Follow Me, Boys!
1 Synopsis 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Reception 5 Versions 6 See also 7 References 8 External links
In 1930, Lemuel "Lem" Siddons (Fred MacMurray) is a saxophonist in a
traveling band who dreams of becoming a lawyer. When the band's bus
reaches the small town of Hickory, Lem suddenly decides to leave the
band and settle down, finding a job as a clerk in the general store
owned by John Everett Hughes (Charlie Ruggles). At the town civic
meeting, Lem again notices Vida Downey (Vera Miles), a bank teller
whom Lem had seen on his first day in town, and eventually attempts to
woo away from her boyfriend Ralph Hastings (Elliott Reid). Lem notices
Vida crosses off the YMCA and the 4-H from her list of three possible
organizations to keep the town's boys off the streets, leaving only
the Boy Scouts, and he decides to suggest and volunteer to become
Scoutmaster of the newly formed Troop 1.
A short time later, Lem becomes an all-around natural leader with the
Scout troop, even putting his plans to become a lawyer aside as he
helps the town's boys mature into men. Meanwhile, the town's
troublemaker boy Edward "Whitey" White, Jr. (Kurt Russell) refuses to
join the troop. One night, while Lem and Vida are on a date, they
catch Whitey shoplifting from Hughes' store. Startled, Whitey falls
and sprains his ankle, which Lem bandages using the techniques
provided in the Boy Scout Handbook. Impressed by Lem's work, Whitey
secretly steals the book, which Lem allows because he sees his past
self reflected in Whitey. One night, Lem invites Whitey's father,
Edward, Sr. (Sean McClory), to attend parent's night at the Boy
Scouts' meeting place located the lake property of Hetty Seibert
(Lillian Gish). Edward arrives drunk and embarrasses Whitey, causing
him to quit the troop. However, Edward later dies that night of
alcohol poisoning, leaving Lem and Vida to adopt Whitey.
In 1944, Lem is accidentally captured by the United States Army, who
are playing a war game in the area near the lake. Lem is taken for a
spy due to his Scouting equipment and is unable to prove he is a
Scoutmaster after the military captain asks Lem to tie a sheepshank,
the only knot Lem never learned. Across the lake, Troop 1 fires their
morning canon, accidentally signaling the military to playfully attack
the boys. The scouts take shelter in a staged base and successfully
capture a tank with explosive squibs, meant to resemble land mines,
thus freeing Lem from the captivity of the embarrassed military.
Back at the lake, Lem and the troop discover that Ralph is taking
Hetty to court over the lake property, since he believes it belongs to
him. Lem is hired as Hetty's lawyer. He questions her on the stand,
revealing that the property was once the location of her family
cottage before it burned down in September 1918, two days after she
learned that her sons were killed in France. Hetty states that she
allowed the troop to meet there as the boys reminded her of her late
sons at play. Ultimately, Hetty wins the case and Lem is allowed to
keep the property.
On September 1, 1945, Lem and Vida celebrate Hughes' birthday by
Harry S. Truman
The Boys of Troop 1:
Production This was Ruggles' last feature film. He has a small but critical role in the film. He was age 80 when this picture was made, and did only television work afterwards, until his death in 1970. Reception The film was popular, earning $5,350,000 in North American rentals in 1967. Versions The film ran 131 minutes originally. In 1976, the film was re-released to theaters in a heavily shortened version running 107 minutes. When the film first came to video in the US in 1984, it ran 120 minutes. The 2004 DVD release is the complete 131-minute original theatrical cut. See also
List of American films of 1966
^ "Follow Me, Boys!, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved
April 16, 2012.
^ Chick Coombs (December 1966). Boys Life: Lights! Cameras! Boom!. Boy
Scouts of America. p. 16. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
^ The date actually fell on Monday, not on Saturday as depicted in the
^ "Lem Siddons Day Activities Announced". Retrieved October 28,
^ "Plot Summary for 'Follow Me, Boys!'". Retrieved November 4,
^ "Big Rental Films of 1967", Variety, January 3, 1968, p 25. These
figures refer to rentals accruing to the film distributors.
^ Holliss, Richard; Sibley, Brian (1988). The Disney Studio Story
(First ed.). New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc. p. 199.
^ Polsson, Ken. "Chronology of the
Follow Me, Boys!
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