The Green Years (1946)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age  |   Release Date - Jul 4, 1946 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 127 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom , United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

If one can put aside a few terribly inexpert accents, The Green Years can be readily enjoyed as a very effective sentimental coming-of-age tale. Years is one of the few novels that can be said to have had a truly faithful translation to the screen; although some thing have inevitably had to be cut in order to keep the film at a reasonable running time, it is surprisingly true to its source material. That actually is a part of the problem; at times, the film follows the book so closely that it feels stifled. It hasn't been allowed the freedom to find itself cinematically, and while this in no way makes it a bad film, it does lessen its impact a bit. It's also true that many of the situations encountered are very familiar to most audiences, which also works slightly against it. But on the whole, the warmth of the piece overcomes these little stumbling blocks. Besides, whatever failings its screenplay may have are more than made up for by the delicious camaraderie between Charles Coburn and Dean Stockwell, both of whom are excellent and who give the film a very special spark. Although Tom Drake is a bit of a letdown and Hume Cronyn goes a bit too far, there are some lovely performances from Gladys Cooper, Jessica Tandy and Richard Haydn to make up for it. Under Victor Saville's sensitive direction, Years is a small pleasure of a film.