Henry Aldrich, Editor


1h 12m 1942

Brief Synopsis

Henry (James Lydon) gets into another jam when he becomes the editor of the Centerville Hish School newspaper. The Fire Chief suspects him when he covers fires.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Clifford Goldsmith.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,502ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Teenaged troublemaker Henry Aldrich becomes the new editor of his school paper when he wins an essay contest with a piece written by his friend, Martha Daley. Henry seeks advice on how to run a paper from city editor Norman Kenly and decides to become as tough as Kenly. Henry's new abusive demeanor alienates Martha and the rest of the school paper staff. When Henry decides to publish local news in the paper, he skips class to go to the site of a fire. Henry's friend, Dizzy Stevens, covers for him by telling a teacher that Henry's father Sam is seriously ill. The fire is already out by the time Henry gets there, but reporter Jack Lewis advises him to add sensationalism and color to make his story interesting. As a result, Henry fabricates a story about an arsonist. Kenly is infuriated that he did not get this story from Lewis and calls principal Bradley, who informs Kenly that Henry is a hero because he reported the story as his father lay dying. Bradley also calls the mayor and arranges for "quiet zone" signs to be posted on the Aldriches' street so that Sam can convalesce. When Henry's story is exposed as fraudulent and Sam is found to be healthy, Henry is publicly humiliated and dismissed from the paper. His father is then sued for slander by the man whose store burned because Henry claimed he was the arsonist, and Sam completely loses faith in his son. Later, Henry is approached by Nero Smith, an arsonist who reveals his obsession to the boy and his plans for setting his next fire. Henry tries to alert the authorities but his credibility has been destroyed, and when he is at the scene of the next fire, he is arrested for arson. At the trial, Henry is unable to substantiate his story about Smith. A psychologist deems Henry schizophrenic, and Henry's father, acting as his attorney, advises his son to plead guilty. Henry suddenly recalls that Smith has planned a fire for that night and escapes from court with the help of Martha. Henry and Dizzy drive to the warehouse that Smith plans to set on fire, and they accidentally knock out the nightwatchman. Dizzy runs away when he sees smoke, but Henry stays behind to find Smith. Smith refuses to leave so that he can watch the blaze from inside, so Henry carries the nightwatchman outside to safety. The firemen try to keep him there, but Henry rushes back in to save Smith. After they become trapped on an upper floor, they burn out the boarded-up windows and leap to safety into the firemen's net. Henry is cleared of all suspicion and his honor is redeemed.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1942
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Clifford Goldsmith.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,502ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Information in the film's pressbook reveals that students from Los Angeles High School appear in this film. For additonal information on "The Aldrich Family" series, consult the Series Index and for Life with Henry.