20 October 2003 | axsmashcrushallthree
Excellent and recommended
I have now viewed three of the four versions of this James Hilton story. It's a wonderful story, and two superb actors (Robert Donat and Peter O'Toole) have previously played the role of Mr. Chipping (whose first name is again not mentioned this version).
Martin Clunes' effort in the role does not quite match the towering performances of the other two actors, but he's very good, and the other aspects of the production work as well as the '39 version and definitely better than the particularly flawed '69 film. Here, the logic and coherence of the story flow extremely well within less than two hours. The makeup accurately reflects the changing time period of the story exceptionally well. There is a greater emphasis on the progressive aspects of education than in the other two versions, but this emphasis contributes appropriately to the story line. The cast is uniformly excellent.
Overall, a bit less sentimental than the '39 version, which I appreciated. A worthwhile remake, and definitely worth your time - whether you've seen the other versions or not. I'd give it about 8.5 out of 10.