Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Goodbye Mr Chips|
Actors: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills, Paul Henreid
Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family
AN AGED TEACHER AND FORMER HEADMASTER OF A BOARDING SCHOOLRECALLS HIS CAREER AND HIS PERSONAL LIFE OVER THE DECADES.
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Tries to do so much, but...
Andrew Ellington | I'm kind of everywhere | 06/23/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"`Goodbye, Mr. Chips' is a sweet and heartfelt film. It is designed to make your heart swell and get the tear ducts working, and for the most part it succeeds. It has a slew of delightful performances (the standout being Greer Garson) as well as a familiar yet always engaging plot.
Still, something is missing here.
In telling the story about a teacher at a boarding school, this film falls short in an area I find very important; details. The main focus of the film is of Mr. Chips and his impact on the school where he teaches. The film opens at the end so-to-speak, with Chips tired and reflecting on his life. Told in flashbacks, the film takes us back to his first day at the school and the way the boy's behavior caused him to become slightly rigid and lose their favor. We are then introduced to the beautiful Katherine, who becomes his wife. We then move his later years where he is nearly forced to retire all the way to the point where he deems it necessary to retire, only to be drawn back in again before, well, `the end'.
I know that some are going to have a major issue with what I'm about to say, but it has to be said; this film jumps around by such large margins that it becomes rather hollow. We lose nearly all of the character development. To be honest, I have NO idea why Mr. Chips made such an impact on his students. One minute they hate him, then he has them over for tea and they love him. There are maybe TWO scenes where he even has any real interaction with his students. To tell you the truth, I don't even know who Mr. Chips really was.
The film tries to tell so much that it winds up telling us very little.
I know that this is (obviously) an uncommon opinion, but if you read my reviews then you know that I'm always honest to my own personal viewpoint. This isn't to say that I didn't `like' this film, because I did; to an extent. The performances were delightful (I even found Terry Kilburn's multi-faceted performance to be a great `child' performance considering the time, although I will say that the film didn't flesh out his relationship with Chips nearly enough) and the films overall appeal is that of `charm', but it lacks the depth it was trying to establish.
Greer Garson (who really should have been in the supporting category at that year's Oscars) is a stunning force in this film. She reminded me of Kate Winslet, which is always a good thing. She understood her characters subtle sensuality, and that cheeky independence that is so becoming. Her first scene alone is the films biggest highlight. In fact, her character is probably the most fleshed out of them all, and it's all in the way she handles her character's scenes (for she doesn't have very many).
In the end, I certainly recommend this film. It is delightful and sweet and will probably bring a tear to your eyes. I just expected more (and I don't think what I expected was too much to deliver)."