Classic Pick O’ the Day — November 19

 Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969):  In this musical remake, a conservative boys’ school teacher falls in love with an actress.  Dir. Herbert Ross Cast: Peter O’Toole, Petula Clark, Michael Redgrave  2:00 pm CDT. TCM.

None of the songs are particularly memorable (the late 60s = a terrible time for the movie musical), but the script was made over by Terence Rattigan, and he gave James Hilton’s hero an engaging music hall flapper for a Great Love, and he let the two of them enjoy a decade of wedded bliss.

Indeed, one of the best sequences begins when O’Toole’s Chipping explodes at his wife (a winsome, awesome, Petula Clark) for her extravagant anniversary gift.  But you just know he’ll forgive the woman he’d sought out years before, when she’d run from him, fearful of costing him his job because of HER job.  Back then he had soothed her sobbing, “You’ll lose everything you hold dear!” by sweeping her into his arms and declaring, “All that I hold dear, I am holding now.”


A special nod to Sian Phillips (then Mrs O’Toole) for her over-the-top, scene-stealing turn as Ursula (Clark’s actress friend).  She manages to liven up an otherwise deadly garden party by noting: “Oh, but I adore English public schools! I simply worship them all! Even that idiotic Westchester… where you can’t ask a boy out to tea without everyone asking the most extraordinary questions. ” — to the Headmaster.


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