Watch Tom Brown's School Days
- 1 hr 26 min
Tom Brown's School Days is a coming-of-age movie from 1940, directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Cedric Hardwicke, Freddie Bartholomew, and Jimmy Lydon. The movie is based on a novel of the same name by Thomas Hughes, which was first published in 1857. The story follows Tom Brown (played by Jimmy Lydon), a young boy who is sent away to the prestigious Rugby School in England. At first, Tom finds it hard to adjust to the strict rules and brutal initiations that are part of school life. However, he soon finds a friend in the form of Harry Flashman (played by Freddie Bartholomew), a boy who is also new to the school but who is cunning and street-smart.
As Tom settles into life at Rugby, he begins to learn about honor, loyalty, and friendship. He also meets some of the school's more colorful characters, including Reverend Thomas Arnold (played by Cedric Hardwicke), the school's headmaster, and East (played by John Sutton), a schoolboy who becomes Tom's rival.
The movie is set in the early 19th century, at a time when the British Empire was expanding and the country was ruled by an aristocratic elite. Rugby School itself was known for producing successful politicians, military leaders, and other members of the British ruling class. However, the movie also shows some of the darker aspects of British society during this time, including a brutal hazing ritual that is carried out by the older boys at the school.
Despite its somewhat dated source material, Tom Brown's School Days remains a classic coming-of-age story that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The movie is notable for its strong performances, particularly from Cedric Hardwicke, who brings a subtle depth to his portrayal of Reverend Arnold. Freddie Bartholomew is also excellent as the charming but ultimately morally bankrupt Harry Flashman.
One of the film's major themes is the conflict between tradition and progress. This is embodied in the character of Reverend Arnold, who is a reformer and who seeks to modernize the school's curriculum and discipline. However, he is also a deeply traditional figure, who believes in the virtues of honor, duty, and self-sacrifice.
Tom Brown's School Days is also a poignant exploration of friendship and loyalty, particularly between young boys. The relationship between Tom and Harry is at the heart of the movie, and it is both touching and tragic. The two boys are very different, but they find a common bond in their outsider status at the school.
Finally, the movie is notable for its portrayal of the physical and emotional rigors of school life. The boys at Rugby are constantly subjected to beatings, humiliations, and other forms of abuse, and the movie pulls no punches in depicting these practices. However, the film also shows how the boys learn to endure and overcome these hardships, and how they form lasting bonds of friendship in the process.
Overall, Tom Brown's School Days is a powerful and moving film that remains relevant and engaging more than 80 years after its release. It is a testament to the enduring appeal of the coming-of-age genre, and to the universal themes of loyalty, friendship, and honor. If you are a fan of classic cinema or of poignant coming-of-age stories, then Tom Brown's School Days is a movie that you should definitely check out.
Tom Brown's School Days is a 1940 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.