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Other than using the same title this film has no connection to nor is there any film credit linking it to the poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. In this film, Kenneth Hale, a pampered, snobbish young boy is sent by his father, John Hale, who has served time in prison for a crime he did not commit, down to the country farm of an old friend, Calvin Whittaker. The barefooted, honest and plucky Billy Whittaker, his girlfriend, Pige Bennett, and punky Kenneth get involved with a "haunted" house and a gang of crooks, while Billy helps make a "better man" out of Kenneth. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rural teenager Jackie Moran (as Billy Whittaker) likes to play with his dog and climb trees with no shoes on, as suggested in John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "Barefoot Boy". Mr. Moran also likes cute neighbor Marilyn Knowlden (as Julia Blaine) and writes her a love note. The potential for puppy love is threatened however, by the arrival of spoiled military schoolboy Bradley Metcalfe (as Kenneth Hale). He teases Moran about going barefoot, wrestles with him, and pledges to steal his girlfriend. Their parents have Mr. Metcalfe staying with Moran when the former's father Ralph Morgan (as John Hale) gets out of prison...
Meanwhile, Matty Fain (as Blake) and Frank Puglia (as Hank), two crooks who committed the crime for which Mr. Morgan served time, hide out in the local haunted house. After Metcalfe is declared a hero for saving her sister from drowning, jealous Marcia Mae Jones (as Pige Blaine), who has a crush on Moran, takes the teenagers to the haunted house, hoping to expose Metcalfe as a coward. Mixing it up with criminals puts the youngsters and Moran's dog ("Toto" from "The Wizard of Oz") in grave danger Director Karl Brown moves this teen fare well, but it looks like some omissions or edits have garbled parts of the story.
***** Barefoot Boy (8/3/38) Karl Brown ~ Jackie Moran, Bradley Metcalfe, Marcia Mae Jones, Ralph Morgan
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