Follow Me, Boys! (1966)

131 mins | Comedy-drama | 1 December 1966

Director:

Norman Tokar

Writer:

Louis Pelletier

Producer:

Walt Disney

Cinematographer:

Clifford Stine

Editor:

Robert Stafford

Production Designers:

Carroll Clark, Marvin Aubrey Davis

Production Company:

Walt Disney Productions
Full page view
HISTORY

Production charts in the 4 Jun 1965 DV anticipated the 12 Jul start of principal photography under the film’s working title, On My Honor. Two weeks earlier, however, the 20 May 1965 DV stated that veteran actress Lillian Gish would be arriving in Los Angeles, CA, on 2 Aug 1965 to begin work on the picture, under its official title, Follow Me, Boys. The 4 Aug 1965 LAT noted that it was her first picture in five years. Actor Fred MacMurray took a hiatus from his television series, My Three Sons (ABC, 1960 – 1965; CBS, 1965 – 1972), to appear in his fifth starring role for the Walt Disney Company. The 22 Dec 1967 DV revealed that Disney generally scheduled film production for the summer months to ensure stable weather conditions and the availability of child actors. Other reported castings included Tommy Hazlett (23 Jul 1965 DV), Jimmy Cross (9 Aug 1965 DV), and Ed McCready (27 Sep 1965 DV). The 29 Jul 1965 Los Angeles Sentinel announced that twelve-year-old Larry Nash, a resident of the city’s Watts district, was one of the two vocalists who sang the film’s title song, written by brothers Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman. Nash was a featured member of the Bob Mitchell Singing Boys choral group.
       According to the 3 Oct 1966 DV, Disney previewed the film as the closing event of the 1966 Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) convention in Los Angeles. Two ... More Less

