He went from teacher to legend in one lifetime.
Arthur Chipping, the Latin master at an English boys boarding school, is as awkward as he is stubborn. The eccentric schoolmaster lives a full, rich life within the cloistered school, defined by his role as the intellectual shepherd of generations of young students. Then, everything changes.
When Mr. Chipping travels through the countryside on summer holiday, he unexpectedly falls in love with the unconventional Kathie (Victoria Hamilton, Mansfield Park). The love and devotion of his new wife ignites his passion and brings him out of his shell, revealing the sensitivity lying beneath his gruff exterior. But after tragedy strikes, Chips true character is put to the test in the most difficult examination of his life. Ultimately, it is a lesson that will last a lifetime.
Goodbye, Mr. Chips is a tender, heartwarming story that spans over 50 years in one passionate life. Portraying the storied Arthur Chipping in James Hiltons classic tale of love and transformation, Martin Clunes (Shakespeare in Love) turns in a bravura performance in a film filled with countless noteworthy turns.
James Hilton's beloved novel is tenderly remade here with a British cast for ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre. British television actor Martin Clunes plays the schoolteacher over a 50-year period, from his first day as a novice Latin instructor until his death at 83 as retired Headmaster. The world and Mr. Chipping change dramatically over the decades. He marries a proto-feminist (British stage actress Victoria Hamilton) who nicknames him "Chips" and gives him courage to test his humanitarian impulses. World War I hits home in many ways, as a long roster of the school's graduates die or are maimed, and Chips struggles with the discriminatory exile of his best friend, the German teacher. Despite obvious breaks for commercials, this film has a graceful honesty that transcends the sometimes sentimental storyline. The casual cruelty at the all-boys school may make parents flinch more than their children, rendering this a safe choice for family viewing.--Kimberly Heinrichs