Mr Perrin and Mr Traill 1948


Director: Lawrence Huntington


Writers: Hugh Walpole (from his novel)L.A.G. StrongT.J. Morrison

Rôle: Vincent Perrin


Release Date: 27 September 1948


Synopsis: A British schoolmaster is upset when a new teacher comes to the school and is an immediate success with the boys. The older man thinks he is not getting the respect he deserves.

Comment: My favourite Marius Goring film after 'So Little Time'. Marius invests so much pathos and humanity in the character of Vincent Perrin that you really feel sympathy and compassion for him. He is magnificent in this rôle. Everything Mr Perrin has built his career and life on seems to slipping away after Traill arrives and then to make matters worse, the new arrival proceeds to steal the women Mr Perrin loves. It is another rather wooden performance from David Farrar. He is good in 'The Small Back Room' (a Powell and Pressburger film) but I have never rated him as much of an actor and I find his character of Traill rather unlikeable. When Mr Perrin sees Isabel Lester (Greta Gynt) being romanced by Traill, the look on his face is heartrending. I just want to give him a hug. After the tragic ending when Traill goes to confront the headmaster Moy-Thompson (Raymond Huntley seemed to make a speciality of playing these mean, sour faced, disdainful characters) in his office and upbraids him about his treatment of Mr Perrin, he takes no responsibility himself, even though he is as much to blame and Mr Perrin had just saved his life. I just want to kick him! What an arsehole!

Marius also did a radio version for the BBC in the 1970s which was based on the original novel by Hugh Walpole. In this version he performed as the narrator, rather than in his earlier rôle of Vincent Perrin.

Reviews: There is a good user review of the film on IMDb by hwg1957-102-265704: "A new teacher Mr Traill arrives at a school in Cornwall and comes into conflict with long established teacher Mr. Perrin. At first it is only about trivial things but soon escalates until eventually coming to a crisis. In the mix is Mr Traill's growing interest in the school nurse Isobel Lester whom Mr Perrin has always desired. It is a fine film that portrays well the insular world of a boarding school with perfect cinematography by Erwin Hillier and an atmospheric music score by Allan Gray.

Anchoring the film is a great performance by Marius Goring as Perrin, whose descent into almost madness is brilliantly portrayed, but then the actor is always interesting in any role he played in movies. This must be one of his best though. Among the other players Raymond Huntley stands out as the sadistic headmaster Moy-Thompson. Lawrence Huntington is an underrated director but he was a proficient film maker and this is definitely one of his best.

The original novel by Hugh Walpole (a good read in itself) has two different endings, one for the UK market and one for the US. The ending to this film is the UK one, which I think is the better one."

Trivia: Marius as the aging Mr Perrin, was actually four years younger than David Farrar who played the supposedly much younger Mr Traill. Hugh Walpole's moving and popular novel was published in 1911. This film version updates the story to the period in which it was made, just after World War II.

Availability: DVD-R versions available from several online sites and a version on YouTube (poorer quality than the DVD-R versions).

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Mr Perrin inspects the boys