A musical version of James Hilton’s classic novel, starring Peter O’Toole and Petula Clark.
Arthur “Chips” Chipping (Peter O’Toole) is a shy and dedicated teacher who struggles to develop a rapport with his pupils. But one day, he meets beautiful singer and actress Katherine Bridges (Petula Clark). She renounces the artificial world of the theatre to become his wife, happily transforming not only her life but his as well.
Director Herbert Ross became one of Hollywood’s most assured directors of light entertainment, but he was very lucky indeed to get another chance after this nightmare of a debut. Rex Harrison and Richard Burton both had the sense to send Terence Rattigan’s script back from whence it came, and not even an Oscar nomination can hide the fact that this is one of Peter O’Toole’s least distinguished performances.
The fact that John Williams and Leslie Bricusse were also nominated for best score is even more preposterous as the songs in this musical adaptation are simply shocking.
The school scenes were shot in the beautiful Dorset countryside and several picturesque London and Italian locations are well filmed. Particularly effective is the sequence shot among the ruins at Pompeii, where the holidaying Chips and Katherine bump into each other unexpectedly.
Arthur “Chips” Chipping