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25. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
We know that the beloved Brit teacher Mr. Chips (Robert Donat) is a kind man by the way he comforts the boy on the train who, like him, is nervous about going off to boarding school for the first time. And because we know that Chips was a lonely man who always spent summer holidays by himself, we cheer when he finally finds love with Greer Garson’s incandescent Katherine. And then comes the awful… KLEENEX MOMENT when she dies in childbirth and Chips wanders off to the classroom. There he sits, dazed, while a choked-up student stumbles through the Latin lesson. That this scene is played with stiff-upper-lip restraint makes it all the more heartrending.
Image Credit: Everett Collection
June 26 2009 — 12:00 AM EDT