Written shortly before his father's death, the letter reassures Peter of his parents' love and asks him to remind people who might otherwise forget about the terrible price of war. It is very much to be regretted that Ben Barzman and Alfred Lewis Levitt, in writing this film's script from a modest little story by Betsy Beaton, and Joseph Losey in directing it, did not clarify the implication. But other kids jeer at him; adults are perturbed, and even the kindly milkman turns against him. I would have encouraged Peter to tell that to the Germans, the Italians, and the Japanese. Gramp then promises Peter he will have a surprise waiting for him in the morning.
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. The next day, after having a bath, Peter is drying his hair with a towel when, to his astonishment, he sees that his hair has turned , prompting him to run away after being taunted by the townspeople and his peers. As insistent as the movie is in this regard, it still leaves us with a feeling of revulsion for parents who would abandon their child so they could devote themselves to some higher purpose. The lack of color gave the film a serious documentary-like quality that emphasized. The next day Peter wakes up with green hair.
If the latter, it is strangely inconclusive, when pictured thusly. Upon his return, the townspeople urge Gramps to encourage Peter to consider shaving his hair so that it might grow back normally. In any event, without pausing to be sure that Peter would be raised to maturity by a loving relative happy to take care of him if they died in the war, his parents just dumped him on his aunt and took off. He comes to a spot in the woods where the war orphans that we saw in pictures on the wall of the school have come to life. The idea of a little boy with green hair wandering around telling everybody that we need to stop fighting wars might have been an expression of hope in 1948 when this movie was made, but now it just seems absurd. I loved it as a kid and stilldo. And it profits in this projection from cozy performances by Dean Stockwell as the youngster and Pat O'Brien as the old man.
There is one moment in the movie when Peter correctly concludes that his parents cared more about other children than they did him, but the movie insists that he is wrong, and at the end Peter is seen as understanding that they really did love him and that what they did was right and good. Upon his return, the townspeople chase Peter, and even Gramps tries to encourage him to consider shaving his hair so that it might grow back normally. Moved by the letter, Peter declares that he hopes his hair will grow back green and returns home with his proud foster father. Synopsis Finding a curiously silent young runaway boy Dean Stockwell whose head has been completely shaved, small town police call in a psychologist Robert Ryan and discover that he is a war orphan named Peter Frye. But they both figure they have more important things to do than raise their own child. I got the message immediately. The night before, Gramps told Peter that he liked to keep a green plant around because his wife, a trapeze artist who fell to her death, used to say that green was the color of spring and represented hope and the promise of a new life.
Evans Robert Ryan , presumably a child psychologist, gets him to tell his story in flashback. But to reason, in adult whimsey, that wars are caused by such a superficial thing as resentment of coloration is absurd and misleading. It is not established, for instance, whether all this we see on the screen—the phenomenal hirsute coloration and the resentment of the townsfolk thereto—is supposed to be a boy's hallucination, just another of a couple he has, or whether it is intended as a strictly whimsical device. Moving in with an understanding retired actor named Gramps , Peter starts attending school and generally begins living the life of a normal boy until his class gets involved with trying to help war orphans in and. 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 is at his most loveable here invents tales of meeting kings to cheer him up. Peter's newfound happiness ends abruptly, however, when a classmate unwittingly tells him that he is an orphan and compares him to a pathetic-looking boy in a war orphan poster on display at the school. Not only is it now confused, but one gets the uncomfortable feeling that it is just a bright adult notion gone wrong.
It stars as Peter, a young war orphan who is subject to ridicule after he awakens one morning to find his hair mysteriously turned green. Early on in the flashback, Peter tells of when he was five years old, in which we see only the hands and arms of adults. Almost a decade of uninspiring work followed, but come the sixties he produced a series of challenging films: , Eva, , , The Romantic Englishwoman and , and Harold Pinter collaborations , and. Inspired with his mission, Peter runs around telling everyone that war is bad for children. Release Date: Not Yet Rated 1 hr 22 min Plot Summary Peter Dean Stockwell , an orphaned boy, is adopted by Gramp Frye Pat O'Brien after his parents are killed in Europe while doing war relief work.
At his new school, Peter makes friends quickly and later gets a job delivering groceries and joins in a clothing drive for war victims. Or were Peter and his parents dependent on Aunt Lilian, living with her because they were too poor to afford their own place? Hostility toward people that are different leads to war, which causes war orphans. Michael soon changes Peter's feelings, however, and advises him to use his unusual hair to call attention to the horrors of war. He's sure that his hair will grow back in green again, and he will continue to carry his message. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. If he had gotten married, had a child, and then abandoned his family because he decided he was meant for better things, it would have been harder for apologists to say that Jesus merely spoke by way of hyperbole.
A lot of people come by this attitude naturally. This parable looks at public reaction when the hair of an American war orphan mysteriously turns green. Yet it's still underrated by many. It's worth trying, though, eh? Now watching it again a half century later, I found it to be incredibly profound, in much the way of a typical Twilight Zone episode. The boy feels safe with his new caretaker, but when he is taunted for being an orphan, he gets demoralized.