Goodbye, Mr. Chips


1h 54m 1939
Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Brief Synopsis

A cold-hearted teacher becomes the school favorite when he's thawed by a beautiful young woman.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jul 28, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 15 May 1939
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
England, United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips! by James Hilton (London, 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 54m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10,227ft (12 reels)

Synopsis

In 1870, Mr. Charles Chipping, an unsophisticated, dour young man, embarks on a teaching career at Brookfield, an English boys school steeped in tradition. Chipping is a kindhearted man who takes pity on a homesick young boy he meets on the train to Brookfield. His initial lack of authority in the classroom, however, results in a chaotic outburst from the boys and a severe reprimand from his headmaster. Determined to stay at Brookfield, Chipping soon becomes a strict disciplinarian, disdained by the boys and looked upon condescendingly by his fellow instructors. As the years pass, Chipping enters middle age with a sad longing to be liked by the boys for whom he has such affection, but he is unable to put aside his stern facade. His lack of rapport with his students has also prevented him from becoming a headmaster, a position for which Chipping has always yearned. One summer, Max Staefel, a German master who is Chipping's only friend, suggests that they take a walking tour of Austria together. During a dense fog, Chipping encounters Katherine Ellis, a modern young Englishwoman who is enchanted by his kindness and old-fashioned manners. Although Chipping falls in love with Kathy, he thinks that their different personalities and ages would make marriage impossible, and she leaves the inn at which they are staying uncertain of his true feelings. When they meet again in Vienna, their love deepens, and just as Kathy is leaving to return to England with her friend Flora, Chipping proposes. At the beginning of the new term at Brookfield, the students and staff are amused by the thought of Chipping's marriage and are shocked to see how attractive and charming Kathy is. With her gentle guidance, "Chips," as she calls him, allows his kind nature to emerge and thereby gains the respect and affection of students and faculty. Although Kathy dies in childbirth, Chips's enduring love for her helps him to maintain his blossomed personality and advance his career. Years later, when an elderly Chips is given notice by a new headmaster who wants to "modernize" the school, the boys, along with their parents, many of whom as students had also grown to love Chips, demand that the headmaster ask Chips to stay on. Several years later, when Chips does retire, he maintains a cottage near the school and continues his closeness with the boys, entertaining them after school and listening to their troubles. When World War I begins and many of the masters enlist in the army, Chips is asked to return to the school and serve as its headmaster, the position for which he and Kathy had wished years before. After the war, Chips returns to retirement, but still stays in close contact with the boys. He dies dreaming of all his past students not long after young Peter Colley III, the youngest of a family of boys whom Chips had taught through the years, waves to him and says "Goodbye, Mr. Chips."

Photo Collections

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Scene Stills
Here are a few scene stills from the 1939 version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters for Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson.

Videos

Movie Clip

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - The Heart Of England Opening and framing as the headmaster (Frederick Leister) provides context and explains the absence of Chipping (Robert Donat, in his Academy Award-winning role), who appears anyway, in his dotage, opening MGM's Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1939, from the James Hilton novella.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Our Cricket Eleven At assembly at a minor English public school, 1870, headmaster Wetherby (Lyn Harding) discovers that his new master Chipping (Robert Donat) has detained his students, thereby ruining the cricket match, Colley (Terry Kilburne) leading the disgruntled, in Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1939.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - You'll Have To Marry Me Setting up by far the best-remembered scene in the picture, infatuated English schoolmaster Chipping (Robert Donat) at a Vienna train station, seeing off Katherine (Greer Garson), whom he met while vacationing in the Alps, Paul Henreid his supportive friend, in MGM's Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1939.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - I'm Not Usually Alone Vacationing stodgy English schoolmaster Chipping (Robert Donat), waiting for the mist to clear in the Austrian Alps, thinks he's heard a distress call, whereupon he meets fellow hiking tourist Katherine, Greer Garson's first scene in her first movie, in MGM's Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1939.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - The New Master Beginning in 1933, 83-year old Chipping (Robert Donat) dozes off and drifts back to 1870, reporting for his first term at Brookfield school, a brief introduction of Terry Kilburne as the eldest in the Colley line, early in Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1939, from the James Hilton novella.

