16 February 2013 | bkoganbing
Mr. Chips Joins The Circus
Without even attempting a British accent Danny Kaye stars in a delightful comedy as Mr. Chips type school teacher who dabbles in archeology. Kaye is his usual henpecked character, totally dominated by his father Noel Purcell who even scares his more self assured brothers Rex Evans and Robert Coote.
A long cherished assignment gives Kaye a chance to dig for a statue of Pan believed to be in the north of England. A traveling circus that is run by Salvatore Baccaloni with his daughter Pier Angeli as a high flying aerialist happens to be on the site of his dig. But when they face down the common enemy of the local lord who wants to have a dairy farm there now, Kaye's dig permit trumps all and he wins the gratitude of the circus folk. He wins even more from Pier Angeli.
Merry Andrew gives a full expressions to Kaye's many talents. The school and the circus setting give him an ideal venue for those comic and singing talents. Some really classic Kaye is involved here. My favorite is him digging for his Pan statue and coming up right in the middle of the lion's cage during a circus performance. Later on of course the Pan statue is found, but you won't believe who finds it.
This may all come to a sad end as Kaye is already slightly engaged to Patricia Cutts, daughter of one of the higher ranking teachers at Purcell's school, Walter Kingsford. Merry Andrew was Kingsford's final film ending a distinguished career on cinema. Kingsford is best known for playing Dr. Carew the head of Blair General Hospital in the Dr. Kildare series.
As Kaye would have said in this film, the picture is Tickety-Boo. Not quite sure what the phrase means, but it's all good.