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Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969) [VHS]
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Product Description

Robert Donat won an Oscar for his portrayal of the humble British don in the 1939 film Goodbye, Mr. Chips--and Peter O'Toole was nominated for his version of the role in this lackluster musical (he, along with Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight of Midnight Cowboy, lost to John Wayne in True Grit). O'Toole is affecting as the shy English schoolteacher at a private boys' school who is brought out of his shell by the love of a good woman, then goes on to become a teaching legend after her tragic death. But the idea of turning this touching tale into a musical (with totally forgettable songs by John Williams and Leslie Bricusse) was almost as wrong-headed as having O'Toole do his own singing--or as casting singer Petula Clark as his wife. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews:

  • The Headmaster Is Naked
    I'm loath to relieve myself on everyone's parade here, but I can't stand this movie. Comparisons to the 1939 classic aside (to which it can't hold a candle), this "Chips" not only has little, if anything, to do with James Hilton's novel, but also fails on its own merits. The performances are fine; Peter O'Toole is probably incapable of being anything less than superlative, and having grown up in the 60's, I've always liked Petula Clark.
    But so what?
    Great performances mean little if the characters being portrayed are unintentionally unsympathetic and unlikeable. In fact, were I to encounter such people in real life, you can bet your fur that I'd make my excuses and do a 180. THIS Chips is a moody prig who totally lacks charm and Clark's Katherine is a dance hall tart; this stretch in credulity results in a sort of tawdry, Hiltonesque nightmare that could be entitled "Mr. Chips Meets Random Harvest on (Pre-Code) Waterloo Bridge." I'm sport enough to concede this sort of extreme poetic license if the ends justify the means (as is the case, incidentally, with Random Harvest), but this movie is an abomination with a most pedestrian musical score to boot.
    Given that I'm reviewing a VHS release, I'm pretty much restricted to dealing with the film proper rather than the particulars of a DVD (which, should it ever be released, I obviously won't be purchasing). I fully expect to be slammed with "unhelpful" votes, but what the heck. It's a dirty job, but someone had to do it....more info
  • goodbye mr. chips
    Peter O'Toole is great in this film. We like the older versions also, but feel that Peter O'Toole exceeds the others in his portrayal of Mr. Chipping. ...more info
  • A greatly underrated and neglected musical
    When this musical was released, critics unfairly blasted this film and blamed it for being one of the big budget film musicals that put an end to the production of film musicals. This shows you how wrong critics can be. Most people who watch this film today ADORE this movie! I certainly do. It is one of my favorite musicals. It is blessed with wonderful performances by Peter O'Toole and the fabulous Petula Clark, who is soulful and winning . It has a beautiful score of lovely songs (O'Toole does his own singing and Petula Clark's voice is sheer perfection). The photography for this movie is beautiful. Best of all, this is a movie about love, about its ability to transform individuals and provide happiness. This is a great movie, many times better than the non-musical version made by MGM in 1939. Beware: some prints of this film shown on television are shortened by about 30 minutes (they edited out many of the songs). Try to catch the full length version because the songs and music are an important facet of this film's appeal and greatness....more info
  • Fantastic!
    This movie brought my wife and I together in more ways than one. Fantastic story and music about love, differences, turmoil and reconciliation. I recommend it to everyone....more info
  • HELP
    Hi anyone out there,

    PLEASE ,PLEASE can anyone help. I am DESPERATELY looking for a copy of GOODBYE MR CHIPS 1969 VERSION with Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark.I believe I can get this movie from America but it will not be playable in the UK which doesn't help me at all!!! If anyone knows of a video or even better a DVD that will be suitable for the UK then PLEASE E mail me.
    Thanks,

    Ann...more info
  • One of the best movies ever!
    This is a really great movie. It is finally here in DVD. It is one of my cherished DVDs....more info
  • A Disappointing Retelling of the Classic Tale
    Let's begin by saying that movie musicals are a breed apart. The very artifice of musicals removes them from the mainstream realism of other film genres. That's why we love musicals: they are romanticised interpretations of a story that is conceptually and inherently sentimental.

