GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (NR, 115 min., B&W, MGM, July 28, 1939)
There are a lot of great movies that would qualify for a Back To School Edition of Movie Monday — some fun, some solemn, some sweet, some irreverent, some pretty dark. But surely the progenitor of the fully formed school-based movie genre is this 1939 classic, GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS. Robert Donat won the Best Actor Oscar in that year that is commonly referred to as the greatest year in movies – at least of the Golden Age. Greer Garson had held out for her first role in a Hollywood film – wanting it to be a memorable one. For her patience she was rewarded with the role that earned her an Oscar nomination.
The movie was shot in England at a time MGM was trying to shore up its European business as Germany and Italy were gearing up for war and buying less movies from the U.S. The fragile peace in the world of 1939 was certainly on the mind of CBS radio’s Alexander Woolcott when he reviewed the film thusly:
“In a year in which the great nations of the world are choosing partners for a dance of death, this cavalcade of English youth becomes an almost unbearable reminder of something which in a mad and greedy world may be allowed to perish from the earth. I am here to testify that in my own experience, the most moving of all motion pictures is Goodbye, Mr. Chips.”
Director: Sam Wood, Writers: R.C. Sherriff (Screenplay), Claudine West (Screenplay), Eric Maschitz (Screenplay), James Hilton (Novel) Producer: Sam Wood, Cinematographer: Freddie Young, Composer: Richard Addinsell, Editor: Charles Frend
CAST: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills, Paul Henreid, Judith Furse
Watched on DVD from Warner Home Video
*Most Mondays I watch a classic or historically significant movie that falls into one of these categories: 1) Have never seen it, or 2) Have never seen it uncut, or 3) Have only seen it once, or 4) Haven’t seen it in a very long time.
Some information from: IMDb Pro, BoxOfficeMojo