Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Follow Me, Boys!, Disney's paean to the Boys Scouts of America, leaves no cliché unturned: we're even offered the old reliable "kid hanging over cliff by rope" bit. Corny, sentimental and obvious though it may be, the film is a delight to watch, especially whenever Fred MacMurray dominates the screen. MacMurray plays Lem Siddons, a 1930s musician who decides to settle down in a small Midwestern town. Here he meets pretty bank teller Vida Downey (Vera Miles), who bemoans the fact that the local boys have no organized activities with which to occupy their time. Volunteering to be a scoutmaster, Lem begins a local scout troop. There are some tense moments when banker Ralph Hastings (Elliot Reid) demands that Lem's scouts vacate their headquarters, but Reid's feisty millionaire Aunt Hetty (Lillian Gish) comes to the rescue. The film's throughline is the regeneration of local "tough kid" Whitey (Kurt Russell), who, after joining the Boy Scouts, straightens out and matures into a solid citizen. The film's lachrymose climax is kept "honest" by the sincere underplaying of Fred MacMurray. Though lambasted by reviewers, Follow Me, Boys! struck a responsive chord with filmgoers, to the tune of a $5.5 million box-office take.
Boy-Scout, musician, jazz, millionaire, romance, saxophone, small-town, bank-personnel