Thursday, September 29, 2011

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939).

A British film based on the novel of the same name by James Hilton. It was directed by Sam Wood. Cast: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills, and Paul Henreid.

The movie begins when 83 year-old Mr. Chipping, a retired schoolteacher stays home because he is feeling under the weather and he falls asleep and his life is shown in a flashback dream:

When young Charles Chipping, first arrives to teach Latin to the Brookfield students, he becomes a target to their practical jokes. He becomes a strict disciplinarian as a result, making him respected, but not very well liked and he worries about his future as a teacher. His friend German teacher, Max Staefel, invites him to vacation with him in Austria. While hiking on the mountain, Chipping "rescues" Kathy Ellis, while she is out riding her bike.

They meet again in Vienna and dance to the Blue Danube Waltz. Max shares with her that the Danube River appears blue, only to those who are in love. As Chipping looks at the river, he notices that it is blue. They marry and return to England, where Kathy becomes well liked by everyone. During their very short marriage, she dies in childbirth, along with their baby. As the years pass, Chips becomes a much loved teacher, with several generations of students. Chips, retires at age 65, but is asked to fill in as headmaster, because of the shortage of teachers during World War I. He remembers his wife Kathy's prediction, that he would become headmaster one day. During a bombing attack by a Germans, Chips and the boys keep on working on their studies.

Now.. on his deathbed he overhears the men talking about him not having any children. He tells them, " I have thousands of them ... thousands of them ... and all boys."

She received her first Oscar nomination for the role in this film, but lost to Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind.

Greer Garson is wonderful as always in her role as the intelligent, free spirit "Mrs. Chips". The film is charming and sentimental and you certainly will need a box of Kleenex while watching this amazing film.

Lyn Harding (12 October 1867 – 26 December 1952). Was a Welsh actor who spent 40 years on the stage before performing in British silent films, talkies and radio. He had an imposing and menacing stage presence and was cast as the villain in many films, notably Professor Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes stories.

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