ID this film?
May 26, 2005 4:53 PM   Subscribe

MovieFilter: Help ID this movie about a British boarding school.

Another "I saw this on TV when I was younger" movie question:

Mid to late 70s film (seen on TV), about a British boarding school.

The only scene I remember is a large group of British school children gathered around a well, as a tied-up boy is being lowered by rope (with his legs exposed) in a well overflowing with rats. The sadistic boy in charge of this is then shown holding up one rat by his tale in the face of another boy, who I assume is the protagonist.

It's not the film If..., but it might have a similar tone to that.
posted by jca to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
Tom Browns's Schooldays?
posted by arha at 5:01 PM on May 26, 2005

Are you thinking of Unman, Wittering and Zigo?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:27 PM on May 26, 2005

Goodbye, Mr. Chips?
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:22 PM on May 26, 2005

Response by poster: Appreciate the suggestions. Pretty sure it's not Mr. Chips (that film was from 1939.)

Not sure about the other two without having seen them.

Isn't Tom Brown's Schooldays Victorian era? Also, that version was a Masterpiece Theatre miniseries, right? (Someone mentioned about parts of it being on video.) That doesn't seem right -- this was a film -- but hard to say without seeing it.

Not sure about Unman, Wittering and Zigo.

Will have to try to rent these to see if it has this particular scene/memory.

Any other suggestions?
posted by jca at 9:44 PM on May 26, 2005

Best answer: Spirits of the Dead. From the late 60s, a movie based on three different Edgar Allan Poe stories.
posted by apple scruff at 11:20 PM on May 26, 2005

Another Country?
posted by veedubya at 11:49 PM on May 26, 2005

Response by poster: Spirits of the Dead doesn't sound like it would have the scene/plot I described. Another Country is too recent -- I saw this film on TV in the late 70s.
posted by jca at 1:18 AM on May 27, 2005

There are two Tom Brown's Schooldays films - one from 1940 (which I *think* was in colour) and one from 1951. One of them was called 'Adventures at Rugby' for the US market. Here is the older one (link to more recent one inside). There's certainly a fair degree of sadism in both.... not sure about rat-filled well though.
posted by altolinguistic at 2:01 AM on May 27, 2005

Best answer: Spirits of the Dead does contain such a scene, so it's worth considering.

If you can remember any of the actors in it (or just recall something else they've been in, or even ) then some IMDB searching will track it down.
posted by malevolent at 4:14 AM on May 27, 2005

I answered with Spirits of the Dead because I remember the scene in question quite vividly. I should have mentioned that I wasn't guessing.
posted by apple scruff at 9:58 AM on May 27, 2005

Response by poster: Appreciate the help. I've added Spirits of the Dead to the top of my Netflix queue, so I should be able to see it sometime next week and confirm/revisit the scene.
posted by jca at 11:27 AM on May 27, 2005

Response by poster: Update: Just watched the film, and yes, it is indeed Spirts of the Dead.

My scene description was pretty accurate, especially considering it was just some fleeting memory from seeing this brief clip on television some 20 years (or more) ago. Watching it again was kind of strange, because all the minor details were not exactly as I remembered -- like having a distant memory updated/corrected decades later by seeing the film again.

Appreciate all the help.
posted by jca at 6:32 PM on June 5, 2005

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