    The late 60's and early 70's saw the musical interpretation of classic novels such as "A Christmas Carol", "Oliver Twist", "Don Quixote", "Lost Horizon" and this re-make of "Goodbye Mr. Chips." Historically, film musicals had seen better days by the late 60's and Hollywood attempted to revitalize the medium by creating less romanticized versions of these highly romanticized tales. In other words, make the stories relevant to the times (the 1960's).

    "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", while well-produced, fails on all levels to meet the romanticised sentimentality inherent in musicals. It also misinterpreted the simplicity of James Hilton's original novella, so beautifully (and non-musically) created by MGM in 1939 with Robert Donat and Greer Garson.

    The device of Chipping's wife having a lurid past that leads to political on-campus blackmail is so far off the mark from Hilton's original to be laughable at best. And most remarkably, Peter O'Toole's interpetation of the title character shows no emotional growth out of his crusty persona. He is just as cranky after his marriage as he was before. The most poignant aspect of the story is the softening of his heart through marriage. O'Toole's performance just doesn't seem to show the audience any such growth. And thereby hangs the problem. The film erases all sentimentality from the story in order to make it more palatable to then-modern tastes. As for his singing? Rex Harrison may have gotten away with "speak-singing" in "My Fair Lady", but Peter O'Toole has neither the charm nor the charisma to pull it off.

    Then there is Petula Clark's character: a successful musical comedy star with very sophisticated London friends would much prefer to live in the country as a schoolmaster's wife? Highly unlikely. It seems obvious that MGM wanted to cash in on Petula Clark's success as a pop singer and reinterpreted this role to suit that need. That being said, her portrayal is quite good.

    Then, there is the problem of Leslie Bricusse's horrendous score. No song is memorable, let alone singable, and the use of sung-over soliloquies is annoying. Outside of "London is London", the film should have been left non-musical. And shortened by 45 minutes. Actually, if it had never been made at all, we wouldn't have missed much.

    I give it 3 stars exclusively for its production values. Beautiful cinematography, excellent costuming and passable acting. If you want to enjoy the beauty of Hilton's original, watch Robert Donat's masterful 1939 performance instead....more info
  • One of the finest musicals we possess
    It has always been a mystery to me as to the reasons behind the fashionable distaste for the musical version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips." I've never been able to solve the mystery, but it is merely fashionability. The score is one of the most beautiful ever written -- I've listened to it across the span of my entire life from the time it was released in 1969 and have yet to find it anything but extraordinary. The film is a moving depiction of what love is really about and never fails to move me. The performances by both Peter O'Toole (why has Hollywood thought it useful to cheat this great actor of his due with a "real" Oscar -- sheer jealousy?) and Petula Clark are extraordinary. Yet, a strange, and, to me, bizarre cult of disparagement has risen about this film. Don't be fooled by fools who wish to belittle real talent. This is one of the all-time great musicals. Don't miss it....more info
  • This Chips Needs to Be on DVD!!
    With all the films going on DVD, there is no reason why this musical version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" should be released immediately. There has never been a more sensitive, completely vulnerable performance than that of Peter O'Toole--with a devastating long close-up shot as he says goodbye to his school as he retires. And, I'm sorry, but Petula Clark has just the right theatricality for her role as a West End musical comedy star. Her performance rings much truer than Julie Andrews pale rendering of Gertrude Lawrence in "Star." Finally there's the score which is the epitome of a movie musical score, with "Walk Through the World With Me", "You and I", "What a Bunch of Flowers" and "London" as great examples of cinematic musical numbers. There's even an added treat in the comic turn of Siann Phillips as Tallulah Bankhead wanna be Ursula. How many five star reviews does it take to get MGM to put this "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" on DVD? ...more info
  • Getting there...slowly
    So - the CD soundtrack to this wonderful movie has finally been released. Don't delay, FSM are only producing a few copies of it (and I have one of them!). FSM are to be congratulated on a beautifully produced set of three CDs. Pure magic!

    But what about the movie? How many Amazonians have got to write 5-star reviews before the people at MGM, Warner, Turner...or whoever it is...get the message? This film has been the subject of a vitriolic and totally undeserved onslaught from the critics from when it opened. It is, in fact, a beautifully crafted story with performances you only dream about; a tremendous score, breathtakingly arranged and conducted by John Williams and a visually compelling movie.

    For goodness sake, get on with it.

    We need a decent DVD taken from a restored print. No cuts (we fans know how you have hacked it about in the past) - and please include the overture, entr'acte and exit music. And, while you're about it, a properly restored 70mm theatrical release print...lots of them, please (I live in the UK and am fed up of getting cast offs from the USA)....more info
  • Critics WRONG. Wonderful movie about love and devotion
    This is one of the most wonderful movies I have seen. Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark are wonderful. I fell in love with Peter O'Toole from this movie, and have loved everything he has done since. By far though, this is my favorite movie of Peter O'Toole's....more info
  • Absolutely good for the soul
    The best line in the movie is spoken by Petula Clark, "On his knees, is he? And so he should be, to my husband." A gentler time on the edge of changing events, this movie captures honor and dignity, love and fidelity like no other. The youthfulness of school boy pranks, awed by the real example of genuine love played out between Clark and O'Toole against the backdrop as Englands struggles with war and Hitler. Bring tissues and someone to share them with....more info
  • "Chips" is glorious!
    "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" was a huge surprise to me when I first saw it in 1969. I had read the reviews (but most critics panned musicals no matter how much they really enjoyed them). I hadn't read anything that credited the tremendous quality lavished on every component of the film. Peter O'Toole, whose performance was singled out by most critics, is startlingly wonderful as the shy, yet intensely interesting Mr. Chippings. Petula Clark is totally luminous as Katherine. It was a wonderful follow-up role to her stunning debut in "Finian's Rainbow". We are most unfortunate that we never got more of her musical talents on film.

    The music is stunning. You just don't hear music arranged/orchestrated like this any more. Most of the lyrics are simplistic, and often quite funny, but I think they all are endearing and enduring. I have friends who love this film as much as I. Whenever one of us is ready for another look (via the widescreen MGM laserdisc...not YET available on DVD, drat it!) we usually let the others know by quoting the lyrics to "London is London" (can there be any doubt about it?).

    This film stands up much better than most film musicals of the era. For sheer entertainment value and an emotional wallop, it's nearly in a class by itself. O'Toole's then-wife, Sian Phillips, has one of the most delicious turns in film musical history as a man-mad (and man-eating) vamp.

    Anyone who loves musicals will find this among the best they've ever seen.

    John Williams adapted and conducted the score. Songs were written by Leslie Bricusse. Williams' adaptation efforts were to take Bricusse's songs and create an underscore that seamlessly blended with the songs and action on the film. He accomplished this with a brilliance we have since become accustomed to. For his magnificent efforts, Williams was nominated for the 1969 Best Scoring (adaptation) Oscar but did NOT win (Lennie Hayton and Lionel Newman won for "Hello, Dolly!" ...more info
  • Great Date Movie
    I first watched this movie with my husband when we were dating. It's guaranteed to bring any couple closer together. I felt that Peter O'Toole and Petulia Clarke really really liked each other (on screen and off). This movie carries an important message is about mutual respect between a husband and wife....more info
  • A Musical in Search of a Score
    Thirty years after the 1939 classic film won Robert Donat an Oscar and made Greer Garson a star, "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" overcame a multitude of problems before stumbling to the screen in this musical version. Original stars Rex Harrison and Samantha Eggar were replaced by Richard Burton and Lee Remick, who in turn were given the heave-ho in favor of - thankfully - Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark. Andre Previn's score was rejected, and the one eventually used was composed by - unfortunately - Leslie Bricusse. First-time director Herbert Ross was handed the monumental task of transforming a simple love story - that of a man for both his wife and students - into a big-budget extravaganza. That it succeeds as well as it does despite the many obstacles in its way is a testament to its two stars.

