Purchased and received my very first DVD from the “hand-made” Warners Archives Collection. They offer up professionally packaged DVD-Rs of obscure films for a pretty steep price ($20 plus shipping). I hadn’t had the chance to check them out until I spotted Joseph Losey‘s THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR (1948) for sale. I’d been looking for a decent DVD copy of this film for several years.
On the surface, it’s a rather gentle tale with a fantastic twist — sorta like a Powell and Pressburger film from around the same era. Filmed in supernatural Technicolor (which really highlights 11-year-old Dean Stockwell‘s bizarre mane), there is never a reason offered for “the boy”‘s hair turning emerald green. All we’re told it’s a sign to remind people that “war is bad for children.” THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR is sad at times but ultimately uplifting. At one point, war orphans from posters come to life to inform the boy of his destiny. I wonder what folks made of this back in the late ’40s? Future stars Dwayne Hickman and Russ Tamblyn make appearances as bullys who attempt to cut off the emerald locks.
And how’s the picture? As I said before, I had never seen a Warners Archives disc but I can say that I was very satisfied with the presentation. There are some specs of dirt here and there on the film elements and a few shots that were a bit out of focus but generally it looked pretty good. Made before widescreen (which didn’t come along until ’53), the picture comes in around 1.33:1 aspect ratio so don’t expect this to fill a widescreen TV. The mono audio was clear and quite loud. Since they didn’t even bother to release a mass-produced DVD of this title, I doubt we’ll ever see this looking better than it does which is a shame really. This would be a great Blu-Ray.