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Director William A. "Wild Bill" Wellman tackled all manner of subjects during his legendary career: war (Battleground, Wings), Hollywood (1937's A Star Is Born), exotic adventure (Beau Geste), crime (The Public Enemy) and, with The Happy Years, joyous, jim-dandy, turn-of-the-century Americana. Based on Owen Johnson's The Lawrenceville School Stories, the film stars Dean Stockwell as Dink Stover, whose concerned papa sends him to the posh prep school in hopes of turning the troublemaker into a responsible young man. Fisticuffs, feuds and football test the lad's mettle, but (of course) all comes right at the end. Deft and delightfully comic, The Happy Years happily evokes the charm and innocence of a lost era.

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WAA179911 Happy Years, The DVD (1950/Dean Stockwell) $17.99