    Arthur Chipping is a Latin teacher at Brookfield, a boys' school in suburban England where he himself was educated. Introverted and socially inept, he is dedicated to his students but unable to inspire them. Prior to summer holiday, a former student takes him to a London music hall to see an entertainment starring Katharine Bridges, the young lady he hopes to wed. The post-performance meeting is awkward for all, and Chips - as he is commonly known - sets off to explore some of Italy's ancient ruins. Unexpectedly, he runs into Katharine, who has booked a Mediterranean cruise to allow her time to mourn a failed love affair and ponder the direction of her career. In the time they spend together, she discovers a kind and gentle man beneath the befuddled exterior, and upon returning to London pursues him in earnest. When the fall term begins, Chips returns to Brookfield with his young bride, and the two settle into a life of quiet domesticity. Complications arise when aspects of Katharine's past surface, and again when World War II intrudes in their lives, but Chips is bolstered by his wife's support, and his new-found confidence makes him a favorite among the students.

    Aside from three of the musical interludes - the delightful music hall production number "London is London," Katharine's marriage proposal of sorts, "Walk Through the World," and her declaration of love, "You and I" - most of Bricusse's songs, some of them performed in voice-over as the characters explore their emotions, are easily forgettable and in no way enhance the film. Eliminate the score entirely, and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" works exceedingly well as a drama. Terrence Rattigan's script retains elements of the original while expanding upon it and updating it by a couple of decades. He has crafted several scenes between Chips and Katharine that beautifully delineate their devotion to each other, and infused a few with comic relief courtesy of Katharine's friend and cohort, over-the-top actress Ursula Mossbank (delightfully played by Sian Phillips, O'Toole's real-life wife at the time). He also captures life at a British public school - the equivalent of a private academy here in the States - with unerring perfection.

    Ross does well as a first-time director, liberally sprinkling the film with breathtakingly photographed moments - the opening credits sequence, during which the school anthem echoes in the vast stone hallways of the school, perfectly sets the tone for the film. Costumes and sets are true to the period. The students, portrayed by non-professionals who were enrolled at the school used as Brookfield, handle their various small supporting roles well.

    Highest praise is reserved for Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark in the lead roles. O'Toole was long-established as a first-class dramatic actor, so his Academy Award-nominated performance here comes as no surprise. Clark, a veteran of some two dozen B-movies in the UK and the previous year's "Finian's Rainbow," is absolutely luminous as the music hall soubrette who forsakes a theatrical career in favor of life as a schoolmaster's wife. Her golden voice enriches her songs and almost allows us to overlook how insipid most of them are, and she more than matches O'Toole in their dramatic scenes together. The chemistry between the two is palpable and leaves us with no doubt that this is a couple very much in love.

    This version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" is hardly the disaster many critics described when it was released. Ignore the score, concentrate on the performances, and revel in the atmosphere Ross has put on the screen. It's a pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon with someone you love. ...more info
  • A Pageant of English History
    Terence Rattigan wrote a wonderful screenplay, perhaps his best, and that's saying a lot because he was one of my all time favorite playwrights and screenwriters. He knew what lonely people are all about, you can see that everywhere in his screen work from THE BROWNING VERSION to THE WAY TO THE STARS to THE YELLOW ROLLS ROYCE, and he has written a wonderful part for Peter O'Toole, based of course on the Hilton novel and the 1939 film script which starred Robert Donat as "Chips."

    Here O'Toole is cold, icy, hateful at the beginning of the film, a Latin teacher at "Brookfield Academy," not the warmest environment anyway, but we quickly see that no one likes O'Toole for himself, and few give him a chance to show the warm personality that lies frozen underneath. Rattigan helps us understand that even the least approachable and apparently self-satisfied person may secretly be suffering agonies of self-consciousness, particularly in the class-ridden society that was England before WWII. When Chips meets Katherine, the dance hall soubrette played by Petula Clark here, it's an unlikely pairing, but Rattigan makes it work. She's curious, and she takes the time to get to know him. She manages to make him forget all about his precious boys for a little while and to fall in love with her. She's wise enough to understand that he is a teacher first and foremost and he's addicted to those boys. Perhaps they could remake this musical today and cast Michael Jackson as Chips and Lisa Marie Presley as Katherine. They would each be great in the part. I would love to hear Lisa Marie sing "You And I," Petula Clark's great signature tune from this film.

