by guest writer
It’s Great To Be Young is one of Britain’s first teenage musicals. Do not consider the movie a “per say” musical, because it is not. With an immaculate cast led by talented John Mills (Mr. Dingle), who is at his finest, and in a beautiful colour cinematography, It’s Great to Be Young is a heart-warming movie that shows John Mills as a forward-thinking, jazz-loving history teacher who inspires his pupils to stand up for what they believe in.
The comedy emerges from Dingle’s actions on how to teach his class and it gets to the point when he has to fight with the autocratic new headmaster, Frome (Cecil Parker), for his students’ rights. In comparison with other British teenage films of the period, It’s Great to Be Young shows the pupils as not being “delinquents”, but wanting to have the opportunity to express themselves freely, through music in this case. The movie’s rioting voice against the repressive rules of the British educational system is emphasized by the teenagers having to fight their own battle for a noble cause: the reinstatement of their favourite teacher.
photo: film still captured for Classiq from the edition available in John Mills – The Screen Icons Collection / credit: Marble Arch Productions