The Boy with Green Hair (1948)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Family  |  16 November 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,806 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 30 critic

This parable looks at public reaction when the hair of an American war orphan mysteriously turns green.



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Evans
Miss Brand
'The Boy' / Peter
Richard Lyon ...
Walter Catlett ...
The King
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Dr. Knudson
Mr. Davis
Charles Meredith ...
Mr. Piper
Billy Sheffield ...
Johnny Calkins ...
Danny (as John Calkins)
Teddy Infuhr ...
Eilene Janssen ...


Peter Frye, typical American boy, is orphaned when his parents are caught in the London Blitz. He is not told of their fate, but shuttled from one selfish relative to the next, ending with "Gramp," a kindly ex-vaudevillean. Peter and Gramp, both fond of "Irish bulls," get along fine; but the morning after Peter finally learns he's an orphan, his hair spontaneously turns green! The absurd over-reactions of stupid people overturn his life as the story becomes a parable. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Please don't tell why his hair turned green!


Comedy | Drama | Family


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 November 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Junge mit den grünen Haaren  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both director Joseph Losey and screenwriter Ben Barzman were soon blacklisted. Both moved to the United Kingdom to escape McCarthyism and to be able to work in films again. See more »


When the barber is preparing to cut his hair, a close-up shot shows a chunk of cut hair on his right side. Then when the barber begins cutting, it's not there. But re-appears for the next close-up of him crying. See more »


Peter Fry: I want my hair back the way it was!
See more »


Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »


Tread on the Tail of Me Coat
Folk song
Sung by Pat O'Brien and Walter Catlett
See more »

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User Reviews

Terrific Anti War Film
5 April 2005 | by (Western Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

This film really touched me as a child. Firstly, it was the only serious film about a kid, with a kid as the star, that I had ever seen. None of this Disney stuff. Though later came the '5,000 Fingers of Dr.T', another great film for youngsters. Secondly, it was about a child's pain and inner life. There are a few platitudes thrown around by the wooden adults but the film seems to aim at exposing this kind of no-communication. It just isolates and abandons a youngster when they most need a strong and comforting adult connection.

Every time I see this film again it is just as good as the first time. Another interesting aspect of this film's story is that although the boy has lost both of his parents during WWII, he has become stuck and needs to move on and incorporate this difficult time. And in doing so he becomes aware of the many WWII orphans everywhere and becomes able to identify himself with the many children who are in his own circumstances or worse. He doesn't feel so alone. He finds that he truly cares about the suffering of other orphans and wants to do something to alleviate this suffering.

There! And I didn't give away the 'green hair' thing. I have a collection of anti-war films- Glory-Three Kings-Courage Under Fire-Coming Home. I only need "The Best Years of our Lives' and the 'Boy with Green Hair' to make it complete.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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