HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  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 23665 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
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: