A girl is sent to live with her uncle on his estate when her parents die. There she discovers much intrigue, family history and secrets and personal baggage. In particular, a screaming child and...a secret garden.
Fred M. Wilcox
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 <email@example.com>
Unfortunately for the film's director, Joseph Losey, the eccentric, politically conservative Howard Hughes took over RKO while this film was being shot and, hating the film's pacifist message, did his best to sabotage it. Losey, however, managed to protect the integrity of his project. Screenwriter Ben Barzman, who was also later blacklisted along with Losey, would later recall that "Joe shot the picture in such a way that there wasn't much possibility for change. A few lines were stuck in here and there to soften the message, but that was about it". Barzman also remembered that 12-year-old Dean Stockwell was called into Hughes' office and Hughes told him that when the other children spoke of the horror of war, he should say, "And that's why America has gotta have the biggest army, and the biggest navy, and the biggest air force in the world!" According to Barzman, little Stockwell was so in sympathy with the film's message that he dared to respond, "No, sir!" Even after Hughes started to scream at him, the boy held his ground and refused to do it. 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 »
But they don't know that. They think everybody has to get killed. The world doesn't have to be blown up.
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I, too, first saw this film a little while after it came out, when I was younger than the main character was supposed to be. It has stayed with me for the next half-century, and I considered myself very lucky to find a video in a sale bin about ten years ago.
Really, it foreshadowed the '60's - it is not only about the fact that being different should be OK, but more about the consequences of intolerance, about folks' reactions, their illogic, and where those reactions can take us. This is all done with a nice soupcon of fantasy to make the moral point easy to understand (subtlety isn't the film's strong point).
There's a story in the newspapers about a twelve-year-old boy in 6th grade who last week came to school with hair dyed green for St. Patrick's day, incidentally. Three guesses what happened to him....
See this movie.
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