ElkFarm Stories

A Daily Dose of Writing

The Boy with the Green Hair

This movie released in 1948 stood out because of its title, and at this time green hair wasn’t a statement or a defying of authority. In 2nd or 3rd grade our entire class walked the two blocks from the Amery Elementary School to the Amery Theater on Keller Avenue, all to watch this strange tale. At the time I couldn’t figure out the message, but I know it stuck in my mind because of little Dean Stockwell at one point washed his hair with green soap. The resulting neon green can be seen in the accompanying photos. Self conscious, of course, he met with admiration from some of the girls walking by his house but later the boy bullies and adults made him feel foolish. This story was tied in with the large number of orphans that resulted from the 2nd World War, and no one having a solution to help them.

Just last week I checked this out from our Nekoosa Library, ordering it from the Wisconsin library sharing program that works so well. Again I watched it, and after viewing I still couldn’t figure out the film’s message. And I’m not sure if our elementary teachers thought we’d pull a good message out of it. If you watch this, please write and help me with the underlying theme. It’s a fun movie, and I enjoyed the 2nd viewing of it these 60 years later.

 

2 Comments

  1. Through this parable about the unconscious cruelty of people to what is different, and the need of tolerance, runs another theme, that of anti-war preachment. When the boy meets children from war-orphan posters in a dream scene in the woods, and returns to annoy the townsfolk with the message that war is very bad – his green hair has thus acquired a meaning, to preach pacifism – the film hits a well-intentioned but false note.

    • Loren Elkin

      July 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Stephanie, my mouth is open like the letter O after reading your note. Thank you by the way. Lots of ideas to digest.
      That’s probably why I couldn’t understand it in 4th grade. Just wondering if pacifism hitting a false note, just wondering why you wrote that. If you can, would you tell me where or how you came to open this blog site. Just today I received a photo of wild strawberries from a relative in Norway and will be posting that.
      When did you first watch The Boy with the Green Hair?

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