Goodbye Mr. Chips


joined:12/31/69
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/16/13 at 04:23pm
What does everyone think of this 1969 musical film?

It's usually pegged as a petty bad film, but I think it's marvellous. Many of the performances are wonderful, especially from the leads, and the musical direction / arrangements by John Williams are gorgeous, partially resurrecting Leslie Bricusse's rather subpar score.

I think that if it had been released at a different time, maybe a decade earlier, that it could have been successful. Of course, ten years earlier it would have been a very different film.
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/16/13 at 05:42pm
I like it very much. I have the 3-Disc Special Edition of the soundtrack with all the alternate/extended numbers and the film's underscore. It also includes interviews with O'Toole and Petula Clark.

I love, love, love Sian Philips in this film..she's a hoot.

My avatar is the film's logo in honor of Mr. O'Toole.

Updated On: 12/16/13 at 05:42 PM
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/16/13 at 05:49pm
It's a very uneven film with some nice moments, some nice music, some nice locations, a nice story ...

... and then there's that scene I described as a spoiler in another thread. It's devastating. It actually has the effect of making a simple love story that came before it resonate far more than it did when I was watching it. Peter O'Toole has one scene in the film that is as good as any he ever did.

If you ever see the first film version (non-musical from 1939) with an Oscar-winning performance by Robert Donat (beating out Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind, James Steward in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, etc.) and a wonderful debut screen performance by Greer Garson (also nominated), there is just no comparison.

Still, I found that by the end of the musical version, I was glad I saw it, and there were some good things about it.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Broadway Legend
joined:12/31/69
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/16/13 at 06:31pm
I also have the three disc soundtrack, and I love it so much. I wish more musicals recieved that sort of soundtrack treatment. I assume it was granted said treatment because it was an early work by John Williams rather than the merit of the film itself (although I think it definitely is deserving).

And both Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark have some devastatingly wonderful moments.
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/16/13 at 08:18pm
I saw the film dozens of times because it played an "extended engagement" at a theater where I worked as a teenager.

I love the movie, which isn't to say I think it is good, particularly as a musical. O'Toole's acting is superb, of course, Phillips is fabulous and I found Petula Clark a revelation. "You and I" may be my favorite Leslie Bricusse song.

But unlike Lerner & Loewe for Rex Harrison, the songwriters never found a way to musicalize Mr. Chips in a manner that O'Toole could handle. "What a Lot of Flowers?" indeed!
VeraCharles3
Featured Actor
joined:8/4/10
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/17/13 at 03:01am
Mr Nowak - I posted a similar thread earlier this year I think. It's good to know there is another fan of the movie. I love it, it's one of, possibly the last big old fashioned movie musical. It has some great tunes and some forgettable ones too, to be honest.

I am jealous of both you and Carlos for having the 3 Disc Special Edition Soundtrack
JayG 2
Stand-by
joined:12/19/12
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/17/13 at 05:48am
The score has several beautiful songs and a great performance by O'Toole. It was originally offered to Gower Champion with a score by the Previns. Burton and Lee Remick were attached, I believe , but that all fell through when Rex Harrison next came on board and wanted Bricusse.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/17/13 at 01:27pm
I agree with several things already noted - the Donat/Garson version is by far the benchmark, the score is mostly pretty boring stuff (I think the 2 pastiche numbers, "School Days" and "London Is London" are fun, but could have been worlds better), with the exception of "You and I," a perfect little ballad. O'Toole, Clark, and Phillips make the material look better than it is. Every time I watch it, I'm surprised how it draaaaaaaags.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/17/13 at 06:08pm
The songs are presented differently on the L.P. than they were in the movie. The movie seems to use snippets or shortened versions whereas the whole song is on the LP.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
Broadway Legend
joined:12/31/69
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/17/13 at 06:54pm
Yes, some of the soundtrack versions are very different from the film versions. The vocals are mostly the same but the arrangements, as well as the tense in "You And I," are different. The 3 CD booklet goes into detail about the different versions and the set presents the entire original LP soundtrack with the mix issued in 1969, along with the songs as used in the film and remixed versions of the alternates due to the original LP mix being a little bit flat.

However, I believe the lengths are mostly the same on the LP as they are in the film, although the original soundtrack did eliminate a few reprises and had the alternate arrangements. It actually is rather bizarre that they changed the arrangements so much.
Emma White
Featured Actor
joined:2/11/13
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/17/13 at 06:59pm
"Fill the World with Love" always touches my heart more than it should...
"Nice is different than good."
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/17/13 at 07:04pm
The score is not as bad as people say.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/18/13 at 12:54pm
Who are these "people"?
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/29/13 at 03:36pm
GOODBYE MR. CHIPS will be airing at 1:00 am on Turner Classic Movies as part of it's memorial tribute to Peter O'Toole.

The other films featured in the memorial tribute are LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and MY FAVORITE YEAR.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Goodbye Mr. Chips
Posted: 12/29/13 at 04:41pm
Not the first time this happened and especially with Bricusse

He is constantly maligned and yet he is in the Songwriters Hall Of Fame. Not bad for a hack..

Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
Updated On: 12/29/13 at 04:41 PM

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