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Jul 28, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 15 May 1939
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
England, United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips! by James Hilton (London, 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 54m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10,227ft (12 reels)

Award Wins

Best Actor

1939
Robert Donat

Award Nominations

Best Actress

1939
Greer Garson

Best Director

1939
Sam Wood

Best Editing

1939
Charles Frend

Best Picture

1939

Best Sound

1939

Best Writing, Screenplay

1940

Articles

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)


MGM invaded England and conquered the hearts of the world when it transferred one of production chief Irving G. Thalberg's last projects to the studio - recently acquired studios in Denham. Although owning a studio in England must have had a special charm for studio head Louis B. Mayer, a renowned Anglophile, the move was purely economic. England operated under a quota system that required a strict balance between British and imported films. By shooting some films in England, MGM could get more of its pictures into the sceptered isle.

Denham had already given MGM two hits in 1938: A Yank at Oxford, starring Robert Taylor as an American student abroad, and The Citadel, with Robert Donat as a young doctor led astray by riches and social prestige. The latter was such a big hit, that Mayer chose Donat over Brian Aherne and Charles Laughton for Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Donat had appeared in American films, but only sporadically, following his international success in Alfred Hitchcock's 1934 The 39 Steps. But ill health had cost him the lead in Captain Blood (1935) while his devotion to the stage led him to refuse other offers. With Goodbye, Mr. Chips, which allowed him to age from 25 to 83, he had the part for which he would always be remembered. It even made him a surprise Oscar® winner in 1939, the year when Gone With the Wind swept the Academy Awards®, and Clark Gable was considered a major contender for Best Actor.

To play Chips' wife, Kathy, MGM needed an actress with just the right combination of gentility and high spirits. Elizabeth Allan, who had played the mother in David Copperfield (1935) was originally considered for the role. Then Rosalind Russell was assigned the female lead in The Citadel, a role first assigned to Allan. The actress sued for breach of contract, effectively ending her Hollywood career.

With no leading lady in mind, director Sam Wood started looking through old screen tests. Then he spotted the test for a beautiful Irish actress Louis B. Mayer had discovered in London. Greer Garson was already on the lot, but had had nothing to do since signing with MGM. She thought she'd soon be headed back to England a total failure, but instead returned as the star of a major motion picture. The film would establish her as MGM's top female star and win her the first of seven Oscar® nominations (she would win in 1942 for another British story, Mrs. Miniver).

Goodbye, Mr. Chips did location shooting at the Repton School, founded in 1557. This was considered such a great honor for the school that students and teachers gave up their summer vacations to appear in crowd scenes and otherwise help out on the production. Their sacrifice was amply rewarded when the film became the biggest hit yet from the Denham studio.

Director: Sam Wood
Producer: Victor Saville
Screenplay: R.C. Sheriff, Claudine West & Eric Maschwitz
Based on the Novel by James Hilton
Cinematography: Freddie A. Young
Art Direction: Alfred Junge
Music: Richard Addinsell
Principle Cast: Robert Donat (Charles Chipping), Greer Garson (Katherine Ellis), Terry Kilburn (John/Peter Colley), John Mills (Peter Colley as a Young Man), Paul Henreid (Max Staefel), Judith Furse (Flora).
BW-115m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video.

