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Goodbye Mr Chips [1939] [DVD]

Robert Donat , Greer Garson , Sam Wood , Sidney Franklin    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
Price: 5.16 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn, John Mills, Paul Henreid
  • Directors: Sam Wood, Sidney Franklin
  • Writers: Claudine West, Eric Maschwitz, James Hilton, R.C. Sherriff
  • Producers: Victor Saville
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, Spanish, English, Dutch, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Feb 2004
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00012SZ4A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,238 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The first film adaptation of James Hilton's British school saga, Goodbye Mr Chips is a genuine Hollywood classic. Despite competition from Gone with the Wind, The Four Feathers and The Wizard of Oz (all 1939) the film won a Best Actor Oscar for Robert Donat and six further major nominations. Donat, who had previously starred in Hilton adaptation Knight Without Armour (1937), is superb as a beloved public-school Latin teacher in an episodic tale spanning 1870-1933. From initially incompetent young teacher, he meets his wife (well played by Greer Garson) during an extended idyll in Austria, only to endure the horror of former pupils becoming victims of the Great War.

Though studio-bound and sentimental by current standards, Goodbye Mr Chips contains great warmth and humanity, and is eventually extremely moving. There is an excellent score by Richard Addinsell, and the evocation of the tragedy of 1914-18, together with Chips' friendship with German teacher Staefel (Paul Henreid), must have struck a truly resonant note in 1939. James Hilton had previously been responsible for Lost Horizon (1937), and oddly both that film and Chips would be remade as musicals, in 1973 and 1969 respectively. Chips would again emerge as a BBC serial (1984) and a 2002 TV movie starring Martin Clunes; but for many this original screen version will always remain the best.

On the DVD: Goodbye Mr Chips is presented on a basic disc with the only extras being an alternative French soundtrack and various subtitle options, including English for hard of hearing. The mono sound is fairly good, though there is occasional distortion on the music. The b/w picture is transferred in the original Academy ratio but the print used shows frequent, though minor, damage. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

This film was nominated for seven Oscars with Robert Donat, as the shy schoolmaster Charles Edward Chipping, winning Best Actor over Clarke Gable. Chippings is new Latin teacher at Brookfield School in 1870 who leads rather a mundane life until he meets and falls in love with Katherine (screen debutante Greer Garson) on a walking holiday in the Alps. She finally brings him happiness, but tragedy is looming for the beloved Mr Chips. Remade in 1969 with Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark as a musical.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty as Chips 9 Mar 2004
Being a male student (and having had this film recommended by his mother because it 'moved' her) I came into this film a little wary.
It starts a little slow but the story develops at a much quicker pace throughout. Its' comedy edges are still as funny today as i am sure they were when it was made. Robert Donat is excellent as 'chips' and equals his quality of Hitchcock's The 39 Steps. The chemistry between him and Greer Garson is excellent and the power of the scenes makes you feel really close to 'chips'. The sounds is a little wayward at times, but in the main the DVD is excellent. To be fair this film has 'moved' me and I feel it is one which will stick in my mind for a while to come.
Only one problem is the lack of extras. Actors' profiles would have been nice, but it's only a minor complaint.
An excellent film, one I recommend whole-heartedly.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Oscar for a Great Briton 9 Sep 2006
By David R. Bishop VINE VOICE
If ever a film showcased a great talent it was 'Goodbye Mr Chips' and Robert Donat.

His performance is engaging and credible. From a young insecure new teacher, to a stale middle aged man, whose life is turned around by love, to an eccentric but lovable old fellow, Robert Donat takes you on a wonderful journey. He is in nearly every scene.

He deserved the Oscar he won. When you consider that Clark Gable was also Oscar nominated in 1939 for 'Gone With The Wind', you begin to realise what a great performance he gives.

Greer Garson's role is fairly small, but pivotal. She is on screen for surprisingly a short time, but makes a great impact.

