“Green is the color of spring… It means hope, a promise of new life to come.”
A young war orphan (Dean Stockwell) living with a kind older man (Pat O’Brien) wakes up one morning to discover that his hair has turned green. Though ostracized by his friends and neighbors, he remains convinced that his hair serves a larger purpose.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Dean Stockwell Films
- Flashback Films
- Joseph Losey Films
- “No One Believes Me!”
- Pat O’Brien Films
- Robert Ryan Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary and many other critics (see links below) find this fable-like fantasy by Joseph Losey “too simplistic and moralistic”, but I’ll admit to a special fondness for it. Dean Stockwell is sympathetic in the lead role as a young boy struggling to adjust to the loss of his parents; he’s a remarkably natural child actor, and his performance is never cloying. His initial interactions with “Gramp” (sweetly played by O’Brien) are heartwarming; I love the moment when Peter (Stockwell) intentionally breaks a vase, and, after a brief pause, O’Brien responds, “I know what you mean”. Because Peter’s hair doesn’t turn green until about halfway through the film, by this point we’ve grown to care about him, and understand the depth of his frustration and loneliness. Though ostensibly serving a larger purpose, Peter’s green hair ultimately signals his own coming-of-age: he must learn to trust his instincts and do what he feels is right rather than give in to the pressures of society. Thankfully, nothing is easily resolved by the end of the film; what’s important is that Peter has gotten to tell his story the way he sees it.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Dean Stockwell as Peter
- Pat O’Brien as “Gramp”
- A creative story about post-war trauma
Yes. All film fanatics should be curious to see this most unusual little film.