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When I Grow Up (1951)

Approved | | Drama | 20 April 1951 (USA)
"When I Grow Up" is an uncharacteristically modest film from producer Sam Spiegel (during his "S. P. Eagle" years). Bobby Driscoll plays a young boy who feels neglected and misunderstood at... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Josh / Danny Reed
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Father Reed
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Mother Reed (1890's)
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Ruthie Reed
Johnny McGovern ...
Duckface Kelly
Frances Chaney ...
Mrs. Kelly (as Frances Cheney)
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Bobo
Ralph Dumke ...
Carp
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Doc
Paul Levitt ...
Carp's Assistant
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Dr. Bailey
Margaret Lloyd ...
Volunteer Nurse
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Grandpa Reed
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Father Reed (modern) (as Henry Morgan)
Elisabeth Fraser ...
Mother Reed (modern)
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Storyline

"When I Grow Up" is an uncharacteristically modest film from producer Sam Spiegel (during his "S. P. Eagle" years). Bobby Driscoll plays a young boy who feels neglected and misunderstood at home. Preparing to run away, Bobby chances across an old diary once kept by his grandfather (Charley Grapewin). Leafing through the yellowed pages, Bobby discovers that grandpa went through many of the same childhood travails that Bobby is enduring at that moment--and look how well gramps turned out! Armed with a renewed understanding of (and appreciation for) his elders, Bobby decides to stick around for a while and see how things develop. Written by filmfactsman

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Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

20 April 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Denny på rymmarstråt  »

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(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film directed by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Michael Kanin. See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the earliest movies to "move" me...
12 September 1999 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

I saw this film by accident. It was a second, unbilled, feature at a Saturday matinee I attended when I was 9. I have no idea, now, what that first feature was, but this movie took me in and moved me in a way that had never happened before. Laughed before, yes. Been scared of course! Hid my eyes and left the theater peering ahead at dark corners and the spaces between streetlights.

With this film, however, for the first time (and not the last), I found myself crying in a theater. I am certain, now, I wasn't in tears for the people in the film, but for my own life and at the way I had always responded to my grandfather. The movie -- dare I say this -- held a mirror to the reality I knew as a well cared-for middle-class kid in a small eastern town at mid-century and let me know that I, too, would some day grow up, grow old, come to know sorrow and, one day, die.

Soon, very soon after this, I encountered Citizen Cane on late night television and all things changed again. But this little film opened me up to the power and potential that movies can have toward making people see, understand and feel.


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