with References To
The following list of movies has some reference to Scouts in them. Some have their entire storyline involving Scouts while others have just a passing reference to them. I started this list initially thinking it would be useful in training but doing up a "trivial pursuit" type contest to help relieve. As I compiled the list I also found that Michael Bowman was compiling a similar list on U.S. Scouting Service Project web site (www.usscouts.org). That web site has much information on Scouting as well as a section of fictional Scouts in the media. (http://usscouts.org/profbvr/scoutfiction/start.html)
For a few years I sent any Scout references I found to Scouter Michael and that satisfied my interest in this topic. But I still liked the idea of maintaining my own list especially one where I could make my own comments about the Scouting reference or the movie itself. Thus this list.
I thank Michael for his list from which I have also borrowed liberally for the many movies that he lists that I have never seen.
An Overall Observation
Older movies, pre-1965 or so, show Scouting in a very positive light. Newer movies tend to show Scouting in a derogatory light, or at best as a naive movement. The main exception to this is when a newer movie is set in the past and then Scouting is usually shown positively.
Note: (Christopher Reeves) A really good cop is betrayed and tries to get revenge. But no one suspects the good cop except one other cop. When a bunch of cops are talking in a bar about the good cop, the less-trusting cop refers to him as " a real @#%&$^*#( boy scout".
ALL SOUL'S DAY
Note: (Jeffrey Coombs, David Keith). Poor horror movie made in 2005 so no excuse for how bad it is. Small Mexican town where the dead walk. A nobody movie but Jeffrey Coombs and David Keith have bit parts - these guys are major stars but they should know better than this. As Coombs and his family drive into this small Mexican town at night, Coombs promises something and says "Scouts Honour" and I think he salutes.
APOLLO 13 1995
Note: (Tom Hanks) When the ship is re-entering the atmosphere, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (supposed to be in the movie and I think the real guys) try to distract Jim Lovell's (Hanks) Mom from watching the television by asking her if Jim made Eagle Scout or not. She says he had.
AMERICAN BEAUTY 2000
Note: (Kevin Spacey) Near the end of the movie when Spacey has come to grips with his mid-life crisis, he has some B&W flashbacks of good times in his past. One image is him as a boy lying on the grass and remembering his summer days in Scout Camp. A nice moment in an otherwise odd movie.
ARLINGTON ROAD 2000
Note: (Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins) Loved the movie. One of the clues is a boy's church Group and when Jeff Bridges is asking a person about it, the person says "It is kind of like Boy Scouts but is church related" or something similar.
Note: When Bruce Willis is told he has to train astronauts how to drill in outer space, he tells the boss (Billy Bob Thorton) something like "I can't teach these boy scouts to do this...". He then argues that it would be easier to train his drillers to be astronauts than astronauts to be drillers. Yah right.BRANIGAN
Note: At one point John Wayne says to another guy in a high rise office "You're a real eagle scout."
BUG'S LIFE 1998
Note: There is a scene where the ladybug character, with a broken leg, has to recuperate. All the kids come to her (him) and he acts like he hates it but really he likes having the children around him. At one point adult ants looking in on him say, "He makes such a good den mother..."
Note: (Daniel Stern) Although the kids in this movie are not supposed to be Boy Scouts, you forget that almost right away and for all intents this is a Scout movie. Not well liked by critics - there are some funny scenes in it. Lots of kids in uniform and doing Scout type things. Stern plays a bungling criminal who has to pose as a Scout leader.
Note: Sea Scouts Movie
CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
Note: (Harrison Ford) Jack Ryan can not condone the CIA illegal activities in trying to stop the drug trade and when he informs a co-agent that he won't play along with the illegal activities, his fellow agent tell him that "You are such a Boy Scout!"
Note: (Mel Gibson) I've seen this movie but don't remember the following line quoted on Michael's site. Gibson says, " The boys have all been Baden-Powell'd.... the girls have all been Betty Crocker'd....". I'll have to watch it again. It wasn't that bad.
CHARIOTS OF FIRE 1981
Note: (Ben Cross) A great movie. I have not seen it for a long time but it was on TV the other night and in the final race scene as the winners are carried around the track, I'm sure that there are Scouts in full uniform walking with them.CHRISTINE
About midway through this movie Harry Dean Stanton asks the the kid who is the owner of the car possessed by Christine "Scouts Honour?" The kid replys "I'm not a Scout."
CUCKOO PATROL 1965
DEATH RACE 2000
Note: (David Carradine, Sylvester Stallone) A really bad movie in which Carradine and Stallone drive across America gaining points by killing people. I'm told there is a section where one they tries or succeeds in hitting boy scouts. This was on TV only a few months ago but I was only watching parts of it and if this section was in it, I didn't see it.
DESIRE AND HELL AT SUNSET MOTEL
Note: About 10 minutes before the end of the movie there is a man (David Hewlett) talking to Sherri Lynn Doyle in a hotel room and in their conversation says "Scouts Honour".
DROOPY'S GOOD DEED 1951
Note: (Morgan Freeman) This is a Stephen King movie adapation about an alien invasion (and other things). Morgan Freeman is the commander in charge of a military outpost set up to protect a quarantined area. He calls into his office a soldier who had been on sentry duty and had let a woman and her son leave the guarantine area. Freeman quizzes the soldier and tells him to just tell the truth. The soldier tells his story and Freeman says "Scouts Honour?" "Can you tell me your story is true on Scouts Honour?" The soldier raises his hand in a Scout salute and says "On My Honour". Unfortunately the soldier had been lying in his story so Freeman, who was cleaning his pistol during this whole discussion, shoots the soldiers hand that is making the salute.
