When young Robert Shannon is orphaned he leaves his home in Ireland and travels to Langford, Scotland, home of his maternal grandparents. Growing up in the home of his penny-pinching grandfather is made bearable by his doting but irresponsible great-grandfather, loving grandmother and kind aunt and uncle. After a rocky start in his new school Robbie adjusts and is befriended by Gavin and Allison, whom he grows to love as the years pass. As he matures into a young man Robbie's dreams turn to medicine and becoming a doctor. Supported by everyone in the family except his grandfather, he studies for a scholarship as a way to escape life toiling in the local boiler-works. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film is based on A.J. Cronin's bestselling novel. It boasts an exemplary cast and a very evenly-written script. Venerable character actor Charles Coburn, a favorite of many, receives top billing. And true, his performance could easily dominate the movie. But the screenwriter is careful to intersperse moments of Coburn's wily great-grandfather character throughout the narrative while keeping the rest of the ensemble in focus.
The cast includes real-life husband and wife Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy (though they do not play a married couple here). It also features child actor Dean Stockwell in the first half and matinée idol Tom Drake in the second half as the young protagonist.
The Green Years pulls at our heartstrings one moment, then makes us laugh uproariously the next (usually because of Coburn's antics). But throughout the story there is a valuable lesson about the importance of making sacrifices and celebrating life's triumphs.
The title is meant to suggest several possible meanings. I urge you to view the film and discover what it means for you.
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