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Johnny Holiday (1949)

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Young street tough sent to a reform farm is torn between friends from his past and those who are trying to help him change his life.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Walker
Stanley Clements ...
Eddie Duggan
Allen Martin Jr. ...
Johnny Holiday
Greta Granstedt ...
Mrs. Holiday
Herbert Newcomb ...
Dr. Piper
Donald Gallagher ...
Supt. Lang
Jack Hagen ...
George Cisar ...
Barney Duggan
Henry F. Schricker ...
Himself (as Gov. Henry F. Schricker)
Leo Cleary ...
Leo Curley ...
Alma Platt ...
Miss Kelly
Jean Juvelier ...
Mrs. Bellini (as Jeanne Juvelier)
Buddy Cole ...
Buddy Cole


The reform school boy Johnny Holiday has to choose between his buddies who are more interested in living outside the law and those who want him to live within it. Through the careful tutelage of his reformatory drill sergeant Walker, who becomes a father figure to the boy, he eventually learns that life is far sweeter on the good side than the bad. Written by Robert

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

juvenile delinquent


The Story of the Teen-Age Terror!


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

5 January 1951 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Boys' Prison  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Back Home In Indiana
16 September 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film back in Public School 193 in Brooklyn now known as the Gil Hodges Elementary School. The Fifth and Sixth Grade Assemblies were given a movie treat towards the end of the school year. I remember seeing Johnny Holiday one year and the Ray Milland film It Happens Every Spring the other.

The film starred that well known New Yorker William Bendix with mostly a bunch of unknown actors and some inmates at the Indiana Boys Reformatory. Bendix is in charge of the school farm and he does take an interest in one of the young kids trying to get him back on the straight and narrow.

The title role of the film is played by young Allen Martin, Jr. who falls in with the wrong crowd, particularly Stanley Clements and gets sent to the Reformatory. Later on Clements gets caught on another beef and also becomes an inmate.

There's no reaching this kid until Martin develops an attachment to a mare named Lady who is in foal. Later on after the colt is born, the mare dies and Martin blames Bendix. At that point he becomes willing to listen to Clements.

One of the things I remember best about this film is an intergenerational argument Bendix and Martin had over what to name the colt. Bendix is an old horse cavalryman from World War I and the Mexican intervention and he likes his old commander Black Jack Pershing and wants to name it Black Jack. But Martin who grew up during World War II wants to name it after the most popular Americam of his time, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Guess who won the argument.

As the film was shot on location in Indiana, the then governor, Henry F. Schricker made an appearance in the film. And that other noted Hoosier Hoagy Carmichael plays himself at a concert arranged for the boys.

When I saw this film in 1958 or 1959, William Bendix was finishing his long run on radio and television as Chester A. Riley on The Life of Riley, a show I dearly wish that TV Land Channel would pick up. That television show made him a star and put him quite a bit above his peers as a character actor. In Brooklyn he was quite the household name.

Unlike MGM's famous Boys Town, this place definitely does not believe that there is no such thing as a bad boy. Stanley Clements is one very bad boy.

Bendix and Martin make an appealing pair and Johnny Holiday is still a nice film that I can't understand isn't shown on places like the Family Channel.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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