    Herbert Ross made many memorable films during his career. He was a choreographer first, not an especially good one, and he soon gravitated towards direction. GOODBYE MR CHIPS remains one of his very finest projects, but for me, the distinction of the film is all to the credit of the two stars (and of Michael Redgrave, who plays the headmaster of "Brookfield" with a strange and almost desperate gallantry) and of course Terence Rattigan, who had to re-imagine the whole thing for a post war audience....more info
  • Only worth it for O'Toole
    Yes, I'm going to be another naysayer. I love Peter O'Toole and found his work in this to be strong and brilliant. However, the entire rest of the movie falls down around this. Petula Clark is a rather bland leading lady, the songs are sappy and quite forgettable (in fact by the latter half of the movie I was muting the songs), and the story didn't flow properly. I don't know the book or the Donat version of the film, though.

    What characteristics did Katherine's character have, that caused Chips to fall in love with her? Katherine wasn't a BAD character, just a boring one. Perhaps since she was the only young single woman he'd met, he convinced himself he loved her?

    I also did not see what exactly it was that made Chips so likeable at the end. There are no scenes shown of the boys growing to like him, or of anything he's doing that changes his dull image to them, yet suddenly when he becomes headmaster every boy likes him, laughs at his jokes. There are a few minor bits where Katherine interacts with the boys but these are fleetingly minor and wouldn't really redeem Chips in the boys' eyes.

    I'd give this movie a 1 or 2 if it didn't have such a great O'Toole performance in it. Yeah, his singing is weak, very Rex-Harrison-ish, but the rest of his performance is very moving, especially from the point where he becomes headmaster. Watch it on TV, but give the DVD a miss.

    ...more info
  • A heart-warming story of a teacher in an English boys school
    Peter O'Toole (Mr. Chips) is a shy, conscientious academician whose personality blossoms when he finds that the woman beyond his aspirations returns his affections. This is a story of love between two people and a commitment to a profession that requires vision beyond most people's idea of success. If you have taught school, this is almost required viewing. Best watched with someone you love....more info
  • Good Bye Mr Chips with Peter O'Toole and Petual Clark
    One of the finest films ever produced with outstanding music. I have other editions of this story, but none reach the standards of this masterpiece. I look forward to a release of this DVD....more info
  • Great movie!
    One of the better type of movies one can see. A little old but well actored and presented. The music is also good especially the "School song".
    Could bring back school memories....more info
  • Such Wonderful Music!
    When will this film be released on DVD? One of the most beautifully photographed films I have ever seen! The music is so beautiful and the performances are great! Release it in its original roadshow presentation! I really feel that this film is so underated! Its time is now!...more info
  • A strict English school teacher finds an unlikely romance.
    I saw this in the theater and enjoyed it very much. Peter O'Toole is a dry school teacher in an English boys' school. With action set in England during World War II, O'Toole meets Petula Clark, the American singer entertaining the war-weary Londoners. Romance blossoms between the two, who are from vastly different backgrounds. Petula's songs are a delightful part of the show....more info
  • A film I have never forgotten . . . . .
    I have only seen this film once, at the 'ABC' cinema in Newport, South Wales, when it was first screened.

    This was 36 years ago, and I was 13 years old. I was obviously at an impressionable age because I loved it so much, my father had to literally carry me out of the cinema, in floods of emotional tears, at the end of it - much to the rest of my family's embarassment.

    I've never forgotten this wonderful, magical film. It would mean so much to me to see it again, but, as far as I know, it has never been shown on TV in this country and I can't get it on video.

    I just pray that, one day, some DVD manufacturer will produce a copy for the British market. I'm willing to pay good money for it.

