AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Henry Aldrich, Boy Scout
Alternate Title: Henry Aldrich's Code Of Honor
Director: Hugh Bennett (Dir)
Release Date:   1944
Production Date:   11 Aug--early Sep 1943
Duration (in mins):   66-67
Duration (in reels):   7
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Cast:   Jimmy Lydon (Henry Aldrich)  
    Charles Smith (Dizzy Stevens)  
    John Litel (Sam Aldrich)  
    Olive Blakeney (Mrs. Aldrich)  
    Darryl Hickman (Peter Kent)  
    Joan Mortimer (Elise Towers)  
    Minor Watson (Ramsey Kent)  
    Ralph Hoopes (David Carter)  
    David Holt (Irwin Barrett)  
    George Lessey (Comissioner Towers)  
    Chester Clute (Mr. Pollup)  
    Hugh Prosser (Scout master)  
    George Sherwood (Scout master)  
    Eddie Hall (Scout master)  
    Richard Haydel (Beany)  
    Bill Henderson (Patrol member)  
    Hugh Chapman (Patrol member)  
    Buddy Bowles (Patrol member)  
    Norman Salling (Patrol member)  
    David Polonsky (Patrol member)  
    Boots Brown (Patrol member)  
    Colby Ross (Patrol member)  
    Harry McKim (Scout patrol member John)  
    Harry Adams (Businessman)  
    Richard Kipling (Businessman)  
    James Conaty (Businesman)  
    Howard Mitchell (Businessman)  
    Frank McClure (Businessman)  
    Tom Brannigan (Scout in Irwin's patrol)  
    Bobby Samarzich (Scout in Irwin's patrol)  
    Voyt Williams Jr. (Scout in Irwin's patrol)  
    Billy Bestor (Scout)  
    Robert Winkler (Scout)  
    Harry Harvey, Jr. (Sunnygrove scout)  
    Conrad Binyon (Sunnygrove scout)  
    Cy Ring (Scoring official)  
    Ralph Cathey (Senior patrol leader)  
    Marshall Thompson (Senior patrol leader)  
    Bobby Coleman (Senior patrol leader)  
    Lowell McPeek (Senior patrol leader)  

Summary: Teenager Henry Aldrich is the leader of a Centerville Boy Scout troop, which includes his best friend, Dizzy Stevens, and operates the troop out of his house. One day, Henry marches his patrol to the park, where the Scout Masters will be inspecting the troops. When they encounter industrialist Ramsey Kent and his son Peter stranded on the road, Henry orders his troop to help pull Ramsey's car, but Peter, a troublemaker, unties the knot on the rope and the troop lands in a muddy puddle. Henry's efforts impress Ramsey, however, who is a college friend of Henry's father Sam. Sam, who is president of the chamber of commerce, hopes to lure Ramsey into bringing his business to Centerville, and is pleasantly surprised that his son has not caused trouble for once. Impressed by the quiet small town life, Ramsey decides to remain in Centerville for a while because he wants a stable environment for his motherless son, who is considered a problem child. Henry takes Peter under his wing and inducts him into the Boy Scouts, but Peter continually causes mischief. Henry protects Peter, however, and brings him to the regional Camporal, an extended camping trip during which Scout troops compete for honors. Peter scoffs at the Boy Scouts, calling them "pantywaists," and his antics continually place Henry's troop behind those of his competitors, Irwin Barrett's Centerville troop and the troop from Sunnygrove. Henry's Scouts finally have enough of Peter's tricks, and tenderfoot John challenges Peter to a fistfight. John soundly trounces Peter, who learns new respect for his friends, and memorizes the Boy Scout code of honor. The final challenge for the Scouts is a night-time hike during which they must find their way back to camp by compass. Only Irwin's, Sunnygrove's and Henry's troops are eligible. Before they leave, Irwin sneaks into the Sunnygrove tent and sabotages their compass, but does nothing to Henry's troop because he is sure they will fail anyway. To Irwin's dismay, Henry's troop wins the challenge, but when the Sunnygrove troop returns and tells the scoutmasters that they got lost, Henry believes that Peter tampered with the compass. Peter denies the charge, and is so hurt by Henry's accusation that he runs away after writing a farewell note. Henry confesses to Scout Master Towers that he broke the compass and will accept any punishment. When he gets back to the tent, he finds Peter's note and rouses Dizzy to search for the boy. Peter slips off a cliff during the night, and Henry and Dizzy finally find him in the morning, clinging to a small ledge. Henry lowers himself by rope to help the boy, but Dizzy is unable to pull them both up, and the rope frays dangerously. The rest of the Scout troops finally see the smoke signals that Dizzy sends up, and arrive in time to rescue Henry and Peter. Irwin, guilt-ridden, has already confessed to having sabotaged the compass, and Henry is promoted to junior assistant Scout Master. Henry's honorable behavior inspires the love of Towers' daughter Elise, and impresses his parents and Ramsey, who decides to stay in Centerville. 

Production Company: Paramount Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Hugh Bennett (Dir)
  John Coonan (Asst dir)
Producer: Michel Kraike (Assoc prod)
Writer: Muriel Roy Bolton (Scr)
  Agnes Christine Johnston (Story)
Photography: Daniel Fapp (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Hans Dreier (Art dir)
  Walter Tyler (Art dir)
Film Editor: Everett Douglas (Ed)
Set Decoration: Bertram Granger (Set dec)
Music: Irvin Talbot (Mus dir)
Sound: Stanley Cooley (Sd rec)
  Philip Wisdom (Sd rec)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup artist)
Production Misc: E. B. De Groot Boy Scouts of America (Tech adv)
Country: United States
Language: English
Series: The Aldrich Family

Source Text: Based on characters created by Clifford Goldsmith.
Authors: Clifford Goldsmith

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Paramount Pictures, Inc. 4/2/1944 dd/mm/yyyy LP12489 Yes

PCA NO: 9614
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording

Genre: Comedy-drama
Sub-Genre: Teenage
Subjects (Major): Adolescents
  Boy Scouts
Subjects (Minor): Chambers of commerce
  Fathers and sons
  Small town life

Note: The working title of this film was Henry Aldrich's Code of Honor . The opening title card reads: "The Aldrich Family in Henry Aldrich, Boy Scout ." The film opens with the following written prologue: "This picture is dedicated to the millions of loyal Boy Scouts all over the world. Grateful acknowledgement is made to the Boy Scouts of America for their official aid and cooperation." For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see the entry below for Life with Henry

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   8 Jan 1944.   
Daily Variety   13 Aug 1943.   
Daily Variety   4 Jan 44   p. 3.
Film Daily   13 Jan 44   p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Sep 43   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   4 Jan 44   pp. 3-4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   1 Jan 44   p. 1696.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   8 Jan 44   p. 1706.
Variety   5 Jan 44   p. 16.

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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.
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