HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
   
 
Newest Articles
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
   
 
  Boy with Green Hair, The Problem Child
Year: 1948
Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dean Stockwell, Pat O'Brien, Robert Ryan, Barbara Hale, Samuel S. Hinds, Regis Toomey, Charles Meredith, Richard Lyon, Walter Catlett
Genre: War, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: A shaven-headed little boy called Peter (Dean Stockwell) is found wandering alone one night, and a the police can't get a word out of him. A lawyer (Robert Ryan) is called, and Peter tells him of the circumstances which led to him having his hair cut off. A war orphan, he quietly lived with his kindly Irish grandfather until one morning he woke up to find his hair had turned green - then his life became a misery...

This well-meaning allegory was written by Ben Barzman and Alfred Lewis Levitt, from a story by Betsy Beaton, and was presumably a way of cheering up the war orphans left in the wake of World War II. It also has ambitions as an anti-war parable, and as a plea for tolerance - in fact, it packs too much in, so much that the gentle fantasy at its heart buckles under the strain.

Yet it's still underrated by many. Just as the story uses a fantasy element to make its serious points, Peter (Stockwell proves to be well-cast) makes up stories to cope with his tragic situation, and his grandfather (Pat O'Brien is at his most loveable here) invents tales of meeting kings to cheer him up. Peter is in denial about his parents' death, telling himself that they will be home soon, and he will have the cosy days of his early childhood back again.

Although he is treated with sympathy by most people for the first half of the film, when his hair turns green, he is subjected to the bullying that many orphans must have faced. The adults want him to cut his hair off because rumour has it that the water or the milk is contaminated, and the children single him out for being different. An interesting scene has a group of boys chasing Peter to cut his hair; he hides, then helps one of his pursuers find his lost glasses, only to have the boy turn on him once he can see again, showing how no good deed goes unpunished.

In a strange bit, posters of war orphans come to life and tell Peter he must use his green hair to draw attention to ending war. He now has a purpose, but the sentiment is naive, even if the film appears to feel that war is an ever-present threat. Maybe the people who made this film felt that they could improve the world just as Peter tries to, and the ending is optimistic, but what you're left with is a sense of melancholy about prejudice and the apparent futility of trying to change the world for the better. It's worth trying, though, eh? Music by Leigh Harline.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 20687 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Joseph Losey  (1909 - 1984)

Cerebral, at times pretentious, American director, from the theatre. His American career (The Boy with Green Hair, a remake of M, The Prowler) was short-lived due to the Hollywood anti-Communist blacklist, and Losey escaped to Britain.

Almost a decade of uninspiring work followed, but come the sixties he produced a series of challenging films: The Criminal, Eva, King and Country, Secret Ceremony, The Romantic Englishwoman and Mr. Klein, and Harold Pinter collaborations The Servant, Accident and The Go-Between. He even directed science fiction like The Damned and Modesty Blaise. Not always successful - he also has turkeys like Boom and The Assassination of Trotsky among his credits - but his best films have a cult following with a particularly European flavour.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: