The Green Years (1946)

127-128 mins | Drama | 4 July 1946

Director:

Victor Saville

Producer:

Leon Gordon

Cinematographer:

George Folsey

Editor:

Robert J. Kern

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The onscreen credits read, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents A. J. Cronin's The Green Years ." Contemporary sources note that M-G-M paid a record sum for a novel of $200,000 for the film rights to A. J. Cronin's best-selling book, topping the previous record of $175,000, set by Warner Bros. in its acquisition of the rights to Edna Ferber's Saratoga Trunk (see below). Cronin's novel was serialized in Redbook magazine, but the dates are undetermined. A May 1944 HR news item indicates that Sam Zimbalist was originally assigned to produce the film. Harold S. Bucquet was named as the director in an Aug 1945 NYT article. The article also noted that producer Leon Gordon and Bucquet spent "considerable time" searching for actors to play "Robert Shannon" as a boy and as a young man before settling on Dean Stockwell and Tom Drake, and that some "large-scale exterior" filming was set for Washington state.
       According to M-G-M News , Reginald Owen was originally set for the part played by Lumsden Hare. Although a 1945 M-G-M news item noted that Nickie Johnson "won a featured role" in the film as a Glasgow librarian, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A 1949 DV news item notes that an English appeals court tossed out a lawsuit filed against M-G-M by BBC critic Edith Arnot Robertson, who, after reporting negatively on the film, alleged that she was libeled and slandered by the studio in a letter asking that she be barred from reviewing M-G-M films for the BBC in the future. Although Robertson initially won ... More Less

The onscreen credits read, "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents A. J. Cronin's The Green Years ." Contemporary sources note that M-G-M paid a record sum for a novel of $200,000 for the film rights to A. J. Cronin's best-selling book, topping the previous record of $175,000, set by Warner Bros. in its acquisition of the rights to Edna Ferber's Saratoga Trunk (see below). Cronin's novel was serialized in Redbook magazine, but the dates are undetermined. A May 1944 HR news item indicates that Sam Zimbalist was originally assigned to produce the film. Harold S. Bucquet was named as the director in an Aug 1945 NYT article. The article also noted that producer Leon Gordon and Bucquet spent "considerable time" searching for actors to play "Robert Shannon" as a boy and as a young man before settling on Dean Stockwell and Tom Drake, and that some "large-scale exterior" filming was set for Washington state.
       According to M-G-M News , Reginald Owen was originally set for the part played by Lumsden Hare. Although a 1945 M-G-M news item noted that Nickie Johnson "won a featured role" in the film as a Glasgow librarian, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A 1949 DV news item notes that an English appeals court tossed out a lawsuit filed against M-G-M by BBC critic Edith Arnot Robertson, who, after reporting negatively on the film, alleged that she was libeled and slandered by the studio in a letter asking that she be barred from reviewing M-G-M films for the BBC in the future. Although Robertson initially won her suit againt M-G-M, the decision was reversed in appeal. This film marked the screen debut of child actor Guy Stockwell, brother of Dean Stockwell. Charles Coburn was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and George Folsey was nominated for a Best Cinematography Academy Award. Coburn, Tom Drake, Beverly Tyler, Hume Cronyn and Dean Stockwell reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 13 Jan 1947. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 Mar 1946.
---
Daily Variety
11 Mar 46
p. 3, 11
Daily Variety
9 Nov 1949.
---
Film Daily
11 Mar 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 May 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 45
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 45
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Mar 46
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 46
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Mar 46
p. 2883.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 Mar 46
p. 2893.
New York Times
12 Aug 1945.
---
New York Times
5 Apr 46
p. 21.
Variety
13 Mar 46
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Richard Glynn
Richard Scott
William Scully
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Matte paintings
Matte paintings, camera
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Research dir
Asst to research dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Green Years by A. J. Cronin (New York, 1944).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"I Know That My Redeemer Livith," from The Messiah , words and music by George Frideric Handel
"Auld Lang Syne" and "Comin' Thro' the Rye," words by Robert Burns, music Scottish traditional.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
A. J. Cronin's The Green Years
Release Date:
4 July 1946
Production Date:
mid August--mid November 1945
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
10 April 1946
Copyright Number:
LP232
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
127-128
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11330
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In the year 1900, following the death of his mother, eight-year-old Catholic Robert Shannon is sent from his home in Dublin, Ireland to live with his mother's Protestant family, the Leckies, in the small coastal town of Loganford, Scotland. Some of the Leckies, Robert soon discovers, hold a long-standing grudge against Robert's mother for running off to Ireland to marry a Catholic. While Papa Leckie, a sanitarium inspector and the sternest of the Leckies, strongly disapproves of Robert's devout Catholicism, Robert's alcoholic great grandfather, Alexander Gow, is fond of the boy and protects him from other family members. Grandma Leckie, however, is determined to end Robert's budding friendship with his eccentric grandfather and vows to turn him into a god-fearing lad. Robert's first day at school ends in humiliation as he is taunted by fellow schoolmates who ridicule the green, flowered uniform that Grandma Leckie made for him. Fearing that he will be trounced in a fistfight with Gavin Blair, the school's most notorious bully, Robert goes to Alexander for advice on self-defense. Robert defends himself honorably in the fight, after which he and Gavin become fast friends. When Robert later asks Papa Leckie for fifteen shillings to buy his first Communion suit, Papa Leckie angrily denies the boy's request, leaving Robert with no alternative but to sell his cherished microscope for the money. Alexander refuses to let Robert get rid of his microscope, however, and instead takes Papa's encyclopedia and sells it for fifteen shillings. Years pass, and Robert, now a star student in high school, receives a special science award from his headmaster, Professor Reid. Although his friends ... +


In the year 1900, following the death of his mother, eight-year-old Catholic Robert Shannon is sent from his home in Dublin, Ireland to live with his mother's Protestant family, the Leckies, in the small coastal town of Loganford, Scotland. Some of the Leckies, Robert soon discovers, hold a long-standing grudge against Robert's mother for running off to Ireland to marry a Catholic. While Papa Leckie, a sanitarium inspector and the sternest of the Leckies, strongly disapproves of Robert's devout Catholicism, Robert's alcoholic great grandfather, Alexander Gow, is fond of the boy and protects him from other family members. Grandma Leckie, however, is determined to end Robert's budding friendship with his eccentric grandfather and vows to turn him into a god-fearing lad. Robert's first day at school ends in humiliation as he is taunted by fellow schoolmates who ridicule the green, flowered uniform that Grandma Leckie made for him. Fearing that he will be trounced in a fistfight with Gavin Blair, the school's most notorious bully, Robert goes to Alexander for advice on self-defense. Robert defends himself honorably in the fight, after which he and Gavin become fast friends. When Robert later asks Papa Leckie for fifteen shillings to buy his first Communion suit, Papa Leckie angrily denies the boy's request, leaving Robert with no alternative but to sell his cherished microscope for the money. Alexander refuses to let Robert get rid of his microscope, however, and instead takes Papa's encyclopedia and sells it for fifteen shillings. Years pass, and Robert, now a star student in high school, receives a special science award from his headmaster, Professor Reid. Although his friends are leaving to attend university, Robert stays in Loganford to work and fulfill his obligation to the Leckies. Professor Reid, believing that Robert is too talented to be working at the Loganford Boiler, suggests that he apply for the Marshall Scholarship to study medicine. Papa Leckie rejects the idea of sending Robert to a university, but when Robert wins the scholarship, Mama Leckie and Alexander help the boy study in secrecy for the university entrance examinations. The intensive studying exhausts Robert to the point of physical collapse, however, and he fails the exam. Later, tragedy strikes when Gavin is struck by a train and dies. Having lost his best friend, and having failed in all his attempts to attend the university, Robert tells his priest that he has lost his faith in God. One day, when Alexander disappears, Robert, suspecting that he fled as a result of Papa Leckie's cruelties, berates Papa Leckie and other family members for their greedy desire to gain a profit from Alexander's life insurance policy. Alexander is eventually found but he dies shortly thereafter. Later, the Leckies are surprised when a recently added codicil to Alexander's will is discovered, in which it is stipulated that all of Alexander's life insurance money is to be used to pay for Robert's university education. With his tuition paid, the promising young scientist attends his first day at the university with his former schoolmate and sweetheart, Alison Keith, at his side. +

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

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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.