by Frank Miller
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

MGM invaded England and conquered the hearts of the world when it transferred one of production chief Irving G. Thalberg's last projects to the studio - recently acquired studios in Denham. Although owning a studio in England must have had a special charm for studio head Louis B. Mayer, a renowned Anglophile, the move was purely economic. England operated under a quota system that required a strict balance between British and imported films. By shooting some films in England, MGM could get more of its pictures into the sceptered isle. Denham had already given MGM two hits in 1938: A Yank at Oxford, starring Robert Taylor as an American student abroad, and The Citadel, with Robert Donat as a young doctor led astray by riches and social prestige. The latter was such a big hit, that Mayer chose Donat over Brian Aherne and Charles Laughton for Goodbye, Mr. Chips. Donat had appeared in American films, but only sporadically, following his international success in Alfred Hitchcock's 1934 The 39 Steps. But ill health had cost him the lead in Captain Blood (1935) while his devotion to the stage led him to refuse other offers. With Goodbye, Mr. Chips, which allowed him to age from 25 to 83, he had the part for which he would always be remembered. It even made him a surprise Oscar® winner in 1939, the year when Gone With the Wind swept the Academy Awards®, and Clark Gable was considered a major contender for Best Actor. To play Chips' wife, Kathy, MGM needed an actress with just the right combination of gentility and high spirits. Elizabeth Allan, who had played the mother in David Copperfield (1935) was originally considered for the role. Then Rosalind Russell was assigned the female lead in The Citadel, a role first assigned to Allan. The actress sued for breach of contract, effectively ending her Hollywood career. With no leading lady in mind, director Sam Wood started looking through old screen tests. Then he spotted the test for a beautiful Irish actress Louis B. Mayer had discovered in London. Greer Garson was already on the lot, but had had nothing to do since signing with MGM. She thought she'd soon be headed back to England a total failure, but instead returned as the star of a major motion picture. The film would establish her as MGM's top female star and win her the first of seven Oscar® nominations (she would win in 1942 for another British story, Mrs. Miniver). Goodbye, Mr. Chips did location shooting at the Repton School, founded in 1557. This was considered such a great honor for the school that students and teachers gave up their summer vacations to appear in crowd scenes and otherwise help out on the production. Their sacrifice was amply rewarded when the film became the biggest hit yet from the Denham studio. Director: Sam Wood Producer: Victor Saville Screenplay: R.C. Sheriff, Claudine West & Eric Maschwitz Based on the Novel by James Hilton Cinematography: Freddie A. Young Art Direction: Alfred Junge Music: Richard Addinsell Principle Cast: Robert Donat (Charles Chipping), Greer Garson (Katherine Ellis), Terry Kilburn (John/Peter Colley), John Mills (Peter Colley as a Young Man), Paul Henreid (Max Staefel), Judith Furse (Flora). BW-115m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video. by Frank Miller

Sir John Mills (1908-2005)


He was arguably the most refined, and versatile of all English film stars in the history of British cinema. Sir John Mills, the Oscar®-winning actor whose film career spanned over 70 years, died on April 23 of natural causes in London. He was 97.

Born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills in Norfolk, England on February 22, 1908. His father was a headmaster of a village school in Suffolk, where Mills was raised. After secondary school, he worked as a clerk in a corn merchant's office while acting in amateur dramatic societies. Ever ambitious, he relocated to London in 1928 to find more work as an actor.

He took tap-dancing lessons and made his stage debut as a chorus boy in The Five O'Clock Girl at the London Hippodrome in 1929. Later that year, he joined an acting troupe that toured India and the Far East with a repertory of modern plays, musical comedies and Shakespeare. It was during this tour when he scored his big break - he was spotted by Noel Coward while in Singapore and promptly taken under the playwright's wing when he returned to London in 1931.

On his return, he starred on the West End (London's Broadway), in Coward's Cavalcade and earned the lead in a production of Charley's Aunt. His song and dance talents came in handy for his film debut, an early British musical-comedy The Midshipmaid (1932). His biggest hits over the next few years would all fall into the genre of light comic-musicals: Britannia of Billingsgate (1933), Royal Cavalcade (1935), and Four Dark Hours(1937). He scored a his first big part as Robert Donat's student in the MGM backed production Mills went on to play Robert Donat's Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). He developed some more heft to his acting credentials that same year when he made his debut at the celebrated Old Vic Theatre as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

He served briefly in the Navy, 1940-41, during World War II before receiving a medical discharge. When Mills returned to the screen, he began a great turn as the atypical sturdy, dignified Englishman ("English without tears" went the popular phrase of the day). He starred as a stalwart lead in a amazing string of hit films: In Which We Serve (1942), We Dive at Dawn (1943), This Happy Breed (1944), The Way to the Stars (1945), and Waterloo Road (1945). Although Mills was ever dependable, they did not show his breakout talents until he starred as Pip in David Lean's gorgeous adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1946). As the young orphan who morphs into a man of wealth and stature, Mills showed the depth as an actor by offering a finely modulated performance.

By the late '40s, Mills was a bona fide star of British films, and over the next decade the strong roles kept coming: as the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott in Scott of the Antarctic (1948); Bassett, the handy man who tries to help a troubled child (the brilliant John Howard Davies) of greedy, neglectful parents in the superb domestic drama The Rocking Horse Winner (1950); an overprotective father who gets trapped in a murder yarn in Mr. Denning Drives North (1952); a fine Willie Mossop in David Lean's Hobson's Choice (1954); an impressive "against-type" performance as a Russian peasant in War and Peace (1956); a sympathetic police inspector coaxing the trust of a juvenile (his daughter Hayley) who knows the facts of a murder case in the underappreciated Tiger Bay (1959); a rowdy Australian sheep shearer in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (also 1959); and arguably his finest performance - a Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for a hard-as-nails army colonel who fears the loss of control over his regiment in Tunes of Glory (1960).

The mid-60s saw an isolated effort as a film director: Gypsy Girl (which starred his other daughter Juliet - who would later find fame on US television in Nanny and the Professor (1970-72); and showed the development of Mills into a charming character actor: the working-class patriarch in the modest comedy The Family Way (starring Hayley as his daughter); and a terrific comic bit as a murderous Lord who tries to kill off his kin for the family inheritance in Bryan Forbes The Wrong Box (all 1966).

By the '70s, his film work slowed considerably, but he was always worth watching: an Oscar winning performance as a mute villager in David Lean¿s study of the Irish troubles Ryan's Daughter (1970); as the influential General Herbert Kitchener Young Winston (1972); and as a driven oil driller in Oklahoma Crude (1973). With the exception of a small role in Sir Richard Attenborough's Ghandi (1982 - where he was credited as Sir John Mills after his knighthood in 1976), and a regrettable cameo in the deplorable Madonna comedy Who's That Girl (1987).

Very little was seen of Mills until recent years, where the most memorable of his appearances included: Old Norway in Hamlet (1996); as the stern chairman opposite Rowan Atkinson in the hit comedy Bean (1997); and - in a daring final role for his proud career - a nonagenarian partygoing cocaine user in Stephen Fry's bawdy social satire Bright Young Things (2003)! Mills is survived by his wife of 64 years, the novelist and playwright Mary Hayley Bell; his daughters, Juliet and Hayley; son, John; and several grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

Sir John Mills (1908-2005)

