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

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Jackie Moran and Marcia Mae Jones
BAREFOOT BOY (1938). Director: Karl Brown.

Billy Whittaker (Jackie Moran) is a small town boy who runs about barefoot all the time and has a crush on a neighbor girl named Julia (Marilyn Knowlden). Vying for her affections is an obnoxious lad named Kenneth Hale (Bradley Metcalfe), whose father, John (Ralph Morgan of The Monster and the Ape), is just out of prison and sends the arrogant youngster to live with the Whittakers. An old house in the woods holds a secret, not only the bank notes supposedly stolen by John Hale but the real criminals, hiding out, as well. Marcia Mae Jones [Haunted House] plays Julia's sister Pige, who is even more obnoxious than Kenneth, and Johnnie Morris is their likable brother, Jeff. Barefoot Boy is supposedly inspired by the poem of the same name, but it really has nothing to do with it -- this is just another Moran/Jones movie from Monogram. Moran and most of the other actors are fine, but the movie is cheap and unmemorable. Pudgy-faced, plain, and extremely irritating, most viewers probably wanted to strangle Miss Jones. Metcalfe makes a better impression as Kenneth.

Verdict: Proof that some children should be seen and not heard. *1/2.

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