Tom Brown's School Days1940
Tom Brown's School Days is a 1940 coming-of-age drama film about a teenage boy's experiences at Rugby School, Warwickshire in the early 19th century under the reforming headmastership of Thomas Arnold. It stars Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Freddie Bartholomew and Jimmy Lydon in the title role. The film was based on the 1857 novel, Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes.
In this version emphasis is placed on the development of Headmaster Thomas Arnold and his reformist ideas concerning the English public school. It was well received by critics, with Variety praising it in a December 31, 1939, review as "sympathetically and skilfully made, with many touching moments and an excellent cast". Hardwicke's performance as Arnold was called "one of the best he has ever given on the screen," as the veteran actor convincingly tempered the headmaster's strict demeanour with "the underlying sympathy, tolerance, quiet humour and steadfast courage" for which Arnold was acclaimed. Jimmy Lydon as the title character was called "believable and moving in the early portions, but too young for the final moments".
The core of the plot focuses on bullying from the older boys (and Flashman in particular),with only Tom being willing to stand up to them.Honour and loyalty between schoolfriends is critical. Tom faces expulsion, not for his theft of a cart but for lying. When he eventually confesses he is spared expulsion and Dr Arnold gives him "12 of the best" with a smile.
The June 27, 1940 debut of the film version at New York City's Radio City Music Hall was chronicled in a photo spread by The New York Times, "showing some of the pastimes, curricular and otherwise", as the fight scene between Tom Brown and Flashman was captioned.
|Genre:||Filmdrama, Coming-of-Age-Geschichte, Romanverfilmung|
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