Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969): Musical Version of 1939 Classic, Starring O’Toole in Oscar Nominated Performance

Apiac Productions

Herbert Ross’s remake of the original 1939 “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” is a so-so effort at a musical version of the James Hilton novel.

Peter O’Toole essays the role that Robert Donat had played memorably in the MGM picture, which was nominated for Best Picture and won him his first and only Oscar Award.

In this musical version, the schoolmaster’s wife, played by the singer Petula Clark (in the role of Greer Garson) is a music hall performer to provide a pretext and context for the insertion of songs.

O’Toole, then at the height of his career, having scored the year before with “The Lion in Winter,” was also nominated for Best Actor, but did not win.


Oscar Nominations: 2

Actor: Peter O’Toole

Score of a Musical Picture: Leslie Bricusse and John Williams

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Best Actor Oscar was John Wayne for the Western “True Grit.”

The Scoring Award went to Lennie Hayton and Lionel Newman for “Hello, Dolly!”


1939 Version, directed by Sam Wood

Oscar Nominations: 6

Picture, produced by Victor Saville

Director: Sam Wood

Actor: Robert Donat

Actress: Greer Garson

Screenplay: Eric Maschwitz, R. C. Sheriff, and Claudine West

Film Editing: Charles Frend

Sound Recording: A. W. Watkins

Oscar Awards: 1


Oscar Context:

Goodbye Mr. Chips vied for the top award with nine other films: Dark Victory, Gone With the Wind (which won), Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, and Wuthering Heights.