blocking them. Furthermore, what in God's name possessed anyone to make a musical of this? (Fair Disclosure: I've never seen the 1939 original with Greer Garson but it's *got* to be better.) The music is insipid but the lyrics are excruciating...whoever wrote them should spend time in the Lyubianka.

I was stunned to read some of the other reviews on this site. Did we all watch the same film?
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A Ghastly remake of a Great Film
aemilg3 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
We were TERRIBLY disappointed in this awful remake of one of the best movies ever made. Its sole redeeming feature was the performance of Peter O'Toole as Chips. He deserved the Oscar (as much as Robert Donat did in the 1939 film), but even he could not feel bad about the nod going to John Wayne in True Grit. In fact, O'Toole's performance makes us want to look into more of his work. He was great in this film.

First, the G rating is way off. It should have been R for nudity and language. Why they ever thought that swearing and gratuitous nudity of young boys was worthy of inclusion in this wonderful story entirely escapes us. It is strange that the inclusion of nude children was acceptable in films of that time. It certainly would land filmmakers in prison today. This is child porn. Oddly, another film of that era which included the full frontal nudity of a young teenage girl also got a G rating. We won't mention the name of that film for we do not desire to promote child porn. Petula Clarke was a very strange choice of an "actress" to play Katherine. Audrey Hepburn would have been a natural in the role, but NOT in the rewritten part that was butchered in this dismal rewrite. Why they ever rewrote the part of Katherine as a floozy is also immensely puzzling. In the James Hilton book and in the 1939 film which was very true to the book, Katherine was EXACTLY the match for Chips, a perfect pairing. She was classy and elegant. She NEVER embarrassed Mr. Chips. He would NEVER be attracted to such a cockney, low class woman of loose morals as he was shown to do in this terribly rewritten piece of garbage. If you like good, clean movies, by all means, watch the original film from 30 years earlier. The 1969 movie really could have been great had the writers stuck to the book's story. With a script true to the book, a classy actress like Audrey Hepburn as Katherine, the totally unnecessary nudity and the horrible language removed, this film could have been a worthy remake that we could lovingly embrace as we do the 1939 film. We have come to the conclusion that we shall never watch a remake again. They are nearly always worse than the original. We do not wish to give the impression that we don't like Petula Clarke. We do like her. "Downtown" or "Don't Sleep in the Subway Darlin", THAT is vintage Pet Clarke. She is just not a convincing Katherine. Imagine Ethel Merman or Carol Channing as Maria instead of Julie Andrews in the great film, "The Sound of Music". It doesn't work, does it? Pet Clarke does not work as Katherine in "Good Bye Mr. Chips" either. This film is useful only as a study on Peter O' Toole. He was great, this film otherwise rates as a dismal stinker.
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I love Goodbye Mr. Chips
Cherrylite4 September 2006
Peter O'Toole gives a brilliant performance in this movie. I have seen the original version with Robert Donat and I much prefer Peter O'Toole's performance and the movie in general even though it is a musical. I've really never seen anything that Mr. O'Toole is in that I don't like. He is a brilliant actor, multi-talented, giving performances full of passion and depth. Petula Clark also gave a surprisingly good performance and was perfect for the part. It is an all-around heartwarming movie, full of tenderness and bittersweet fun. I will always remember (in para-phrase) the line where Mr. Chips regrets he has never given her children, and she replies, "Of course you have, hundreds of them -- all boys." Thank you for the opportunity to vote for this movie and to voice my opinion.
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Bad songs, good film.
gridoon9 January 2001
As a drama, this is absorbing and often powerful; an example of good storytelling. But as a musical it doesn't fare that well, because it's plagued by some lame, inane songs. Maybe the songs should have been omitted and the story would have worked better if it had been approached as a straightforward drama. But despite my complaints, I have to recommend the film because Peter O'Toole's superlative performance is truly a sight to see. He takes a rather stereotypical role (the clumsy intellectual), and makes it moving and intense. Perhaps he should have won the Oscar that year. (**1/2)
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Some stories are NOT meant to be musicals
libertysanders28 May 2015
I first saw this movie while still in high school. There were no DVR's in those days and I was held captive and forced to endure the dreadful, trite musical numbers that degrade the film and reduce it from what COULD have been a first-rate film into a mediocre one. One of the great misconceptions is that if you string together words with a few musical notes that you have music. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Peter O'Toole is excellent, as usual. Any man who can portray T.E. Lawrence and Mr. Chipping with equal facility is an astonishing actor. Petula Clark is adequate when she is not singing.

I am now viewing the film on TCM having recorded it on DVR which allows me to gleefully advance through the unbearable "musical" numbers. It should never be viewed any other way.
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Beautifully realized musical update of classic film
jonnyplex13 April 2006
"Goodbye, Mr. Chips" is a superbly written and photographed musical version of the classic 1939 film. Aside from Peter O'Toole's wonderfully controlled, understated performance as the pedantic schoolmaster who finds love and is changed by it, the film contains hundreds of stunning visuals, from Grecian ruins to London side streets to an extended countryside montage. The music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse have been criticized as being dull or not-up-to par for film musicals, but they are used to enhance the story rather than tell it. Many songs are used to underscore montages or scenes; the few that don't are relegated to "show biz" numbers. In this manner, the songs do not intrude upon this delicate story but heighten what the characters are thinking or feeling. "Where Did My Childhood Go?", "Walk Through the World With Me", and "You and I" are especially effective. An absorbing, brilliantly acted, directed and written film.
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