A history of Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Goodbye, Mr. Chips
A concise history of the little book that could...
1934 : The novel
The novel is written and published in Britain and the US.
1938 : The play
The theatrical version of Goodbye, Mr. Chips is first presented in London by Messrs. O'Bryen, Linnit and Dunfee, at the Shaftesbury Theatre, on September 23, 1938. The play in three acts was written by James Hilton and Barbara Burnham and directed by Murray Macdonald. David Homan designed the scenery and costumes. The cast included Leslie Banks (as Mr. Chips) and Constance Cummings (as Kathie), Nigel Stock, Charles Quartermaine and Wilfred Babbage.
1939 : The first film
The screenplay for director Sam Wood's film is based upon James Hilton's short novel of the same name. From MGM's British studio, the picture is filmed at the Repton School (in Derby), which was founded in 1557, with actual students and faculty serving as extras in the cast.
Robert Donat wins the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1940 (his sole Oscar win), becoming one of the few non-Gone With the Wind victors that year. He defeats some of the most famous nominated performances in film history -- Clark Gable's performance as Rhett Butler, James Stewart as Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. The film is nominated for a total of seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture (Victor Saville, producer), Best Actress (Greer Garson), Best Director, Best Screenplay (Eric Maschwitz, RC Sheriff, and Claudine West), Best Sound Recording and Best Film Editing.
1969 : A musical version
A musical version of Chips, starring Peter O'Toole and directed by Herbert Ross, is based on the 1939 film with music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. This big-budget Hollywood film is the most elaborate of the Goodbye Mr. Chips productions. The songs include: Roll call, Fill the world with love, Would I had lived my life then, Schooldays, That's a boy, Where did my childhood go, Boring, Take a chance, Walk through the world, When I am older, The miracle, A day has a hundred pockets, You and I, What a lot of flowers, When I was younger, Goodbye Mr. Chips, London is London, and And the Sky Smiled. The musical does not prove a great success and the songs are little remembered today. Also featured are Petula Clark as Kathie and Michael Redgrave as the Headmaster.
1984 : A television adaptation
The BBC produces the first television version with Roy Marsden starring as Chipping. The producer is Barry Letts and it is directed by Gareth Davies.
2002 : Goodbye, Mr. Chips with Martin Clunes
Goodbye, Mr. Chips, with Martin Clunes, is produced and presented on Masterpiece Theatre in 2003.
Essays + Interviews:
Author James Hilton | A history of Goodbye, Mr. Chips
An interview with the producers | How to age an actor
Essays + Interviews | Who's Who/Cast + Credits
Story Synopsis | Novel to Film | Russell Baker
Links + Bibliography | Teacher's Guide | The Forum
Home | About The Series | The American Collection | The Archive
Schedule & Season | Feature Library | eNewsletter | Book Club
Learning Resources | Forum | Search | Shop | Feedback
Masterpiece is sponsored by: