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rayban

"The Boy With The Green Hair"

26 posts in this topic

It's an endlessly fascinating film.

Here's my quesiton -

Must the boy with the green hair spend the rest of his life -

reminding people not to kill children?

Here's another question, perhaps as pertinent -

Is it a true story or is it just the boy's fantasy -

an attempt to make sense of his parents' disappearance?  

Here's another question -

Is it too soft -

should it be harder?

image-w1280.jpg?1445873216

MV5BYzI0NmIwOWYtZjJjYy00MThlLThlZjMtMmJh

 

The poster children come to life and ask the boy to save the children -

boywithgreenhair2.jpg

 

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Did the boy really have green hair?

At the beginning and end of the movie, when he is telling his story, he is bald.

Is it just his fantasy - in order to survive his parents' death, who both wanted to save the children of the world?

Will he just feel better that the poster children nominated him as "the keeper of the flame"?

And are these poster children already dead?

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The poster children weren't really dead.  They were representative of WAR ORPHANS claiming the boy's green hair helps bring attention to their (and his) plight, and a reminder that dead soldiers of both armies aren't the only casualties of war.  I think.

This is the only second time I've seen the movie and saw the hair green.  The frst few times I saw it was back when we only had a black and white set.  And I always thought the "message" behind it was more SOCIAL than political.

Sepiatone

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Yes, I am trying to take the film at its' simplest level - as the story of a boy whose hair turned green so he could be a reminder that children are also casualties of war.

Maybe he doesn't need to go on a mission - his mere presence will be enough.

I'm probably reading too much into it.

I didn't like Ben Mankiewicz's complaint that the boy's hair was too green.

Given the film's message, it would have to be GREEN.

Could this film have succeeded at the box office?

I doubt it.

And, yet, Dean Stockwell and Pat O'Brien are quite effective.

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I always thought one of the rather obvious messages is that people

will dislike things that are out of their normal range of thought and

experience, like a boy with green hair, that is a boy (or girl) who is

different from others.

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Should TCM start airing this film each year on St. Patrick's Day?

Dean Stockwell has green hair, and Pat O'Brien is Irish. LOL

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7 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I always thought one of the rather obvious messages is that people

will dislike things that are out of their normal range of thought and

experience, like a boy with green hair, that is a boy (or girl) who is

different from others.

If that's true - and, it is true - then the boy with green hair will have a terrible time in getting "his message" across.

Well, then, maybe he won't, and just remain "bald".

But, then, the film becomes pointless, right?

Whatever you may think about the film - a boy's "fantasy" or a "true story" - it does have a very strong anti-war message.

I really don't get Ben Mankiewicz's contention that a film like this could have led to Joseph Losey's troubles with HUAC.

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Should TCM start airing this film each year on St. Patrick's Day?

Dean Stockwell has green hair, and Pat O'Brien is Irish. LOL

No, this film doesn't qualify as St. Patrick's Day fare.

I don't see it alongside "When Irish Eyes Are Smiliing".

Maybe on a day that's devoted to anti-war films.

If you take it simply, its' message is strong.

If you see it as possibly "multi-layered" - that is, a boy's fantasy - it still qualifies as an anti-war film. 

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8 hours ago, Vautrin said:

I always thought one of the rather obvious messages is that people

will dislike things that are out of their normal range of thought and

experience, like a boy with green hair, that is a boy (or girl) who is

different from others.

When Harvey Fierstein was a guest programmer The Boy with the Green Hair was one of the films he chose, for just the reasons you mentioned. 

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8 hours ago, rayban said:

 

Could this film have succeeded at the box office?

 

WIKI claims it took a loss of nearly half a mil.

Sepiatone

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2 minutes ago, DougieB said:

When Harvey Fierstein was a guest programmer The Boy with the Green Hair was one of the films he chose, for just the reasons you mentioned. 

Yes, that is a whole other layer that can be added to the film.

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3 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

WIKI claims it took a loss of nearly half a mil.

Sepiatone

I can believe it.

If it were released today, it might've done better.

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25 minutes ago, rayban said:

I can believe it.

If it were released today, it might've done better.

It still would've been aimed at a niche market. I doubt it would have been a big hit even now, but if marketed as an art house film, it would probably stand a chance of earning some awards. Howard Hughes wanted to abandon the film when he took over RKO. So when it was released, the studio did not exactly promote it very well.

As for a St. Patrick's day tie-in, why not? It shouldn't matter how TCM schedules it related to a theme, so long as it is scheduled and people are able to continue seeing it.

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3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

It still would've been aimed at a niche market. I doubt it would have been a big hit even now, but if marketed as an art house film, it would probably stand a chance of earning some awards. Howard Hughes wanted to abandon the film when he took over RKO. So when it was released, the studio did not exactly promote it very well.

As for a St. Patrick's day tie-in, why not? It shouldn't matter how TCM schedules it related to a theme, so long as it is scheduled and people are able to continue seeing it.

Yes, Howard Hughes didn't like movies that starred children.

He was very reluctant to release "The Window", which has such an impressive performance from Bobby Driscoll.

"The Boy With Green Hair" has an equally impressive performance from Dean Stockwell.

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"The Boy With Green Hair" (1948) was actually Dean Stockwell's eleventh film.

What's your favorite from his glory years at MGM?

My favorite is "Kim" (1950).

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10 hours ago, rayban said:

If that's true - and, it is true - then the boy with green hair will have a terrible time in getting "his message" across.

Well, then, maybe he won't, and just remain "bald".

But, then, the film becomes pointless, right?

Whatever you may think about the film - a boy's "fantasy" or a "true story" - it does have a very strong anti-war message.

I really don't get Ben Mankiewicz's contention that a film like this could have led to Joseph Losey's troubles with HUAC.

I haven't seen the movie in a while, so I don't recall all the details. But besides the

there's nothing wrong with being different theme, there is a strong anti-war message

of course. To HUAC that might have been enough. Anti-war, sounds kind of commie

to me. :)

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The film does deserve a better reputation.

It's not so hard to believe that the man who gave us "Accident" and other uniquely-crafted English films started off with "The Boy With Green Hair". 

images-w1400.jpg?1400759333

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"Love triangle"?  With FOUR people?  :huh:

Wouldn't that be more of a "Love SQUARE or RECTANGLE"? ;)

Sepiatone

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5 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

"Love triangle"?  With FOUR people?  :huh:

Wouldn't that be more of a "Love SQUARE or RECTANGLE"? ;)

Sepiatone

I dunno, Sepia.

(...but maybe somebody by the name of either Bob or Carol or Ted or Alice might know the answer to this anyway)

;)

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He should have dyed his hair like Kim Novak in Vertigo.

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I always think of the love icosahedron in Love Finds Andy Hardy.

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I think this film could be remade today, and that it has a dual theme -- anti-war, but also acceptance of difference.  I saw it many years ago on TV as a teen, but the unrestored version, and his hair was kind of a bluish gray; at that time, it didn't make much of an impression on me (as a teen, I thought movies that featured children were for "babies"), but now I really like it.  My favorite Dean Stockwell performance from his childhood -- the invalid in The Secret Garden.  I love the scene when he and Margaret O'Brien engage in the screaming match over who can be more bratty.

 

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I can see the film on those two levels - as an anti-war film and as a plea for acceptance of difference.

But do you see it as a "true story" or the "boy's fantasy"?

I, too, love "The Secret Garden" - it's probably my second favorite Dean Stockwell performance.   

I love when, after the restoration of the garden, the film bursts into color.

Margaret O'Brien was terrific, too.

Incredibly, it was her last film at MGM.

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