The Boy with Green Hair

The Boy with Green Hair

Synopsis of Movie

“War is bad for children.”

Preaching the evils of war and intolerance, The Boy With Green Hair was a simple, straightforward parable with a very unusual premise. Popular child actor (and later Quantum Leap co-star) Dean Stockwell took on the title role as a poor little boy with one problem after another.

At the start of the film, Peter Frye (Stockwell) is a recent World War II orphan, but no one’s told him yet. Peter is simply shuffled from one family member to another, finally settling with his kind Irish grandfather. Gramp gives the boy a happy home, sending him off to school with the sweet-hearted Miss Brand, but a classmate soon spills the awful truth about Peter’s parents. Gramp comes clean, and Peter eventually comes to terms with his war orphan status.

Before long, however, a new problem creeps up. As Peter is washing his hair one morning, it suddenly turns green. Gramp doesn’t seem to love the boy any less, but the local kids tease him mercilessly, and their parents aren’t sure they want their children playing with a green-haired boy (it might be contagious). Even the friendly milkman turns sour on Peter, accusing him of scaring away customers who think the milk might have caused it. Peter runs away, but a fantasy meeting with other war orphans from posters convinces him he has a message to share with the world, whether it wants to hear or not.

Produced near the beginning of the McCarthy era, The Boy With Green Hair certainly had a message of its own to share, conveyed both through the story and through songs like eden ahbez’s “Nature Boy.” Simple enough for a child to understand, the movie was intended for all ages, and its firm anti-war stance made it a favorite of those who grew up to protest later conflicts.

Movie Release History

1948 - The Boy with Green Hair

Movie Sub Categories

live-action
drama

Movie Studio

RKO

Cast

Gramp Pat O'Brien
Dr. Evans Robert Ryan
Miss Brand Barbara Hale
Peter Frye  Dean Stockwell
Michael  Richard Lyon
"The King"  Walter Catlett
Dr. Knudson  Samuel S. Hinds
Mr. Davis   Regis Toomey
Mr. Piper   Charles Meredith
Barber  David Clarke
Red  Billy Sheffield
Danny  Johnny Calkins
Timmy  Teddy Infuhr
Joey  Dwayne Hickman
Peggy  Eilene Janssen

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