"Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark shine in this vastly underrated 1969 musical adaptation of James Hilton's classic novel. Beautifully directed by Herbert Ross, this film deserves to be restored to its 70MM / 6 track stereophonic glory and released in theaters and on widescreen DVD.
This is a heart-warming film for the entire family. Some would argue the acting isn't great, O'Toole can't sing and Robert Donat was better in the 1939 original. They miss the point. This film has a soul. It has grace, charm, warmth, music and is in a class of its own. I didn't expect to like this film and its songs -- but I do. Leslie Bricusse and John Williams won the Oscar for Best Music, Score of a Musical Picture (Original or Adaptation) and picked up the Golden Globe as well. O'Toole was nominated for, but did not win, the Oscar that year. However he did win the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy and the NBR Best Actor Award for this film. And Petula Clark sings beautifully!
Please, whoever holds the film rights (MGM or Warner), give us O'Toole and Clark in this wonderful, heart-warming film, both on DVD and CD. Delightful film. Highly recommended!
January 27, 2009 UPDATE: See: ASIN: B00005JO3W. The restored film was released on DVD in its original widescreen format and 5.1 surround sound. Yes!"
"Chips" is glorious!
R. L. Pulliam | Oakland, CA USA | 09/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Goodbye, Mr. Chips" was a huge surprise to me when I first saw it in 1969. I had read the reviews (but most critics panned musicals no matter how much they really enjoyed them). I hadn't read anything that credited the tremendous quality lavished on every component of the film. Peter O'Toole, whose performance was singled out by most critics, is startlingly wonderful as the shy, yet intensely interesting Mr. Chippings. Petula Clark is totally luminous as Katherine. It was a wonderful follow-up role to her stunning debut in "Finian's Rainbow". We are most unfortunate that we never got more of her musical talents on film.
The music is stunning. You just don't hear music arranged/orchestrated like this any more. Most of the lyrics are simplistic, and often quite funny, but I think they all are endearing and enduring. I have friends who love this film as much as I. Whenever one of us is ready for another look (via the widescreen MGM laserdisc...not YET available on DVD, drat it!) we usually let the others know by quoting the lyrics to "London is London" (can there be any doubt about it?).
This film stands up much better than most film musicals of the era. For sheer entertainment value and an emotional wallop, it's nearly in a class by itself. O'Toole's then-wife, Sian Phillips, has one of the most delicious turns in film musical history as a man-mad (and man-eating) vamp.
Anyone who loves musicals will find this among the best they've ever seen.
John Williams adapted and conducted the score. Songs were written by Leslie Bricusse. Williams' adaptation efforts were to take Bricusse's songs and create an underscore that seamlessly blended with the songs and action on the film. He accomplished this with a brilliance we have since become accustomed to. For his magnificent efforts, Williams was nominated for the 1969 Best Scoring (adaptation) Oscar but did NOT win (Lennie Hayton and Lionel Newman won for "Hello, Dolly!""
This Chips Needs to Be on DVD!!
RareRare | 12/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With all the films going on DVD, there is no reason why this musical version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" should be released immediately. There has never been a more sensitive, completely vulnerable performance than that of Peter O'Toole--with a devastating long close-up shot as he says goodbye to his school as he retires. And, I'm sorry, but Petula Clark has just the right theatricality for her role as a West End musical comedy star. Her performance rings much truer than Julie Andrews pale rendering of Gertrude Lawrence in "Star." Finally there's the score which is the epitome of a movie musical score, with "Walk Through the World With Me", "You and I", "What a Bunch of Flowers" and "London" as great examples of cinematic musical numbers. There's even an added treat in the comic turn of Siann Phillips as Tallulah Bankhead wanna be Ursula. How many five star reviews does it take to get MGM to put this "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" on DVD?"
One of the finest musicals we possess
James R. Messenger | Atlanta, Georgia | 12/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It has always been a mystery to me as to the reasons behind the fashionable distaste for the musical version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips." I've never been able to solve the mystery, but it is merely fashionability. The score is one of the most beautiful ever written -- I've listened to it across the span of my entire life from the time it was released in 1969 and have yet to find it anything but extraordinary. The film is a moving depiction of what love is really about and never fails to move me. The performances by both Peter O'Toole (why has Hollywood thought it useful to cheat this great actor of his due with a "real" Oscar -- sheer jealousy?) and Petula Clark are extraordinary. Yet, a strange, and, to me, bizarre cult of disparagement has risen about this film. Don't be fooled by fools who wish to belittle real talent. This is one of the all-time great musicals. Don't miss it."
Terry Foster | UK | 05/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So - the CD soundtrack to this wonderful movie has finally been released. Don't delay, FSM are only producing a few copies of it (and I have one of them!). FSM are to be congratulated on a beautifully produced set of three CDs. Pure magic!
But what about the movie? How many Amazonians have got to write 5-star reviews before the people at MGM, Warner, Turner...or whoever it is...get the message? This film has been the subject of a vitriolic and totally undeserved onslaught from the critics from when it opened. It is, in fact, a beautifully crafted story with performances you only dream about; a tremendous score, breathtakingly arranged and conducted by John Williams and a visually compelling movie.
For goodness sake, get on with it.
We need a decent DVD taken from a restored print. No cuts (we fans know how you have hacked it about in the past) - and please include the overture, entr'acte and exit music. And, while you're about it, a properly restored 70mm theatrical release print...lots of them, please (I live in the UK and am fed up of getting cast offs from the USA)."