He was arguably the most refined, and versatile of all English film stars in the history of British cinema. Sir John Mills, the Oscar®-winning actor whose film career spanned over 70 years, died on April 23 of natural causes in London. He was 97. Born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills in Norfolk, England on February 22, 1908. His father was a headmaster of a village school in Suffolk, where Mills was raised. After secondary school, he worked as a clerk in a corn merchant's office while acting in amateur dramatic societies. Ever ambitious, he relocated to London in 1928 to find more work as an actor. He took tap-dancing lessons and made his stage debut as a chorus boy in The Five O'Clock Girl at the London Hippodrome in 1929. Later that year, he joined an acting troupe that toured India and the Far East with a repertory of modern plays, musical comedies and Shakespeare. It was during this tour when he scored his big break - he was spotted by Noel Coward while in Singapore and promptly taken under the playwright's wing when he returned to London in 1931. On his return, he starred on the West End (London's Broadway), in Coward's Cavalcade and earned the lead in a production of Charley's Aunt. His song and dance talents came in handy for his film debut, an early British musical-comedy The Midshipmaid (1932). His biggest hits over the next few years would all fall into the genre of light comic-musicals: Britannia of Billingsgate (1933), Royal Cavalcade (1935), and Four Dark Hours(1937). He scored a his first big part as Robert Donat's student in the MGM backed production Mills went on to play Robert Donat's Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). He developed some more heft to his acting credentials that same year when he made his debut at the celebrated Old Vic Theatre as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He served briefly in the Navy, 1940-41, during World War II before receiving a medical discharge. When Mills returned to the screen, he began a great turn as the atypical sturdy, dignified Englishman ("English without tears" went the popular phrase of the day). He starred as a stalwart lead in a amazing string of hit films: In Which We Serve (1942), We Dive at Dawn (1943), This Happy Breed (1944), The Way to the Stars (1945), and Waterloo Road (1945). Although Mills was ever dependable, they did not show his breakout talents until he starred as Pip in David Lean's gorgeous adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1946). As the young orphan who morphs into a man of wealth and stature, Mills showed the depth as an actor by offering a finely modulated performance. By the late '40s, Mills was a bona fide star of British films, and over the next decade the strong roles kept coming: as the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott in Scott of the Antarctic (1948); Bassett, the handy man who tries to help a troubled child (the brilliant John Howard Davies) of greedy, neglectful parents in the superb domestic drama The Rocking Horse Winner (1950); an overprotective father who gets trapped in a murder yarn in Mr. Denning Drives North (1952); a fine Willie Mossop in David Lean's Hobson's Choice (1954); an impressive "against-type" performance as a Russian peasant in War and Peace (1956); a sympathetic police inspector coaxing the trust of a juvenile (his daughter Hayley) who knows the facts of a murder case in the underappreciated Tiger Bay (1959); a rowdy Australian sheep shearer in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (also 1959); and arguably his finest performance - a Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for a hard-as-nails army colonel who fears the loss of control over his regiment in Tunes of Glory (1960). The mid-60s saw an isolated effort as a film director: Gypsy Girl (which starred his other daughter Juliet - who would later find fame on US television in Nanny and the Professor (1970-72); and showed the development of Mills into a charming character actor: the working-class patriarch in the modest comedy The Family Way (starring Hayley as his daughter); and a terrific comic bit as a murderous Lord who tries to kill off his kin for the family inheritance in Bryan Forbes The Wrong Box (all 1966). By the '70s, his film work slowed considerably, but he was always worth watching: an Oscar winning performance as a mute villager in David Lean¿s study of the Irish troubles Ryan's Daughter (1970); as the influential General Herbert Kitchener Young Winston (1972); and as a driven oil driller in Oklahoma Crude (1973). With the exception of a small role in Sir Richard Attenborough's Ghandi (1982 - where he was credited as Sir John Mills after his knighthood in 1976), and a regrettable cameo in the deplorable Madonna comedy Who's That Girl (1987). Very little was seen of Mills until recent years, where the most memorable of his appearances included: Old Norway in Hamlet (1996); as the stern chairman opposite Rowan Atkinson in the hit comedy Bean (1997); and - in a daring final role for his proud career - a nonagenarian partygoing cocaine user in Stephen Fry's bawdy social satire Bright Young Things (2003)! Mills is survived by his wife of 64 years, the novelist and playwright Mary Hayley Bell; his daughters, Juliet and Hayley; son, John; and several grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Goodbye, Mr. Chips - The 1939 Version on DVD


MGM invaded England and conquered the hearts of the world when it transferred one of production chief Irving G. Thalberg's last projects to the studio - the recently acquired studios in Denham. Although owning a studio in England must have had a special charm for studio head Louis B. Mayer, a renowned Anglophile, the move was purely economic. England operated under a quota system that required a strict balance between British and imported films. By shooting some films in England, MGM could get more of its pictures into the sceptered isle.

