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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
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