The film shows a world long gone, if it ever existed, but Donat's great acting raises it well above sentimental. The end however, will move the tender hearted to tears.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not realistic, but a superbly sentimental film 8 July 2004
This is a wonderfully sentimental depiction of public school life in the Victorian and Edwardian eras and beyond. Chipping, like so many other schoolmasters of the time, lives a cloistered life on which the outer world only occasionally impinges -- mostly during wartime.
In the film, he ventures out on only one other memorable occasion -- a holiday with the school German teacher to the Tyrol where he meets the handsome Greer Garson (in her first movie appearance), who somewhat improbably falls for him. This sets off a chain of sentimental events: marriage, introductions to the common room, tea with the boys, her death through childbirth, and a never-ending cycle of Colleys (played by the same actor, but with a slightly different haircut for each generation). The school hymn is also designed to pluck the heart stings.
The movie was actually filmed at Repton. I went to a similarly confined, all-boys, English public school, set in a country town miles from anywhere else, though somewhat more recently than the Chips era. Many of the masters never married because it was so difficult for them to meet any women. We still had corporal punishment -- which Chips continues to inflict even when brought out of retirement to become head during World War One. This film does not reflect the grubby reality of public school life -- the author must have had his rose-tinted spectacles on when he wrote this -- but it's hard not to be moved by it.
I have special memories of first seeing this at the age of 12 in our headmaster's study, together with all the other senior boys at the prep school. Today, its meaning for me is more about staying in the same place for a long time, while all about you moves on. (I've recently completed 25 years with the same employer!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Donat is believable 7 Dec 2004
This is the story of the 60 plus year life of a school teacher, Mr. Chipping (Robert Donat), from neophyte teacher to hopefully Head Master. On his way he will make several mistakes and learn from them. The movie has the feel of several stories running in series that all tie in to Chipping's life. He is also destined to meet the love of his life Katherine (Greer Garson) and see that the Danube is blue.
I do not want to go into a detail as that is the fun in watching eh stories unfold however I think it is significant when Chipping and Katherine are alone on the top of the world and time stops finding them selves in eternity. He also gets an insight or different slant of his carrier.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Actor who plays Dorset? 17 Aug 2003
By yako
Format:VHS Tape
Goodbye,Mr.Chips 1939, is in the top ten of all movies in my opinion. If anyone knows the name of the actor who plays Dorset, the school boy, please e-mail me. He has a speaking part at the beginning of the movie where Chips and Dorset are locked out of the main hall.It's a shame that the listing of this actor is no where to be found. There is a fantastic modern soundtrack on cd, The Film Music of Richard Addinsell, Chandos Digital,Chan10046 with chorus and lyrics of the school alma mater included.Anyone who can watch the ending of this movie without becoming choked up has no soul.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
By far one of the best films ever made.Robert Donat gives an excellent performance as "Chips" of Brookfield,a dedicated school master who does so much someday want to be Headmaster and he does after sixty years . He loves his boys as they love him too! A Classic.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A meaningful life unfolds over time 22 Mar 2004
The origin of all the inspirational teacher movies, Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a heartwarming film that unfolds the story of a man who is transformed by love, and goes on to influence the lives of his pupils and colleagues. Nostalgic, even when it was released in 1939, this is a tender and affectionate study of a society, an education system, and a man who belatedly outgrows his constraints and develops a true vocation from his professional commitments. It is Chips' transformation that makes this film a classic example of a man who belatedly discovers how to use strengths that ultimately give meaning and value to his life.
The film opens amidst the hustle and bustle of a new academic year at Brookfield with new and returning pupils hurrying to attend the first-day assembly. Chips arrives late for the event and is locked out with a young pupil with whom he shares his knowledge of the stone tablets that serve as memorials to past students and staff.
Mr. Chips: So, you're a stinker, eh?
Student: A stinker, Sir?
Mr. Chips: A new boy. That's what we call them here. Stinkers... (he indicates a stone tablet that commemorates the hero of the Armada: "Sir Francis Drake 1552")
Student: Drake! Was he here, Sir?
Mr. Chips: Yes.
Student: Was he a stinker too, Sir?
Mr. Chips: To be sure he was. But he grew out of it. And so will you.
This exchange sets-up the question of how 'stinkers' are helped to mature into the fine young men and heroes whom we see later in the film. We see the answer in a series of flashbacks that extend over sixty years of Chipping's life.
The young Mr. Chipping arrives at Brookfield, filled with enthusiasm and ambition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Perfect for use, it met my expectations.
Very Good price What more could you ask for.
I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys old TV shows or films. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Doc SHRadio
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile 'see it again' film.
One of my favourite Robert Donat films, together with 'The 39 Steps' (both of them re-made later). There is a warmth about him, matched by Greer Garson and there is a star-quality... Read more
Published 1 month ago by kenneth e. allen.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent traditional film
We like traditional films. Goodbye Mr Chips is based on kindness, appreciation of others, respect for the elderly, friendship between all ages. It is a very fine film
Published 1 month ago by Mrs H S Martin
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
Ariived in good time. Plays well, good quality. I watched this film on TV as a child and when I saw it on sale I was excited to see it again. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Mr Chips. Classy film to be watched again.
Excellent film which has no need of CGI, mind-numbing background thumping noise, shaky camera positions and idiotic fast editing. Read more
Published 2 months ago by P. J. Hack
5.0 out of 5 stars goodbye mr chips
there has been remake's of this timeless classic, but Robert Donat's is in my opinion the best by a mile, and of course was fimed at Repton school in derby.
Published 2 months ago by raymond moore
5.0 out of 5 stars very good duy
it is a very good film we would tell people to see it some parts make you weep and sad
Published 2 months ago by Bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Nostalgic
This is a timeless classic which could be remade many times over in almost any time period:the sets and costumes are very basic,the story being set in a Public School where all the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by robert stirling
5.0 out of 5 stars Briiliant film this,
Briiliant film this one, an the quality is excellent for such an old film. A must if you like the classic movies!
Published 3 months ago by Freedom2m0soe
5.0 out of 5 stars best film
This was the best film of "Goodbye Mr Chips" maybe because its in black and white I don't know, later remake of the film doesn't capture the essence of the black an white... Read more
Published 3 months ago by myra
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