Goodbye, Mr. Chips


2h 31m 1969
Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Brief Synopsis

In this musical remake, a conservative boys' school teacher falls in love with an actress.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 5 Nov 1969
Production Company
Apjac Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
England, United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton (London, 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Arthur Chipping (known as "Chips"), a shy, dedicated schoolmaster at Brookfield public school in England, looks back over the frustrations of the previous school year, recalling the hostility of his students. As vacation begins, a former pupil takes him to a London music hall, and he meets the star, exuberant singer Katherine Bridges. On a holiday exploring the Pompeiian ruins, he again meets Katherine and acts as her guide. Despite their personality differences, they fall in love and marry, taking all Brookfield by surprise upon their return. Lord Sutterwick, the school's benefactor, knows of Katherine's checkered past and threatens to have Chips removed from his position as housemaster, but he is forced to back down when Katherine invites his former mistress, Ursula Mossbank, to the Brookfield Founders' Day celebration. The couple spend the years contentedly, undaunted when Chips is passed over for the position of headmaster. In the final year of World War II, Chips succeeds to the post, but Katherine, away entertaining the troops, is killed in a German bomb attack before he can give her the news. Chips soon retires and spends his last years near Brookfield, where he remains a beloved figure. Songs: "Fill the World With Love" (boys' chorus), "Where Did My Childhood Go?" (Chips), "London Is London" (Katherine and chorus girls), "And the Sky Smiled" (Katherine), "Apollo" (Katherine), "When I Am Older" (the boys), "Walk Through the World" (chorus), "What Shall I Do With Today?" (Katherine), "What a Lot of Flowers" (Chips), "Schooldays" (Katherine & boys), "When I Was Younger" (Chips), "You and I" (Katherine).

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Musical
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 5 Nov 1969
Production Company
Apjac Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
England, United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton (London, 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) - Peter O'Toole Stars in the 1969 Remake of GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS


Goodbye Mr. Chips is a 1969 remake by MGM of its smash hit from thirty years before, the film that made Greer Garson a star. Various attempts to revamp the film as a musical had been announced, naming Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison as possible stars. Producer Arthur P. Jacobs of the successful Planet of the Apes franchise finally brought the project before the cameras, casting non-singer Peter O'Toole opposite pop singer Petula Clark. The music score was written by Leslie Bricusse, the composer of Jacobs' Doctor Doolittle, one of the musical flops that dragged 20th Fox to the gates of bankruptcy.

Screenwriter Terence Rattigan's updating drops much detail from the career of school headmaster Arthur Chipping. "Chips" no longer transitions from an ineffective teacher to a revered sage, and the script makes fewer references to his classroom molding of successive generations of English upper class youth. O'Toole never takes the thoughtful, bookworm-ish Mr. Chipping in the direction of parody. He's aided in the later stages of the film by modest old age makeup.

Both versions turn on Chipping's chance meeting with the love of his life, Katherine, now re-imagined as a musical star on the London stage. Well-known singing star Petula Clark ("Downtown") makes her entrance in a big production number, her voice bursting with enthusiasm. If Goodbye Mr. Chips has to be a musical, this is the way to go.

Chipping proves a social flop when he's introduced to Katherine at a posh restaurant, confusing her with another much older actress. But a week or so later they meet again on vacation in Pompeii, and are soon inseparable. Much to Chips' amazement, Katherine would like nothing more than to escape her glitzy lifestyle and become his wife. She accepts Chips' eccentricities at face value, without condescension.

Most of the film's songs are done as inner monologues. Petula Clark sings normally, but Peter O'Toole voices his lyrics in the half-singing, half-speaking manner that worked so well for Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. Sometimes the stars lip-synch the words and sometimes their voices are heard over non-singing footage.

The visual style for these "poetic" musical numbers is borrowed from television spots of the time. Dreamy dissolves link images filmed with bright colors and gauzy diffusion. The camera "racks focus": Katherine and Chips stand next to a bright pink blur, which suddenly focuses into a giant flower while the lovers become indistinct. Cameraman Oswald Morris certainly gets the most from the technique. One particularly impressive helicopter shot holds steady on a pair of moving bicyclists, zooming back with a fluidity not found in automated CGI moves. The visuals provide the songs with a decorative, music video-like context.

Katherine "comes out of retirement" to sing with the boys at a school function, providing the movie with another "live stage" performance. But the show's best musical moment comes on Katherine's first day at school, when she joins in singing the school song. Clark's voice raises the roof, energizing the galleries of schoolboys and turning a cliché into a triumph. Although Goodbye Mr. Chips received mixed reviews, theater audiences responded to this scene with applause.

1939's Katherine exited the story early, leaving Chipping to make his way through several more decades of school life. In this updated version Katherine increases Chips' popularity as before but also intervenes when a wealthy alumni attempts to stall her husband's career. Lord Sutterwick (George Baker, the heraldry expert in On Her Majesty's Secret Service) doesn't approve of Katherine's "scandalous" theatrical background and withholds his financial support pending Chipping's demotion. Katherine saves the day with the help of her flamboyant actress friend Ursula Mossbank (Siân Phillips of Murphy's War).

The film eventually works its way to the inevitable tragedy, but by then we've been thoroughly charmed by the combined chemistry of the two stars. O'Toole appears to truly worship Clark, and Clark seems tickled pink by O'Toole's cute behaviors. The aging headmaster must play out the last couple of reels alone. By no means a classic, Goodbye Mr. Chips is a satisfying sentimental romance.

Miss Clark makes a fine impression in her largest screen role, but the acting attention went to Peter O'Toole, who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Michael Redgrave carries a thankless role as a bland headmaster helping Chips surmount the disappointment of being passed over for promotion. Redgrave had already explored that issue in The Browning Version, scripted by Terence Rattigan from his own play. Michael Bryant plays Chipping's best friend, a German national summoned back to his country when war breaks out. The script doesn't resolve this subplot, which bears a strong resemblance to the between-the-wars section of Michael Powell's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. As in the 1939 original, an admiring student utters the title words to the elderly, retired Mr. Chipping.

The production relies for many of its effects on gorgeous Italian scenery. For road show engagements it was blown up to 70mm. One aerial scene over an R.A.F. aerodrome appears to be an outtake from a United Artists movie of the same year, The Battle of Britain.

Warners' DVD of the 1969 Goodbye Mr. Chips is a bright enhanced transfer that replicates the warm colors of original prints. The soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby 5.1. When the movie didn't perform in theaters, shorter cuts were screened as the studio removed musical numbers. This version is intact and includes the original Overture, Entr'acte and Exit music. The original trailers for both the 1939 and 1969 versions have been added as an extra.

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

by Glenn Erickson
Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) - Peter O'toole Stars In The 1969 Remake Of Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) - Peter O'Toole Stars in the 1969 Remake of GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS

