Movie of the Day

The Boy With Green Hair

I have known about this film for a really long time, and always assumed it was a sort of Disney, or Disneyesque wacky science fiction fable, like Flubber or The Village of the Giants. And so it came as a welcome surprise to find this is rather a serious film with a strong message, but also manages to be entertaining. Dean Stockwell plays Peter, a boy who is sent to live with a succession of aunts and uncles while his parents volunteer to help children in wartime London.  He eventually winds up with gramps (Pat O’Brian), and amateur magician and teller of tall tales. The two get along well together, but gramps can’t  bring himself to tell Peter that his parents have actually died in London. When helping in efforts at his school to aid war orphans, Peter finally realizes that he is one himself. Peter worries about his own future, and more so the future of the world, until gramps tells him that he can keep hope if he always has a bit of green around. The next day Peter awakens with green hair, which naturally becomes the talk of the small town. In the key scene of the film, Peter runs into the woods to get away from some bullies who are trying to chop off his hair, and in a fantastic moment, he meets the war orphans pictured in the charity posters he hung in his classroom. “Your green hair is very beautiful. Green is the color of spring, it means hope. A promise of life to come. There is a reason for your green hair. It is a mark of something good, like a metal. You must tell all the people, my hair is green to remind you that war is very bad for children.”

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