Denham had already given MGM two hits in 1938: A Yank at Oxford, starring Robert Taylor as an American student abroad, and The Citadel, with Robert Donat as a young doctor led astray by riches and social prestige. The latter was such a big hit, that Mayer chose Donat over Brian Aherne and Charles Laughton for Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), now on DVD from Warner Video. Donat had appeared in American films, but only sporadically, following his international success in Alfred Hitchcock's 1934 The 39 Steps. But ill health had cost him the lead in Captain Blood (1935) while his devotion to the stage led him to refuse other offers. With Goodbye, Mr. Chips, which allowed him to age from 25 to 83, he had the part for which he would always be remembered. It even made him a surprise Oscar®winner in 1939, the year when Gone With the Wind swept the Academy Awards® Clark Gable was considered a major contender for Best Actor.

To play Chips's wife, Kathy, MGM needed an actress with just the right combination of gentility and high spirits. Elizabeth Allan, who had played the mother in David Copperfield (1935) was originally considered for the role. Then Rosalind Russell was assigned the female lead in The Citadel, a role first assigned to Allan. The actress sued for breach of contract, effectively ending her Hollywood career.

With no leading lady in mind, director Sam Wood started looking through old screen tests. Then he spotted the test for a beautiful Irish actress Louis B. Mayer had discovered in London. Greer Garson was already on the lot, but had had nothing to do since signing with MGM. She thought she'd soon be headed back to England a total failure, but instead returned as the star of a major motion picture. The film would establish her as MGM's top female star and win her the first of seven Oscar® nominations (she would win in 1942 for another British story, Mrs. Miniver).

Goodbye, Mr. Chips did location shooting at the Repton School, founded in 1557. This was considered such a great honor for the school that students and teachers gave up their summer vacations to appear in crowd scenes and otherwise help out on the production. Their sacrifice was amply rewarded when the film became the biggest hit yet from the Denham studio.

The Warner DVD of Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a reasonably good presentation though the print looks slightly grainy compared to other recent DVD releases from MGM's glory years. The audio has been cleaned up considerably and even though it contains no extras it's well worth the investment for anyone who cherishs this version.

For more information about Goodbye, Mr. Chips, visit Warner Video. To order Goodbye, Mr. Chips, go to TCM Shopping.

by Frank Miller

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Goodbye, Mr. Chips - The 1939 Version on DVD

MGM invaded England and conquered the hearts of the world when it transferred one of production chief Irving G. Thalberg's last projects to the studio - the recently acquired studios in Denham. Although owning a studio in England must have had a special charm for studio head Louis B. Mayer, a renowned Anglophile, the move was purely economic. England operated under a quota system that required a strict balance between British and imported films. By shooting some films in England, MGM could get more of its pictures into the sceptered isle. Denham had already given MGM two hits in 1938: A Yank at Oxford, starring Robert Taylor as an American student abroad, and The Citadel, with Robert Donat as a young doctor led astray by riches and social prestige. The latter was such a big hit, that Mayer chose Donat over Brian Aherne and Charles Laughton for Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), now on DVD from Warner Video. Donat had appeared in American films, but only sporadically, following his international success in Alfred Hitchcock's 1934 The 39 Steps. But ill health had cost him the lead in Captain Blood (1935) while his devotion to the stage led him to refuse other offers. With Goodbye, Mr. Chips, which allowed him to age from 25 to 83, he had the part for which he would always be remembered. It even made him a surprise Oscar®winner in 1939, the year when Gone With the Wind swept the Academy Awards® Clark Gable was considered a major contender for Best Actor. To play Chips's wife, Kathy, MGM needed an actress with just the right combination of gentility and high spirits. Elizabeth Allan, who had played the mother in David Copperfield (1935) was originally considered for the role. Then Rosalind Russell was assigned the female lead in The Citadel, a role first assigned to Allan. The actress sued for breach of contract, effectively ending her Hollywood career. With no leading lady in mind, director Sam Wood started looking through old screen tests. Then he spotted the test for a beautiful Irish actress Louis B. Mayer had discovered in London. Greer Garson was already on the lot, but had had nothing to do since signing with MGM. She thought she'd soon be headed back to England a total failure, but instead returned as the star of a major motion picture. The film would establish her as MGM's top female star and win her the first of seven Oscar® nominations (she would win in 1942 for another British story, Mrs. Miniver). Goodbye, Mr. Chips did location shooting at the Repton School, founded in 1557. This was considered such a great honor for the school that students and teachers gave up their summer vacations to appear in crowd scenes and otherwise help out on the production. Their sacrifice was amply rewarded when the film became the biggest hit yet from the Denham studio. The Warner DVD of Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a reasonably good presentation though the print looks slightly grainy compared to other recent DVD releases from MGM's glory years. The audio has been cleaned up considerably and even though it contains no extras it's well worth the investment for anyone who cherishs this version. For more information about Goodbye, Mr. Chips, visit Warner Video. To order Goodbye, Mr. Chips, go to TCM Shopping. by Frank Miller

