When I Grow Up (1951)

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When I Grow Up (1951) Poster

"When I Grow Up" is an uncharacteristically modest film from producer Sam Spiegel (during his "S. P. Eagle" years). Bobby Driscoll plays a young boy who feels neglected and misunderstood at... See full summary »


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9 March 2005 | crittercat
| One of the first films to 'move' me!
I saw this film by accident; it was a second, unbilled, feature at a Saturday matinée I attended when I was 9. I have no idea, now, what that first feature was, but this movie took me in and moved me in a way that had never happened before. Laughed before, yes. Been scared -- of course! Hid my eyes and left the theater peering ahead at dark corners and the spaces between streetlights, certainly.

With this film, however, for the first time (and not the last), I found myself crying in a theater. I am certain, now, I wasn't in tears for the people in the film, but for my own life and at the way I had always responded to my grandfather. The movie -- dare I say this -- held a mirror to the reality I knew as a well cared-for middle-class kid in a small eastern town at mid-century and let me know that I, too, would some day grow up, grow old, come to know sorrow and, one day, die.

Soon, very soon after this, I encountered Citizen Cane on late night television and all things changed again. But this little film opened me up to the power and potential that movies can have toward making people see, understand and feel.

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