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In the heartwarming 1957 drama Johnny Trouble Ethel Barrymore plays Katherine Chandler, a woman whose troubled son mysteriously disappeared twenty-seven years earlier after being expelled from school. Clinging to hope that he will one day return, Katherine refuses to leave her apartment, even after her building is sold to a nearby university and turned into a men's dormitory. When she meets Johnny (Stuart Whitman), a wild young student there, she becomes convinced that he is her grandson and sets out to steer him onto the right path.
Most notable for being the last film appearance of legendary star of stage and screen Ethel Barrymore before her death in 1959, Johnny Trouble was a remake of a 1943 film called Someone to Remember. The original film, directed by Robert Siodmak, starred Mabel Paige in the Barrymore role.
Ethel Barrymore had emerged from semi-retirement and signed on with a small independent production company called Clarion in 1956 in order to make Johnny Trouble. At age 77, Barrymore was not in the best of health when she took on the new project. Ever the professional, however, she made the most of her sentimental role and elevated the entire production merely by her presence.
Warner Bros. released Johnny Trouble as the second film on a double bill with The Helen Morgan Story in 1957. Heartfelt and touching, Johnny Trouble is a charming story of love and redemption that will warm any heart.
Producer: John H. Auer
Director: John H. Auer
Screenplay: Charles O'Neil, David Lord; Ben Ames Williams (story "Prodigal's Mother")
Cinematography: J. Peverell Marley
Art Direction: James W. Sullivan
Music: Frank De Vol
Film Editing: Tony Martinelli
Cast: Ethel Barrymore (Katherine Chandler), Cecil Kellaway (Tom McKay), Stuart Whitman (Johnny), Carolyn Jones (Julie Horton), Jesse White (Parsons), Rand Harper (Phil Wilson), Paul Wallace (Paul), Edd Byrnes (Elliott), Edward Castagna (Tex), Nino Tempo (Charlie), Jim Bridges (Ike), Paul Lukather (Bill), James Bell (Rev. Harrington), Samuel Colt (Mr. Reichow), Kip King (Boy), Gavin Muir (Madden), Jack Larson (Eddie).
by Andrea Passafiume