The Boy With Green Hair (1948)

Article #338 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 2-16-2002
Posting date: 7-3-2002

A war orphan wakes up one morning with green hair, and he tries to adjust to the changes it makes in his life.

This fantasy-with-a-message is very popular among certain people, but the first few times I watched it, I found it unfocused and disappointing. I fully expected to find it the same way when I watched it this time, but was quite surprised to find myself enjoying the movie immensely. The movie has a number of great subtle moments, and some fine acting, particularly from Dean Stockwell as the boy, and Pat O’Brien as Gramps. I think I found it unfocused because I was less apt to spot certain subtleties back then, and these subtleties add immensely to the story. Also, the child’s sense of feeling out of place seemed to have a greater resonance at this time in my life; this gives a depth and dimension to what could have been a very preachy and tiresome film.


One observation I made in this viewing of the movie was that we are hearing the story through the telling by the child, and as such, there may be a certain ambiguity as to whether the child told the strict truth; I think this may be an interesting point, if you consider how the boy feels about his discovery that he is a war orphan.


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