Goodbye Mr. Chips is a 1969 remake by MGM of its smash hit from thirty years before, the film that made Greer Garson a star. Various attempts to revamp the film as a musical had been announced, naming Richard Burton, Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison as possible stars. Producer Arthur P. Jacobs of the successful Planet of the Apes franchise finally brought the project before the cameras, casting non-singer Peter O'Toole opposite pop singer Petula Clark. The music score was written by Leslie Bricusse, the composer of Jacobs' Doctor Doolittle, one of the musical flops that dragged 20th Fox to the gates of bankruptcy. Screenwriter Terence Rattigan's updating drops much detail from the career of school headmaster Arthur Chipping. "Chips" no longer transitions from an ineffective teacher to a revered sage, and the script makes fewer references to his classroom molding of successive generations of English upper class youth. O'Toole never takes the thoughtful, bookworm-ish Mr. Chipping in the direction of parody. He's aided in the later stages of the film by modest old age makeup. Both versions turn on Chipping's chance meeting with the love of his life, Katherine, now re-imagined as a musical star on the London stage. Well-known singing star Petula Clark ("Downtown") makes her entrance in a big production number, her voice bursting with enthusiasm. If Goodbye Mr. Chips has to be a musical, this is the way to go. Chipping proves a social flop when he's introduced to Katherine at a posh restaurant, confusing her with another much older actress. But a week or so later they meet again on vacation in Pompeii, and are soon inseparable. Much to Chips' amazement, Katherine would like nothing more than to escape her glitzy lifestyle and become his wife. She accepts Chips' eccentricities at face value, without condescension. Most of the film's songs are done as inner monologues. Petula Clark sings normally, but Peter O'Toole voices his lyrics in the half-singing, half-speaking manner that worked so well for Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. Sometimes the stars lip-synch the words and sometimes their voices are heard over non-singing footage. The visual style for these "poetic" musical numbers is borrowed from television spots of the time. Dreamy dissolves link images filmed with bright colors and gauzy diffusion. The camera "racks focus": Katherine and Chips stand next to a bright pink blur, which suddenly focuses into a giant flower while the lovers become indistinct. Cameraman Oswald Morris certainly gets the most from the technique. One particularly impressive helicopter shot holds steady on a pair of moving bicyclists, zooming back with a fluidity not found in automated CGI moves. The visuals provide the songs with a decorative, music video-like context. Katherine "comes out of retirement" to sing with the boys at a school function, providing the movie with another "live stage" performance. But the show's best musical moment comes on Katherine's first day at school, when she joins in singing the school song. Clark's voice raises the roof, energizing the galleries of schoolboys and turning a cliché into a triumph. Although Goodbye Mr. Chips received mixed reviews, theater audiences responded to this scene with applause. 1939's Katherine exited the story early, leaving Chipping to make his way through several more decades of school life. In this updated version Katherine increases Chips' popularity as before but also intervenes when a wealthy alumni attempts to stall her husband's career. Lord Sutterwick (George Baker, the heraldry expert in On Her Majesty's Secret Service) doesn't approve of Katherine's "scandalous" theatrical background and withholds his financial support pending Chipping's demotion. Katherine saves the day with the help of her flamboyant actress friend Ursula Mossbank (Siân Phillips of Murphy's War). The film eventually works its way to the inevitable tragedy, but by then we've been thoroughly charmed by the combined chemistry of the two stars. O'Toole appears to truly worship Clark, and Clark seems tickled pink by O'Toole's cute behaviors. The aging headmaster must play out the last couple of reels alone. By no means a classic, Goodbye Mr. Chips is a satisfying sentimental romance. Miss Clark makes a fine impression in her largest screen role, but the acting attention went to Peter O'Toole, who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. Michael Redgrave carries a thankless role as a bland headmaster helping Chips surmount the disappointment of being passed over for promotion. Redgrave had already explored that issue in The Browning Version, scripted by Terence Rattigan from his own play. Michael Bryant plays Chipping's best friend, a German national summoned back to his country when war breaks out. The script doesn't resolve this subplot, which bears a strong resemblance to the between-the-wars section of Michael Powell's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. As in the 1939 original, an admiring student utters the title words to the elderly, retired Mr. Chipping. The production relies for many of its effects on gorgeous Italian scenery. For road show engagements it was blown up to 70mm. One aerial scene over an R.A.F. aerodrome appears to be an outtake from a United Artists movie of the same year, The Battle of Britain. Warners' DVD of the 1969 Goodbye Mr. Chips is a bright enhanced transfer that replicates the warm colors of original prints. The soundtrack has been remastered in Dolby 5.1. When the movie didn't perform in theaters, shorter cuts were screened as the studio removed musical numbers. This version is intact and includes the original Overture, Entr'acte and Exit music. The original trailers for both the 1939 and 1969 versions have been added as an extra. For more information about Goodbye, Mr. Chips, visit Warner Video. To order Goodbye, Mr. Chips, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)


In 1969, MGM released a musical remake of the 1939 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips featuring the songs of Leslie Briscusse with orchestration by John Williams. Peter O'Toole was cast as Arthur Chipping, the schoolteacher originally played on film by Robert Donat, and Petula Clark won the featured role of Katherine Bridges, a showgirl with a past. The story originated as a novel by James Hilton in 1935, and was first adapted on stage. The play enjoyed a successful run in 1937, and Hollywood snatched it up in 1939 with positive, Oscar®-nominated results. Following the success of The Sound of Music in 1965, Hollywood studios scrambled to produce the next big musical, and this "long short story", as Hilton called his novel, seemed ideal for reworking.

Whereas the 1939 version runs from the mid to late 19th century to World War I, MGM chose to make the 1969 version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips more contemporary, with a narrative running from the 1920's to the present day. At the center of the film is Arthur Chipping, a classics teacher at an English school named Brookfield, who is unpopular with his students for being a stick-in-the-mud. On vacation in Pompeii, Chips, as he is called by his students, meets a vivacious actress named Katherine, who is being courted by one of Chips's students. The showgirl and the professor are immediately attracted to one another and end up marrying. While the parents and faculty back at Brookfield are not pleased by Chips's union with a showgirl, the unlikely union gains Chips the respect and admiration of his students.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips may not have been a box-office smash, but it is worth a closer look. O'Toole was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his wonderful portrayal of the strict schoolteacher who mellows over time once he gives his heart to the love of his life. Petula Clark also gives a great performance as Katherine; her popularity as a singer (remember the hit single, "Downtown"?) aided in drawing crowds to the movie theaters. Also look for O'Toole's then-wife Sian Phillips in a flamboyant role as a woman who is having a secret affair.

