First - blasted laptop - restarted explorer when I was finished with the first version of this post. Which I of course had not saved. OK, take two:
Since last night I have escaped from election news and other headlines by watching - actually watching - not multi-tasking five films on TCM. Three of the movies I have seen parts of over the years, two I never heard of before.
Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939) Surely this film started a genre we are now very familiar with - the tough teacher that eventually becomes beloved by his students. The film features Robert Donat, who beat out the likes of Clark Gable - Gone with the Wind and Jimmy Stewart - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to win the Best Actor Academy Award. Laurence Olivier - Wuthering Heights and Mickey Roone Babes in Arms rounded out the nominations. Greer Garson makes her film debut, after rejecting earlier roles, as the woman who illuminates the film and Chips life - briefly. Another actor you will likely recognize is Paul Henreid, who would later play the heroic Victor Laszlo. His role in this film launched his American career, after appearing in German films.
I think my favorite scene in the movie is when Chips shares the good news that the war as ended to cheering students, but cautions the end was not soon enough for more former students and Masters [teachers] who have died in battle. His inclusion of Max Staefel, the former teacher who died fighting for the opposition, drew questioning among students. However Max was a dear friend for Chips, so naturally he mentioned him.
You have to wonder if today, the same courtesy would occur in our politically correct world, and what consequences would occur. Looking at the comments in the blogsphere, we cannot seem to tolerate when presidential candidates compliment former presidents from the opposite party.
Sam Wood is the director of this film, as well as a uncredited director for it's biggest competitor, Gone with the Wind. His other films include The Pride of the Yankees, For Whom the Bell Tolls and Kings Row which features future US President, Ronald Reagan.
I enjoyed the movie, but have to believe Donat's Academy Award victory was a result of vote split between Smith and Gable.