Production charts in the 4 Jun 1965 DV anticipated the 12 Jul start of principal photography under the film’s working title, On My Honor. Two weeks earlier, however, the 20 May 1965 DV stated that veteran actress Lillian Gish would be arriving in Los Angeles, CA, on 2 Aug 1965 to begin work on the picture, under its official title, Follow Me, Boys. The 4 Aug 1965 LAT noted that it was her first picture in five years. Actor Fred MacMurray took a hiatus from his television series, My Three Sons (ABC, 1960 – 1965; CBS, 1965 – 1972), to appear in his fifth starring role for the Walt Disney Company. The 22 Dec 1967 DV revealed that Disney generally scheduled film production for the summer months to ensure stable weather conditions and the availability of child actors. Other reported castings included Tommy Hazlett (23 Jul 1965 DV), Jimmy Cross (9 Aug 1965 DV), and Ed McCready (27 Sep 1965 DV). The 29 Jul 1965 Los Angeles Sentinel announced that twelve-year-old Larry Nash, a resident of the city’s Watts district, was one of the two vocalists who sang the film’s title song, written by brothers Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman. Nash was a featured member of the Bob Mitchell Singing Boys choral group.
       According to the 3 Oct 1966 DV, Disney previewed the film as the closing event of the 1966 Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) convention in Los Angeles. Two months later, the 1 Dec 1966 NYT announced the picture’s New York City opening that day at Radio City Music Hall. Screenings would be accompanied by a stage show, including a “Nativity” pageant for the Christmas season. On 2 Dec 1966, DV reported advance reservations totaling $262,000. Within a week, the 9 Dec 1966 DV estimated gross receipts of $168,000.
       Walt Disney died 15 Dec 1966 from complications relating to lung cancer. The 16 Dec 1966 DV stated that the picture was previewed in Los Angeles three days earlier, followed by a 25 Dec 1966 theatrical opening. Reviews were mixed, with some critics lamenting the film’s excessive sentimentality and clichéd humor. Regardless, Follow Me, Boys earned $5.4 million in domestic rentals, according to the 22 Dec 1967 DV. It also received the “Best Family Film Award” from Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, UT. Co-star Vera Miles accepted the award, as reported in the 27 Mar 1967 DV.
       Follow Me, Boys was one of fourteen U.S. productions submitted to the 1967 Moscow Film Festival in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR.) As noted in the 27 Jun 1967 DV, a statement from studio president Roy O. Disney accompanied the picture, claiming the other U.S. entries did not represent “the good side of America,” while Follow Me, Boys was an unmitigated source of “satisfaction.” According to the 17 Jul 1967 LAT, the Soviet press disagreed, saying the film “gave no hint that somewhere mankind is deciding whether it will survive or not.”
Copyright length: 129 min. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 May 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
4 Jun 1965
p. 8.
Daily Variety
16 Jul 1965
p. 6.
Daily Variety
23 Jul 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
9 Aug 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Sep 1965
p. 4.
Daily Variety
3 Oct 1966
p. 19.
Daily Variety
12 Oct 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
2 Dec 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
9 Dec 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
16 Dec 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
30 Dec 1966
p. 3.
Daily Variety
6 Jan 1967
p. 3.
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1967
p. 16.
Daily Variety
27 Jun 1967
p. 1.
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1967
p. 30.
Los Angeles Sentinel
29 Jul 1965
Section B, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
2 Jun 1965
p. 27.
Los Angeles Times
26 Jun 1965
p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
4 Aug 1965
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
17 Dec 1966
Section B, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
26 Dec 1966
Section D, p. 27.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jul 1967
Section C, p. 21.
New York Times
1 Dec 1966
p. 57.
New York Times
2 Dec 1966
p. 45.
New York Times
5 Jan 1967
p. 27.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost
MUSIC
Title song
Title song
SOUND
Sd supv
Sd mix
Music ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Matte art
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to the prod
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel God and My Country by MacKinlay Kantor (Cleveland, 1954).
SONGS
"Follow Me, Boys" by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
On My Honor
Release Date:
1 December 1966
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 1 December 1966
Los Angeles opening: 25 December 1966
Production Date:
began 12 July 1965
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
24 August 1966
Copyright Number:
LP33001
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
131
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Late in the 1920's, saxophone player Lem Siddons gives up his job with a broken-down traveling jazzband and settles down in the small town of Hickory. He takes a job as clerk in John Hughes's mercantile store, woos and wins pretty Vida Downey from her fiancé, banker Ralph Hastings, and organizes a local Boy Scout troop. The only disappointment in Lem's new life is Vida's inability to bear children. Vida's love for children, however, is equal to Lem's, and she readily agrees to adopt young Whitey White, the orphaned son of the town drunkard. Lem's work with the scouts is long and rewarding as he builds his troop into one of the finest in the state. While Whitey is overseas with the Army Medical Corps in World War II, Lem uses his knowledge of law to help the town's wealthiest citizen, Hetty Seibert, against Hastings, her nephew. Lem proves that she is mentally competent in deciding to donate her valuable lake property to the scouts. When the war ends, Whitey returns home with a bride, Nora, and sets up practice as a physician. Lem continues to devote his time and energy to his beloved scouts until Whitey informs him that his heart has become too weak for such a vigorous life. As Lem reluctantly retires with the title Scoutmaster Emeritus, the entire town and most of his former scouts, including the governor, turn out to celebrate "Lem Siddons ... +


Late in the 1920's, saxophone player Lem Siddons gives up his job with a broken-down traveling jazzband and settles down in the small town of Hickory. He takes a job as clerk in John Hughes's mercantile store, woos and wins pretty Vida Downey from her fiancé, banker Ralph Hastings, and organizes a local Boy Scout troop. The only disappointment in Lem's new life is Vida's inability to bear children. Vida's love for children, however, is equal to Lem's, and she readily agrees to adopt young Whitey White, the orphaned son of the town drunkard. Lem's work with the scouts is long and rewarding as he builds his troop into one of the finest in the state. While Whitey is overseas with the Army Medical Corps in World War II, Lem uses his knowledge of law to help the town's wealthiest citizen, Hetty Seibert, against Hastings, her nephew. Lem proves that she is mentally competent in deciding to donate her valuable lake property to the scouts. When the war ends, Whitey returns home with a bride, Nora, and sets up practice as a physician. Lem continues to devote his time and energy to his beloved scouts until Whitey informs him that his heart has become too weak for such a vigorous life. As Lem reluctantly retires with the title Scoutmaster Emeritus, the entire town and most of his former scouts, including the governor, turn out to celebrate "Lem Siddons Day." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.