I am velvety-smoothReview is BELOWI am veltely smooth, too
DVD: Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939)
Review Rating:   Standard  
...back to Index
Warner Bros 
Catalog #:
...or start from scratch
1 (NTSC)

February 3, 2004



Genre: Drama  
A teacher and former headmaster of a British boy's school recalls his life, love, and students that became his extended family.



Directed by:

Sam Wood
Screenplay by: Claudine West,  Eric Maschwitz,  R.C. Sherriff
Music by: Richard Addinsell
Produced by: Sam Wood

Robert Donat,  Greer Garson,  Terry Kilburn,  John Mills,  Paul Henreid,  Judith Furse,  Lyn Harding,  Milton Rosmer,  Frederick Leister,  Louise Hampton,  Austin Trevor

Film Length: 115 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.33 :1
Black & White
Anamorphic DVD: No
Languages:   English (Mono),  French (Mono) / English,  French,  Spanish Subtitles
Special Features :  


Comments :

“Goodbye Mr. Chips” won an Academy Award for Best Lead Actor Robert Donat and was nominated in six other categories.

Robert Donat's ‘Chips' may seem a bit melodramatic today, but the nuances of his performances as a man aging from twentysomething straight into frail old age are still quite remarkable – one of the reasons his work endures, in spite of appearing in comparatively few films over a lengthy career.

Based on the popular novel by James Hilton, “Goodbye Mr. Chips” is a highly romanticized tribute to the English boys school system, with the titular ‘Chips' functioning as an amalgam of every good professorial attribute: kindness, generosity, strictness for the good of character building, and an unwavering sense of fairness, as ‘the old ways' are cast aside by newer headmasters, and the world's morals slither down the drain.

The film's screenplay is very mannered, and ‘Chips' remains for the most part an over-humble, intimately shy creature (which makes this slice of Anglophilia ripe for parody), and yet key scenes still bristle with power. The brief romance between Donat and Greer Garson (in her feature film debut) is a bittersweet emotional ascension, placing the two lost souls on a misty mountain (a rather Hiltonian trait that recalls the author's mountain mythology hoodoo in “Lost Horizon”), and their waltz in Vienna is a great moment where the shy boy finally steps out from his grey shadow.

Boasting an early screen appearance by John Mills and a lively performance from Paul Henreid, the film also uses a very odd conceit to illustrate Chips' historical anchorage to the community: the next generation of attendant sons are played by the same actors; so while Chips ages, his character remains as resilient as the school's place in building men for a better community. Using a WW I episode later in the film, it's clear “Goodbye Mr. Chips” also functioned as a morale booster not only for England, but the colonies subsequently drafted into the WW II effort.

Photographed by Freddie Young, the source print has some visible wear around the reel changes, but the transfer maintains excellent depth, and shows little compression during mist-enshrouded scenes. The mono soundtrack remains relatively clear, and Richard Addinsell's score is a major highlight of MGM's prestige production.

Melodrama notwithstanding, James Hilton's novel was revisited in a 1969 musical version starring Peter O'Toole, and a pair of TV productions.


© 2004 Mark R. Hasan

_IMDB Entry________Script Online _________Fan/Official Film site________Cast/Crew Link
_IMDB Detailed Entry_______Scripts available online ________Fan/Official Film Site__________Additional Related Sites
____Amazon.com __________Amazon.ca _________Bay Street Video_______Comparisons_
__Amazon.com info____Amazon.com info____Basy Street Video info______Compare Different Region releases_
_Soundtrack CD__________CD Review__________LP Review__________Composer Filmog.
Soundtrack Album_________Soundtrack Review_______Yes, VINYL_________Composer Filmography/Discography at Soundtrack Collector.com

Site designed for 1024 x 768 resolution, using 16M colours, and optimized for MS Explorer 6.0. KQEK Logo and All Original KQEK Art, Interviews, Profiles, and Reviews Copyright © 2001-Present by Mark R. Hasan. All Rights Reserved. Additional Review Content by Contributors 2001-Present used by Permission of Authors. Additional Art Copyrighted by Respective Owners. Reproduction of any Original KQEK Content Requires Written Permission from Copyright Holder and/or Author. Links to non-KQEK sites have been included for your convenience; KQEK is not responsible for their content nor their possible use of any pop-ups, cookies, or information gathering.