As a lifelong fan of the excellent original Donat/Garson version, I groaned when hearing that Clunes was to play the eponymous Latin master. Who could picture that oaf playing such a subtle role, I bellowed. Reluctantly, I gave him a chance, and he totally caught me broadside by excelling in this utterly charming and subtle production. In fact - and it tortures me to even whisper it - it is a superior version in many ways. Gone are the artificial studio-hosted environs to be replaced by authentic location shots (admittedly, these were part of the original's appeal, but the fresher realism is a very welcome thing), gone are some of the stereotypical and stagey characters, enter some highly moving though brief scenes pertaining to the darker side of the human psyche (bullying, war etc). It is excellently directed with a very unaffected air and in addition to Clunes, Victoria Hamilton steps superbly into the "Duchess's" shoes as Kathy, John Wood gives an (as ever) effortless performance as the gruff Headmaster. I am almost surprised that this is not a BBC production, such is its quality and subtlety. However, I would agree with others that its brevity is its only weak point, with the relationship between Staefel and Chips being slightly underdone (although I guess Paul Henreid's appearance was brief in the original too). All in all a very credible and touching drama that could have been horribly saccharin in the hands of others but which is regally portrayed in this. I cannot recommend it highly enough.