A charming, quaintly sophisticated account [from the novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips! by James Hilton] of the life of a schoolteacher, highlighted by a remarkably fine Performance from Robert Donat.
Donat’s range of character carries him from youth when he begins to teach at a boys school, through to his middle 30s, then to around the half-century mark, and finally into the slightly doddering age. The character he etches creates a bloodstream for the picture that keeps it intensely alive.
The romance of the schoolteacher and the girl he meets is adroitly and fascinatingly developed. Greer Garson is Katherine, who becomes Donat’s wife, only to die all too soon, leaving the schoolmaster nothing but his desire to go forward, with his work and with the boys he tutors.
1939: Best Actor (Robert Donat).
Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Actress (Greer Garson), Screenplay, Editing, Sound