Synopsis by Bruce Eder
Finding a curiously silent young runaway boy (Dean Stockwell) whose head has been completely shaved, small town police call in a psychologist (Robert Ryan) and discover that he is a war orphan named Peter Frye. Moving in with an understanding retired actor named Gramps (Pat O'Brien), Peter starts going to school and generally begins living the life of a normal boy until his class gets involved with trying to help war orphans in Europe and Asia. Peter soon realizes that -- like the children on the posters, whose images haunt him -- he, too, is a war orphan. The realization about his parents and the work helping the orphans makes Peter turn very serious, and he is further troubled when he overhears the adults around him talking about the world preparing for another war. Peter awakens the next day and his hair has turned green, prompting him to run away after being taunted by the townspeople and his peers. Suddenly, appearing before him in a lonely part of the woods are the orphaned children whose pictures he saw on the posters. They tell him that he is a war orphan, but that with his green hair he can make a difference and must tell people that war is dangerous for children. He leaves determined to deliver his message to any and all. Upon his return, the townspeople chase Peter, and even Gramps tries to encourage him to consider shaving his hair so that it might grow back normally. He agrees to get his head shaved, and the town barber does the job -- that night, however, Peter runs away. Later reunited with Gramps, Peter learns that there are adults out there who accept what he has to say and want him to go on saying it. He's sure that his hair will grow back in green again, and he will continue to carry his message.
outcast, orphan, war, hair, small-town, barber