Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951) [DVD]
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Michael Hordern, Robert Newton, John Howard Davies and a young Max Bygraves star in this digitally remastered and colourised film adaptation of Thomas Hughes classic book about a young boy's struggle to endure the loneliness and bullying at Rugby School for Boys. Pitted against the vicious Flashman and his gang of fellow bullies, Tom must either give in or learn to defend himself.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you love the book, I would recommend this film wholeheartedly as the version truest to the novel, and the only one which actually follows the story of Arthur rather than killing him off (2004) or simply deleting him (1971). East is brilliantly played, the best interpretation of the character ever, and Flashman, who looks about thirty, is sublimely horrible and a complete coward, as required. Tom is a great mixture of vulnerability and strength. Dr Arnold is a little uninspiring and stern. Nevertheless, you can't fault this film - it led me to read the novel, and read it again and again.
Why though did DD Home Entertainment choose to release the colourised version to dvd instead of the classic, original Black and White print? The film is so much more atmospheric in black and white, I can only presume that they couldnt find a black and white print that matched their high standards and thought this colourised version the best option despite it being colourised years and years ago hence the poor tones which make everyones faces look salmon pink.
Anyway, I tried turning the colour right down on my tv and it worked fine, a bit blurry because of the colourisation but still a cracking movie. The only thing that makes it hard for me to watch is the fact that the main boy actor playing Tom (he also played Oliver Twist in the David Lean film..um..."Oliver Twist" obviously) grew up to be in charge of Thames TV and it was his decision to sack Benny Hill and in such a callous offhand manner (a brief 5 minute "bye Benny" meeting after years of service and millions in revenue for the company), when you see young Tom being beaten up and roasted by Bully flashman you kind of enjoy it...if your a fan of the brilliant Benny Hill!
If you are a fan of bad language, sexual scenes and vulgarity look elsewhere as you won't find it in this film.
This is a film that can be enjoyed by the whole family and has a decent ending that leaves viewers with a feel good factor that is sadly missing in many modern films!
I live in Canada and have 'Unlocked' my Marantz DVD player so it now is an 'All Region' DVD player. I have purchased other PAL DVDs and they all play well and are of excellent quality. This version of Tom Brown's Schooldays is a real disappointment.
It's not the best in terms of picture quality and the acting is, well,it's dated, however it has captured both the charm and the brutality of private schooling way back when.
It tells the tale of a young 'Tom Brown' being sent to boarding-school at 'rugby' and how his courage and honesty triumph's over the school bully 'Flashman' who in turn would regret crossing 'Tom's' path.
Watch the other versions by all means, but don't miss out on this one.