Johnny Holiday (1949) Poster

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one of my favourite family films of all time
ddooler17 March 2002
I have been searching for this film for over 35 years.

It used to be screened on an annual basis, here in the u.k in the early 1960s on our independent T.V stations.

In my opinion William Bendix was one of the most under rated actors ever.

No company in the u.k can seem to locate the film.

If anyone knows how I can obtain this film I would be extremely grateful.

35 years is too long to wait.
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My dad was an inmate there and was in the movie
MiamiWea31 July 2008
This movie is very hard to come by but there are some copies with for a heavy price. My dad was actually in this movie. He was an inmate at the boys correctional center when it was filmed and he was used as an extra. He is the dark haired messenger boy. He had a job selling magazines and somehow got in trouble and was sent to this place.

He was used because of his good looks and even had a small speaking part. He was the son of the great grandson of Chief Little Turtle of the Miami Nation. He is long since passed away and it would be nice to have it to pass down through the family.I haven't seen it in years and would love to have a copy. If anyone knows where I could get a copy for a reasonable price,please let me know.
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Back Home In Indiana
bkoganbing16 September 2008
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.
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Good family movie
cpace1627 March 2011
I lived at the Boys School in one of the cottages where my parents were house parents when this movie was made. I have an original script signed by the actors and crew. Also many pictures my father took during the time the movie was made and at the premier in Indy with such stars as Jane Russell and Bob Hope. We had small roles and I still have my W-2 for the $25.00 earned as an extra.

I would love a print of the movie as it has been years since I have seen it. I didn't know copies existed yet. I am surprised that it is never shown on any of the movie channels as it was a good movie and good story line. Bendix and Carmichael were well known and still are respected as good actors.

William Bendix was signed only after Wallace Beery was not able to be in the film.
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Standard late '40's William Bendix vehicle.
riley-721 September 1998
A good basic story with realistic locations. Hits all the right emotional buttons. Overall sort of a non-sectarian "Boys Town". At times seems almost like a documentary. William Bendix plays a "tough as nails, heart of gold" type. Allen Martin believable as good kid torn between good (Bendix) and evil (Clements). Stanley Clements nasty enough.
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