Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Directed by Sam Wood. UK. 1939. NR. 114 minutes. Warner Bros. DVD.
Sun., May 6, 2012
In 1939, the year that has since been named The Movies Greatest Year, Robert Donat won a well-deserved Academy Award for this fine portrayal of a shy, revered schoolmaster who devotes his all to his boys. (It should be noted that, by so doing, he bested the likes of Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind, Laurence Olivier in Wuthering Heights and James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. No small accomplishment, that!) Based upon the novella by James Hilton, this gentle and stirring film introduced a young Greer Garson to the public, in the beautifully supportive role of the woman who became Mrs. Chips. (NOTE: Watch closely to see a young John Mills as one of Mr. Chips charges.) (Bill Roth)