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Tom Brown's Schooldays

7.11 h 31 min1951U
1951. Starring Robert Newton, John Howard Davis, Sir Michael Horden and Max Bygraves. A faithful rendition of the Thomas Hughes book of life at the famed Rugby School for Boys.
Gordon Parry
Robert NewtonSir Michael HordenMax Bygraves
None Available
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Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.

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MY Spotlight Independent, MY Production Limited, Renown Pictures, Renown Films
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4.5 out of 5 stars

78 global ratings

  1. 76% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Neil WeltonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 June 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Public School System
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When I first learnt of public schools at the age of about twelve in the mid 1980s, I just couldn’t believe a small number of boys of my age were going to have such an education. I was shocked and stunned and I hated and resented the whole idea of it. A rigid class system dividing the entire education system which you cannot change as you too enter it. I did not want to believe and I just could not believe such schools were going to continue for my generation too. Just as they had done so for countless generations of boys before us. I simply couldn’t understand why all the parents and all the adults wanted them to continue. It seemed so unfair and unjust. Couldn’t they see how unfair and unjust it was? Couldn’t they see how the schools were going to perpetuate inequality in education and society? Couldn’t they see that the class system was going to continue if you allow some boys to have such an advantage and privilege within education? It is difficult to explain, and as a teenager I never thought I would say this, but as you become older you slowly begin to see for yourself the important role public schools (like Eton, Harrow and Winchester) play within education. You begin to understand and also to acknowledge the invaluable and incalculable role these schools have in educating each generation. Especially during the progressive and troublesome decades like the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Above all else, just like with this film, you begin to see how special it would be if it continued. Not only for the next generation but also for the future generations of boys who will follow after them. Put simply the boys and increasingly the girls who attend our public schools are quite frankly very lucky and also very fortunate to do so. We should be supporting them. Not hating them and saying we despise them. For they are the very best of their generation. The cream. The elite. Future leaders. Excellent film by the way. Stirring strong emotions about the idea of a public school system and, of course, the successful perpetuation of the class system which it ensures. You either vehemently hate and detest these ideas or passionately want to protect and defend them and, as I've become older, I can honestly say it is certainly the latter.
4 people found this helpful
M. DowdenReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 June 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Still Very Enjoyable
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Released in 1951 this British film is of course in black and white, and although supposedly digitally remastered you do still get some hissing and such like on the soundtrack at times, as well as some spots and wear on the actual video. Despite this though, as many of us can attest, this is still very enjoyable.

Although of course not as good as Thomas Hughes’s semi-autobiographical novel, which in itself inspired others to write school stories, this still makes for good watching. Here we first meet Tom Brown as he leaves home to board at Rugby School, where a certain Dr Thomas Arnold is headmaster and on a campaign of reforms. As we follow the exploits of Tom and his new friends, so we also see the bullying of Flashman, and what that results in.

Entertaining to watch, John Forrest really brings Flashman to life with his sneering and obstreperous ways, and ultimately showing his cowardice and what a blaggard he is. Shot on location at Rugby School for a lot of this, so the actual backdrop of the school for instance in the outside shots adds a little something extra to the film, and this does get its message across, although Dr Thomas Arnold is at times portrayed as a bit holier than thou, and rather sugary. In all though the acting is good, the story obviously is a good one and this does hold young and old in their seats as we sit back and watch ninety-one minutes of a still very good film. Really this is something that you cannot go wrong with, and it has been entertaining the public for a number of decades now, whilst other versions have been forgotten about to a large extent in this country.
One person found this helpful
Michael RawReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 December 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best version. Natural, convincing portrayal of both boys and adults.
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In my view the best of the various versions of Hughes's book on fil, (It's much better in sharp black and white than the rather muddy "colourised" version.) The actors all seem perfectly at ease both with characterisation and the school slang of the time. John Charlesworth is outstanding as East and, among the adults, Robert Newton and Michael Hordern are impressive - the latter as an irreconcilable "old school" master who sees virtue in bullying and the birch. Arthur's role is true to the book and the final scenes when he is saved, apparently, by East turning back to prayer are unashamedly heart-warming and tear-jerking. ("There was someone listening!") The blanket-tossing and roasting scenes are suitably gruelling and the fight-back by Tom and East raises a cheer. All in all, thoroughly recommended!
4 people found this helpful
Mrs Ruth A HalsallReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 November 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Quality view of an old fashioned school system during the eighteen hundreds
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This movie is about a young boy who goes to private school in Rugby during the eighteen hundreds in England. It is a sad, but virtuous tale of courage and overcoming adversity when growing up. It demonstrates an old school system in which many teachers tried to reform over many decades. It is a wonderful, vintage movie, full of twists and turns with many familiar faces in the cast, if you watch old movies. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a quality view. Thanks
8 people found this helpful
John RichardsonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 March 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Faint praise
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(2.5 stars) Comparisons with 'Goodbye, Mr Chips', 'The Winslow Boy' and 'The Browning Version' are inevitable, but this film just hasn't quite got the chops to compete. It's fascinating as a pseudo-historical record of public school life in the mid-19th Century, but the story fails to engage fully. However, it's an innocent enough way to pass the time without boring you rigid. Damned with faint praise.
JohnReviewed in the United Kingdom on 03 January 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Superb film
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Superb Film, may be a little old now but at least you can hear what the actors are saying and see the pictures unlike many modern films where the actors mumble and the picture is always dark so you can not see what is going on.

If you are a fan of bad language, sexual scenes and vulgarity look elsewhere as you won't find it in this film.

This is a film that can be enjoyed by the whole family and has a decent ending that leaves viewers with a feel good factor that is sadly missing in many modern films!
7 people found this helpful
Louise TreleavenReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 October 2007
5.0 out of 5 stars
Childhood favourite returns in colour
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To see my favourite film from my childhood in full colour is amazing. The original black and white version was very indistinct, being set mainly in the dark corridors of Rugby. Although the characters do suffer from green lips on occasion, the whole experience is much less dated.

If you love the book, I would recommend this film wholeheartedly as the version truest to the novel, and the only one which actually follows the story of Arthur rather than killing him off (2004) or simply deleting him (1971). East is brilliantly played, the best interpretation of the character ever, and Flashman, who looks about thirty, is sublimely horrible and a complete coward, as required. Tom is a great mixture of vulnerability and strength. Dr Arnold is a little uninspiring and stern. Nevertheless, you can't fault this film - it led me to read the novel, and read it again and again.
26 people found this helpful
R. CleaverReviewed in the United Kingdom on 06 June 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
its in colour
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bought it for a relative who says its in colur and doesnt like it...the original is to be bought at £2,70 on e bay
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