Quotes

I'm sorry, I wasn't in any danger.
- Katherine
It must be tremendously interesting to be a schoolmaster, to watch boys grow up and help them along; to see their characters develop and what they become when they leave school and the world gets hold of them. I don't see how you could ever get old in a world that's always young.
- Katherine

Trivia

Mr. Chips was modeled on W.H. Balgarnie, James Hilton's old classics master of over 50 years at The Leys public school in Cambridge.

Notes

The screen credits contain the following inscriptions: "To Sidney Franklin...For his contribution in the preparation of the production...Grateful acknowledgement," and "We wish to acknowledge here our gratitude to the late Irving Thalberg, whose inspiration illuminates the picture of Goodbye, Mr. Chips. [Signed] James Hilton, Victor Saville, Sam Wood, Sidney A. Franklin, R. C. Sherriff, Claudine West and Eric Maschwitz." James Hilton's novel was serialized in British Weekly in December 1933. According to studio publicity information, Thalberg purchased Goodbye, Mr. Chips from galley proofs and originally assigned Sidney Franklin to direct. Franklin, however, subsequently became an M-G-M producer and was replaced as director by Sam Wood. Hollywood Reporter news items in December 1936 and January 1938 announced that Charles Laughton would be playing the title role. The 1936 news item also listed Erich Pommer as the producer and director of the film. The picture marked the screen debut of English stage actress Greer Garson who, according to modern sources was personally signed for the picture by M-G-M studio head Louis B. Mayer after Mayer saw her in a London stage play. According to a Photo study guide to the picture, some filming took place at Repton School, an English public school founded in 1557, where many students and faculty members participated in the production. Robert Donat won an Academy Award for his performance, and the picture was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Picture. Director Sam Wood was nominated for in addition to actress Greer Garson, who made her motion picture debut in the film. Screenwriters Eris Maschwitz, R. C. Sherriff and Claudine West were nominated for their screenplay, as was Charles Frend for Film Editing and A. W. Watkins for Sound Recording. The picture also appeared on Film Daily's and the National Board of Review's ten best lists for 1939, and received the "best picture" distinction in the Hollywood Reporter Preview Poll of May 1939.
       A 1969 U.S./Great Britain remake of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, produced by APJAC Productions and released by M-G-M, was directed by Herbert Ross and starred Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70; F6.1910). A Masterpiece Theatre/B.B.C. teleplay of the story, starring Roy Marsden, aired on the PBS network on January 4, 1987. A Lux Radio Theatre production of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, featuring Laurence Olivier as Mr. Chips, was broadcast on November 20, 1939.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in USA on video.

Film is "To Sidney Franklin... for his contribution in the preparation of the production... grateful acknowledgment.

Re-released in England in 1954.

Re-released in England in 1944.