The Happy Years


The Happy Years is a 1950 film based on the 1910 novel The Varmint by Owen Johnson. It concerns the adventures of Dink Stover, a boy attending the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.

The Happy Years
Happy years.jpg
Film poster
Directed byWilliam Wellman
Written byHarry Ruskin
Based on
The Varmint: A Lawrenceville Story
Produced byCarey Wilson
StarringDean Stockwell
Darryl Hickman
Scotty Beckett
Leo G. Carroll
Elinor Donahue
CinematographyPaul C. Vogel
Edited byJohn Dunning
Music byLeigh Harline
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
Running time
109-110 mins
CountryUnited States
Box office$855,000[1]


Expelled from other preparatory schools, most recently after causing a campus explosion, young John Humperdink Stover is given one last chance by his father to find maturity and discipline along with a proper education. On the way to a new academy, Stover promptly disrupts the trip of a fellow carriage passenger, Mr. Hopkins, by causing the horse to break into a gallop. He is unaware that Hopkins is the Latin teacher and house-master at his school.

Promptly given the nickname "Dink," he becomes acquainted with other students like "Tough" McCarty and "Tennessee" Shad and immediately starts getting into fights. The rivalry spills onto the football field and also includes elaborate pranks played on a girl, Connie Brown, during the summer break. On the verge of being kicked out of yet another school, Dink comes to his senses just in time, making his father proud at last.


Robert Wagner made his film debut in a small, uncredited role as Adams, the catcher for Cleve House.


According to MGM records, the movie earned $680,000 in the US and Canada and $175,000 elsewhere, making a loss of $1,096,000 for the studio.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.

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