    All I want for Christmas . . . . . . ...more info
  • Where's the DVD?
    The Herb Ross GOODBYE,MR.CHIPS is one of my all time favorite films. I saw it first as the Christmas show at the Empire Theater, London in 1969, and have seen it over and over again, first in a barely watchable pan and scan VHS version, and then on a somewhat better widescreen laserdisc. But where is the long promised DVD release? With all the garbage that does make it to DVD, I am at a loss to know why a film as well made and touching as this has not yet been released. Maybe Peter O'Toole's Academy Award nomination for VENUS will make someone at Warner Home Video, (who I believe release older MGM films), sit up and take notice and get the CHIPS DVD into the works.With terrific performances by O'Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave and the amazing Sian Phillips along with fine songs by Leslie Bricusse and seamless direction by Herb Ross, one can only hope. ...more info
  • We Want a DVD of this Film
    Definitely one of the under rated films of all time. This film is heart warming, the musical numbers are truly wonderful, the acting is wonderul. I, like many of the other reviewers here truly would love to see this film in its entirety (including the number "When I was Younger" that Chips sings on stage after finding out that he has been passed up as headmaster). Only once have I seen this film in its entirety. There is one other clip that is missing from the VHS tape. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have on the DVD not only the full film, but: (1) a commentary done by Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark. (2) Clips of scenes that were cut. (3) From the complete CD that was released (THANK YOU!) we know there are clips of interviews with Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark while on the set. One example is back on Oct 19,1968 Ed Sullivan interviewed Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark while on the set of GMC. (4) Stories about what happened on the set. (4) Interviews with some of the boys that stayed at the school during their break. (5) A photo montage. (6) Interviews with the cast that is still alive. Anyone that loves the music from this film should buy Petula Clark's DVD of Petula Clark: At the Turn of the Century (you can buy it here on Amazon). It is a concert she did five years after making "Goodbye Mr. Chips" and includes "Fill the World with Love" and "You and I". The arrangement is just as it was in the film. I highly recommend it. Lastly, my mom and I saw Petula Clark perform at Epcot in Florida on May 4, 2007 and she sang "Tomorrow with Me" which was pulled from the film and replaced with "You and I". I did not know it was from the film until after my trip and I finally finished the CD of "Goodbye Mr. Chips". Please whoever owns the rights to this film please, please, please put it on DVD....more info
  • Touching remake of 1939 Classic
    Peter O'Toole give a great performance as the humble yet stern school master at an all boys school in pre-ww2 England....more info
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips
    This is a wonderful movie! Why isn't it on DVD?(I've had the VHS tape forever!) The scene when Peter O'Toole learns of his wife's death and returns to his classroom gets me everytime. Plus, I have the soundtrack on a casssette tape--why isn't the soundtrack on CD? I can't find the 1969 version ANTWHERE! Hope it finally gets done. Thanks....more info
  • As usual the critics are wrong!!! Great Movie, Great Music.
    After watching this movie, I can only wonder at what motivates these critics. This is a very, very fine movie with strong acting, good music and an uplifting love story. Sorry guys, I bought this video and it's a keeper. I only wish they would put out a soundtrack CD also....more info
  • great present for Mum

    Arrived on time - excellent condition - thanks...more info
  • The definitive version of James Hilton's novel
    It's about time this version hit DVD. Every other film edition has been out for years. Not only is Petula Clark fantastic in this film, but the soundtrack is amazing. She's always getting kudos for Finian's Rainbow. Wait 'till you see Goodbye Mr. Chips. Although she was very big in the 'sixties, in my view Pet Clark is a very underrated talent. She had the best voice on radio, and as a stylist, easily handled numerous well-written pop songs of the day. Before making it in England and America, however, she was also well known in France, and therefore, a wealth of French recordings also exist.
    I often wonder why she didn't make more movies, and seeing her stellar performance in this one, any listener may feel the same. Hats off to Pet, and this long overdue but well worth the wait curtain call....more info
  • Great movie - great actors, great songs - it has it all.
    A touching heartwarming love story between a prim and proper school teacher and a beautiful show girl who is fed up with the life under the lights. The acting is superb, the story is superb, the songs are superb, and the voice of Petula Clark as always is superb. I would recommend this movie to anyone....more info