Director: Herbert Ross
Producer: Arthur P. Jacobs
Screenplay: Terence Rattigan (uncredited) Based on the novel by James Hilton
Cinematography: Oswald Morris
Editor: Ralph Kemplen
Production Design: Ken Adam
Music: Leslie Briscusse, John Williams
Cast: Peter O'Toole (Arthur Chipping), Petulia Clark (Katherine Bridges), Michael Redgrave (The Headmaster), Sian Phillips (Ursula Mossbank), George Baker (Lord Sutterwick).
C-155m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning.

by Sarah Heiman

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)

In 1969, MGM released a musical remake of the 1939 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips featuring the songs of Leslie Briscusse with orchestration by John Williams. Peter O'Toole was cast as Arthur Chipping, the schoolteacher originally played on film by Robert Donat, and Petula Clark won the featured role of Katherine Bridges, a showgirl with a past. The story originated as a novel by James Hilton in 1935, and was first adapted on stage. The play enjoyed a successful run in 1937, and Hollywood snatched it up in 1939 with positive, Oscar®-nominated results. Following the success of The Sound of Music in 1965, Hollywood studios scrambled to produce the next big musical, and this "long short story", as Hilton called his novel, seemed ideal for reworking. Whereas the 1939 version runs from the mid to late 19th century to World War I, MGM chose to make the 1969 version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips more contemporary, with a narrative running from the 1920's to the present day. At the center of the film is Arthur Chipping, a classics teacher at an English school named Brookfield, who is unpopular with his students for being a stick-in-the-mud. On vacation in Pompeii, Chips, as he is called by his students, meets a vivacious actress named Katherine, who is being courted by one of Chips's students. The showgirl and the professor are immediately attracted to one another and end up marrying. While the parents and faculty back at Brookfield are not pleased by Chips's union with a showgirl, the unlikely union gains Chips the respect and admiration of his students. Goodbye, Mr. Chips may not have been a box-office smash, but it is worth a closer look. O'Toole was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his wonderful portrayal of the strict schoolteacher who mellows over time once he gives his heart to the love of his life. Petula Clark also gives a great performance as Katherine; her popularity as a singer (remember the hit single, "Downtown"?) aided in drawing crowds to the movie theaters. Also look for O'Toole's then-wife Sian Phillips in a flamboyant role as a woman who is having a secret affair. Director: Herbert Ross Producer: Arthur P. Jacobs Screenplay: Terence Rattigan (uncredited) Based on the novel by James Hilton Cinematography: Oswald Morris Editor: Ralph Kemplen Production Design: Ken Adam Music: Leslie Briscusse, John Williams Cast: Peter O'Toole (Arthur Chipping), Petulia Clark (Katherine Bridges), Michael Redgrave (The Headmaster), Sian Phillips (Ursula Mossbank), George Baker (Lord Sutterwick). C-155m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning. by Sarah Heiman

Quotes

By the way, how do you know she isn't here?
- Katie
She?
- Calbury
The girl the Evening News said you were going to marry?
- Katie
Oh, yes. I saw that. Me and Penelope Fitzdouglas. Isn't it ridiculous?
- Calbury
Sidesplitting.
- Katie (annoyed)
Sorry, am I going too fast for you?
- Katie
My dear young lady, I could easily go just as fast as you if I cared to risk a broken ankle and be carried back on a stretcher. It's extremely foolish to leap around in a ruined circus like a mountain goat. Especially in those shoes. These stones are treacherous.
- Chips
Yes, well, you're very active for your age!
- Katie
Since you cannot conceivably know what my age is, your most flattering compliment must be based on a somewhat conjectural premise.
- Chips
You've done it again. Now that's three times you've made me laugh. And only this morning I thought I'd never laugh again. I suppose it's your being a schoolmaster.
- Katie
I fail to see what is so laughable about that.
- Chips
Well, no, it's not laughable. One doesn't laugh at people only because they're funny. Not some people. C'mon...there's so much to see before the sun goes down on us...
- Katie
What does that mean?
- Katie
Gnothe seauthon. Know yourself. The watchword of Apollo.
- Chips
The god of prophecy?
- Katie
Among other things...
- Chips
Know yourself. That's quite a watchword. Gnothe seauthon.
- Katie
I'm going to ask Apollo a question.
- Katie
You mustn't ask a personal question, well, not a specific one like uh...
- Chips
Like "Will Bill Calbury come back to me?" No (sighs), I won't bore Apollo with that, I promise you.
- Katie

Trivia

Audrey Hepburn and Richard Burton were originally announced as the leads for the film, with news reports stating they'd each receive $1 million and 10% of the box office.

Notes

James Hilton's novel was serialized in British Weekly in December 1933. Location scenes filmed at Sherborne School in Dorset, England, and in Pompeii and Paestum. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released a dramatic version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips in 1939.

Miscellaneous Notes

Film marks Herbert Ross' directorial debut.

Released in USA on video.

Released in United States Fall November 1969

Released in United States Fall November 1969