Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


HENRY ALDRICH, BOY SCOUT (1944). Director: Hugh Bennett.

Henry Aldrich (Jimmy Lydon) has become a troop leader in the boy scouts and is hoping to get a promotion by leading his team to victory in some games. Endangering this scheme is young Peter Kent (Darryl Hickman), the obnoxious son of an old classmate (Minor Watson) of Henry's father, Sam (John Litel) -- Henry has been put in charge of the boy. Meanwhile Henry is also hoping to impress his girl, Elise (Joan Mortimer), who is playing hard to get. This is an okay enough entry in the long-running movie series, although the sentimental aspects do become a bit cloying at times. Peter only gets in line after he gets beaten up, a suspect development to be sure. However, the cast --- including Charles Smith as Dizzy and Olive Blakeney as Mrs. Aldrich --  are as proficient as ever, the picture is often amusing, and there's a suspenseful and funny bit when Henry and Peter are caught on a crumbling cliff as Dizzy tries to haul them up on a shredding rope. Yikes! Darryl Hickman's brother Dwayne played Dobie Gillis on TV.

Verdict: Another pleasant saga in the life of the irrepressible Henry Aldrich. **1/2.

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