What a Life (1939)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Drama

What a Life (1939) Poster

In the first Henry Aldrich film, Henry (Jackie Cooper) is falsely accused of making trouble at school. He must clear himself.


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7 June 2009 | Solo-12
| Pleasant High School series opener
Based on a successful play, this movie launched a somewhat bland series. What's really surprising is that the screenplay was written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder who also wrote the script for "Ninotchka" and "Midnight" that same year. There isn't any of the typical Wilder/Brackett bite in the script, but they may have been saddled with constraints of the original. Aside from Jackie Cooper who was a real teen at the time, most of the other students were considerably older. The rest of the cast is competent, including Hedda Hopper as Henry's mother. John Howard provides a pleasant counterpoint to the stuffy teachers on Central High's staff. Henry's father, who is often referred to in the dialog, never appears.

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