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Film / Follow Me, Boys!

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"Follow me, boys, follow me!"

Follow Me, Boys! is a 1966 live-action film from Walt Disney Pictures, directed by Norman Tokar and starring Fred MacMurray, Vera Miles, Lillian Gish, Charles Ruggles, Elliott Reid, and Kurt Russell.

In the 1930s, saxophonist and wanna-be lawyer Lem Siddons moves to a small town called Hickory, where he starts work at a general store, meets his future wife, Vida, and becomes Scoutmaster of Boy Scouts Troop 1 Hickory.

Also notable in that it was the final film released by the studio while Walt Disney was alive.note  Mr. Holland's Opus was partly intended to be a remake of it.

Follow Me, Boys! contains examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: After hearing all the gossip about Whitey being allowed on the scout troop, Lem plans to resign, but is talked out of it in the following scene to keep Whitey from leaving too.
  • Amoral Attorney: That lawyer Ralph has working for him.
  • Cassandra Truth: Lem is arrested by the military after they mishear him calling his "troop" and think he's an enemy spy. When he insists he's just a Scoutmaster, they don't believe him because he can't tie a sheepshank knot.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Or rather, Chekhov's Lack of a Skill. Lem cannot tie a sheepshank knot. This comes back to bite him.
  • Cool Old Lady: Mrs. Seibert, the town chairwoman. She's fairly forgetful, but socially savvy and lets the Scouts use her lake and surrounding meadows as a campgrounds.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Ralph Hastings, who wants to nab the lake property the Scouts camp on and sell it for hundreds of thousands.
  • Courtroom Antics: The court scene, which is fairly subdued in actions, but is treated as a farce by everyone, even the judge, mainly because it's so obvious that Hastings just wants to rob Mrs. Seibert and make it seem legal.
  • The Film of the Book: Based on the 1954 novel God and My Country by MacKinlay Kantor.
  • Foreshadowing: The canoe that the boys can’t use because the sealant they applied isn’t dry yet. Later in the scene, when Lem has triggered Vida’s Berserk Button, she tries to get away from him, only for him to follow her. Guess how! Hilarity Ensues.
  • Happily Adopted: After his father dies, Whitey is adopted by Lem and Vida.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: Averted, it uses the actual song during Hughes' birthday.
  • Happily Married: Lem and Vida. Later, Whitey and Nora.
  • Hypocrite: Hastings rudely drives past the Scouts at full speed, blowing a cloud of dust in their faces. Later on they do the same to him (in his own car, even) and he can only whine about how unfair that is.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Averted, actually. Vida turns out to be infertile and stays so throughout the entire film, so she and Lem settle for adopting Whitey.
  • More Dakka: Played for Laughs during the military subplot. What's the US Army's response to hearing a toy cannon fired by one of the boys during flags? Why, bombing the camp to a crater with all the planes, tanks, and soldiers they can muster.
  • Scout-Out: Averted, as the film centers around the actual Boy Scouts.
  • Straw Feminist: After Lem forbids Vida from serving the Scouts her food during their campout, she throws a hissy fit, tossing her food in the lake while screaming how all men think they're the world's masters. But she ends up soaked and humiliated as her antics go awry, and the following scene cuts to her and Lem being married.
  • Stock Footage: The Army attack is filled with tons of recycled footage of firing tanks and deploying troops that appears to have been taken from The Vietnam War.
  • That Was Objectionable: "Your Honour, I must protest!" "I suppose you must... but I do wish you wouldn't."