Goodbye, Mr. Chips - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Goodbye, Mr. Chips Reviews

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September 22, 2017
I shall always remember you. "Haec olim meminisse iuvabit."
½ August 6, 2017
It's hard to make episodic films of this sort terribly dramatic. I was disappointed.
May 23, 2017
Arguably the greatest movie I have ever seen! To think the simple story of a professor's life would be more glorious than a big budget epic story of good vs evil! If you love and view film as an art form, watch this movie, because it is the true embodiment of artistic cinema!
½ December 16, 2016
Uninterestingly formulaic narrative saved by the decent performances. Warrants a thumbs up when viewed from the aspect of its era and that's about it - the characters never develop enough to impact neither their network nor the viewer. Overall, feel-good, lukewarmish and an alright film to have in the background at some point during Christmas time.
October 18, 2016
Wonderful movie about a caring person.
Greer Garson as his wife changes his life
August 22, 2016
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a pleasant little movie. The characters are all very likable and the story is simple, yet satisfying. However, since this film came out the same year as Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, it's no wonder that Mr. Chips got lost in the shuffle. And even though this movie may be a bit silly at times, it has a good heart and it's worth watching.
May 7, 2016
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is such a heartwarming and at times wonderfully romantic movie with endearing characters, good performances and a heartfelt ending. Its romance feels like a detour and the film never rises above the level of good, but it is a sweet and pleasant experience with a nice humor in it, many memorable scenes and a big heart.
March 23, 2016
Goodbye Mr. Chips is a film about a retiring teacher at an all-boys school who reflects on his career. I really enjoyed Robert Donat's performance as he plays the shy and unassuming Mr. Chips through the years. Also the age makeup and hair was pretty good at making his old man performance believable. I usually would enjoy this kind of movie because I like stories about teachers who have some strong impact on their students (I have multiple generations of teachers in my family.) This one even had the added benefit of showing the story over generations so we could see how the students turned out. Yet the story did not connect with me. They focused more on the life of Mr. Chips and much less on his teaching. While the impact of his wife was good to see, it sidetracked the movie from its intended premise. We never really get to know any of the students well enough to know them by name, so when they show up later I found myself constantly trying to piece together who this kid was as a youth. Also there weren't any solid lessons that Mr. Chips taught the kids, so we didn't get to see how he in particular changed their lives. There were moments that worked, but the films entire plot didn't hold together. So the final scene, which should be emotional, failed to move me. Goodbye Mr. Chips isn't a bad movie, it's merely one that did nothing special, and therefore I can't recommend it.
Super Reviewer
September 26, 2015
Twee, melodramatic, and linear are the words that spring to mind.
December 17, 2014
Perhaps the most heart warming and cosy film ever made, the rarity being its male orientated and not aimed solely at female audiences like most of this type. Probably responsible for many folk taking up the teaching favourite film ever.
½ November 10, 2014
An impressive and sentimental melodrama.
September 7, 2014
It may be antiquated and sentimental, but it carries it off in a way that just would not be possible today and conveys a wonderfully told life story.
July 2, 2014

I had hopes for Goodbye Mr. Chips. Released in what many consider to be Hollywood's Greatest Year (a year filled with greats like The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Stagecoach), but nope; Goodbye Mr. Chips is not the moving, touching melodrama that I should be.

Based on some novel that I have zero interest in reading, the film is about a shy but strict British teacher named Mr. Chipping (Robert Donat), or "Chips" who dedicates himself to teaching generations of schoolchildren. Greer Garson makes her debut appearance as Chips' lovely wife that dies after childbirth.

What's wrong with the film? Well, first I could never care for the Chips character. While not a completely horrific character per se his traits are handled in the blandest way. I'm not familiar with actor Robert Donat, but he didn't convince me. I admit the makeup was good, but he didn't convey the traits that should have made the character a fantastic one. Take the scene where he loses his wife for example. Donat fails to convey any single emotions in this scene. I also didn't care for the so-called attempt at comedy in the picture. His jokes are almost unbearable and especially unfunny. In a very forced WWI subtext, where firing is heard in the distance, Chips says something like, "There's nothing as scary in the past like these walls," and every single kid laughs. I admit that's nowhere as bad as let's say dog sex in Transformer 2, but you got to do a better joke than this!

What annoys me about Donat's role is that he won the Oscar for it, beating out Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind and Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith. I don't know about you, but I think that Gable and Jimmy are far better actors than someone not-so-great like Donat.

And that leads to my next point, and that it's hard to relate to any of the kids. The pacing seems extremely rushed and because of that, I never cared for any generation of children. Also it looked like the same kids were playing each generation, which was very irritating.

As obvious, the drama just didn't work for me. I've enjoyed b&w melodramas in the past (Casablanca is in my Top 20 Greatest Films of All-Time), much of the drama just felt too forced or too syrupy for my liking. As mentioned, Donat's emotions for his wife's death was severely lacking, and the WWI subtext was completely forced and a painkiller in pacing. Other moments turn from what should have been moments of inspiration into unintentional funniness, such as Donat running after a train with Garson in it and Donat in his deathbed. Seriously, if this was made today and colorized (cause you know children today don't care at all about no b&w), this would be your weekly Hallmark Channel movie. I guarantee that last statement.

But unlike your traditional Hallmark movie, there's one thing that makes me appreciate the film, sort-of, and that's Greer Garson. In her relatively small screen-time, cause (IT'S BEEN SPOILED ALREADY) her character dies, Garson shows more serious things in what's truly called acting than anything actually aired on Hallmark. Unlike so-called acting in Hallmark films, which involve Joey Lawrence riding a horse throughout the traffic of NYC to impress a girl and Carla Gugino "abducting" her sister's children to get away with it, Greer Garson (my first experience from her, by the way) virtually nails anything bad about my experience.

But despite Garson's short-lived attempt to make the film more interesting, I couldn't care less. Goodbye Mr. Chips is an utterly boring melodrama. The dramatic material is either forced or syrupy, the characterizations are one-dimensional, the comedy is horrid, and Robert Donat gives an extremely bland performance as the title character, one that should not, I repeat SHOULD NOT have won the Oscar, especially when greats like Jimmy Stewart and Clark Gable were nominated the same year. 1939 may have been "Hollywood's Greatest Year", but Goodbye Mr. Chips is not Hollywood's greatest movie.
½ June 11, 2014
Better than the musical one, in my opinion, but still nowhere as great as the book.
½ May 7, 2014
Robert Donat is very assured as the gentile and lovable 'Chips' in a very reflective story of the life in a boys school either side of the turn of the 20th century. It's a fine production too and another classic from the movie industry's annus mirabilis year.
March 6, 2014
Top 3 all time movies.
½ March 2, 2014
Marx veteran Sam Wood helms a fine little 30s gem that has plenty heart yet no sap. Its strongest asset is a flawless and touching portrayal of the titular teacher from Donat. Backed up by a likeable supporting cast both young & old, and some pretty sophisticated direction and slick pace that hasn't aged in the slightest, 'Mr Chips' will absolutely charm any & all ages. Especially those who recall that special teacher that set you on the right road for life.
December 9, 2013
For a ~75 yearold movie, it was an enjoyable watch. The story held up really well and the acting was great, i can understand why Robert Donat was best actor.
Super Reviewer
September 11, 2013
The original Chips continues to be a film classic. The film is ahead of its time in terms of realizing that war has victims on all sides even those who are on the enemy side. A weeper that you can feel good about weeping to.
August 26, 2013
Not a bad film for its day. Quintessential English by Jove.
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