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Johnny Doughboy (1942)

Approved | | Adventure, Musical | 31 December 1942 (USA)
An arrogant young actress doesn't want to play "young" parts anymore, and runs off. The studio replaces her with the president of her fan club, who just happens to be a lookalike. Meanwhile... See full summary »


John H. Auer


Lawrence Kimble (screenplay), Frederick Kohner (original story)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Withers ... Ann Winters / Penelope Ryan
Henry Wilcoxon ... Oliver Lawrence
Jack Boyle Jr. ... Johnny Kelly (as Patrick Brook)
William Demarest ... Harry Fabian
Ruth Donnelly ... Biggy Biggsworth
Etta McDaniel ... Mammy
Joline Westbrook Joline Westbrook ... Jennifer Lawrence
Bobby Breen ... Bobby Breen
Baby Sandy ... Baby Sandy
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Alfalfa (as 'Alfalfa' Switzer)
George 'Spanky' McFarland ... Spanky McFarland (as 'Spanky' McFarland)
Kenneth Brown Kenneth Brown ... Buddy (as Butch and Buddy)
Billy Lenhart Billy Lenhart ... Butch (as Butch and Buddy)
Cora Sue Collins ... Cora Sue Collins
Robert Coogan ... Bobby Coogan


An arrogant young actress doesn't want to play "young" parts anymore, and runs off. The studio replaces her with the president of her fan club, who just happens to be a lookalike. Meanwhile, some other former child actors, trying to put on a show for the GIs, will be able to do it only if they can get the young actress to be in it, so they set out to persuade her to be in their show--not knowing that she's isn't who they think she is. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


JANE'S GOT A HEAVY DATE...WITH THE ARMY!...She's leading the parade backed by four million strong!...All out for fun in the biggest musical hit of the season!... See more »


Adventure | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 December 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ela Quer Ser Mulher See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Final film of Bobby Breen. See more »


Referenced in The Our Gang Story (1994) See more »


Baby's a Big Girl Now
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
See more »

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User Reviews

Crashes in the Middle
1 December 2017 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

I think Zanuck fired Shirley Temple and Jane Withers almost simultaneously ... or maybe he just decided not to pick up their options. Miss Temple went to work for David Selznick. Miss Withers went to Republic. She plays a child star who wants to play adult roles.... fourteen at least. No dice. So she drives into the mountain and falls in love with reclusive writer Henry Wilcoxon. Meanwhile, in walks her exact double from Kansas, who is promptly recruited to impersonate her. A troupe of washed-up child stars want to do camp shows for the USO, but the Army wants Miss Withers, so.....

Miss Withers is good as always. She sings a couple of numbers and gets to dance in a big production number at the end with Jack Boyle Jr. If they are not Donald O'Conner & Peggy Ryan, they certainly do well, and the picture garnered a reasonable Academy Award nomination for Best Scoring by Walter Scharf.

What is unnerving about this movie is its exploitation angle: ex-child-stars, washed up by the time they hit puberty: Bobby Green, Carl Switzer (still singing -- yikes!), Spanky MacFarland, even Baby Sandy, a has-been at 4. It's positively ghoulish. It turns a pleasant B picture with a sock-o finish into a bit of an ordeal.

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