DRUM TAPS 1933
Note: (Slim Whitaker) Western movie about land grabbers. A Boy Scout Troop helps make things right.
EDGE OF HONOR 1991
EMPIRE OF THE SUN
Note: (Christian Bale). The story of a boy surviving in a POW camp in WWII after the Japanese take Singapore. Prior to the arrival of the Japanese, at a costume party an older gentleman says to Bale "I hear you resigned from Scouts?" Bale replies "I'm an atheist."
Note: (Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cann, Vanessa Williams) In one scene Cann kidnaps Williams and when another villain asks why he has kept her, Cann says she's bait and says something like "I'm always prepared. I'm a real boy scout."
FATHER AND SCOUT 1994
Note: New Line Cinema. (Bob Saget & Brian Bonsall). If you can watch Bob Saget, please tell me what this is about. Although Brian did okay as Alexander in ST:TNG.
FIGHT CLUB 2001
Note: (Edward Norton, Brad Pitt) There is a passing reference between Ed Norton and Brad Pitt about Brad being a "boy scout".
Note: Quote from Michael's site "an Australian short movie set in 1963 on a scout camp in Victoria...about a Wolf Cub who attends a scout camp. The scouts try to scare him by telling a spooky story and then acting it out after lights out.... (Source: Grant O'Neil) "
FOLLOW ME BOYS! 1966
Note: Disney. (Fred MacMurry, Lillian Gish, Vera Miles, Kurt Russell)
GANG, THE 1938
GIRL AND THE BUGLER, THE 1967
THE GREAT LOVER 1949
Note: Disney. (Bob Hope, Rhonda Fleming, Jim Backus). Bob Hope as a Boy Scout leader - enough said.GREEN BERET
There is a scene in this movie that will make most Scouters squimmish (spelling?) and will make those responsible for risk management go running from the room. At some point in the movie the Quartermaster comes into a tent to tell the Lt. about some problem. Wakes the Lt. up. They chat and the Lt. tells the QM that he already solved the problem with a few well placed phone calls. The QM is amazed at how easily the problem was solved and walks out saying "I was a Boy Scout. I was an Eagle Scout." and mutters on about how he could not get it done.
Anyway after he leaves a small Vietnamese boy is still in the tent. The Lt. tells him to move on and go away but the boy has no where to go. The scene is played for "cute" and the Lt. lies back to go to sleep but the boy stands there watching him. Finally the Lt. opens his eyes and throws back the blankets and says "come on". The Vietnamese orphan hops into bed with the Lt. and he throws the blanket back over the two of them.
HENRY ALDICH, BOY SCOUT 1944
Note: Paramount (Richard Haydon, James Lydon) Quote from Michael's site " As a boy scout leader, Henry (James Lydon), repeatedly takes the blame for problems caused by a scout in his patrol."Hollywood Safari
Note: Bad movie. Stars John Savage and you have to wonder why he chose to be in this along with some unknown kid actors and some burnt old TV stars. Not that's he's really any better in it. About stunt animals and the people who take care of them and of course misunderstanding; bad guys etc. At one point the kids capture the bad guys and one says "I'm embarrassed to be tied up by a bunch of boy scouts". He should be embarrassed to be in this movie.
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE
Note: Movie opens with Indiana Jones and his Scout Troop on a horseback trip and Indiana discovers grave robbers. Good opening section of what would be a great adventure for any troop. Of course everyone concerned for risk management would be wringing their hands as the Scouts go their own way exploring the hills and caves.
JOY SCOUTS 1939
Note: Quote from Michael's site "With the "Our Gang" crew The Boys Scouts give a demonstration of their camping skills, but the Our Gang are excluded from participating because they are not yet old enough. Undeterred, the Our Gang head off on their own unsupervised camping adventure, with comically disastrous results. "
Note: (Liem Neeson). The movie opens up with a young Kinsey and another boy both in Scout uniforms doing some bird watching (mourning doves I think). They start to talk about sex clearly showing the way that Kinsey's mind and research is heading.
LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM
Note: (Hugh Grant, Amanda Plumer). Not very good Ken Russell movie about a snake goddess/demon in the UK. At one point in a rain storm she drives up to a boy walking on the side of the road with a backpack on. He is wearing a Scout stetson with a Scout medal on the front. There's no reference to Scouts other than this. He takes a ride with this woman and eventually becomes one of her meals.
LAST BOY SCOUT
Note: (Bruce Willis). Bruce Willis is ex-Secret Service and not a PI. He befriends Damon Wayans, an ex-football player. At one point as Wayans prys Willis' past out of him and realizes Willis couldn't live with some sleazy things happening, he calls him "a real boy scout" and five minutes later autographs a football card with "To the Last Boy Scout". At the end of the movie as Willis and Wayans walk off into the sunset and the former tries to convince the latter to join him as a PI, he says "Be Prepared. That's my motto. Be Prepared."
Note: Martians attack Washington DC and as they destroy the Washington Monument, a troop of boy scouts is walking by it.
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS 1937
MISTER SCOUTMASTER 1953
Note: (Clifton Webb) Quote from Michael's site: "A reluctant Scoutmaster and his misadventures with a pack of future Eagle Scouts. "
MR. AND MRS. BRIDGE 1990
Note: (Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward) More to come later. I'm told that there are many references to Scouting in this.
MISTER DEEDS 2002?
Note: (Adam Sandler) I've not seen this movie but there is one part in the commercial for it that Sandler says to someone (butler?) "I got wicked frostbite in boy scouts" and then he takes his sock off and his foot is almost pure black.
ORDER OF THE EAGLE1989
Note: The description on my satellite dish information read "Mountain Man protects ersatz boy scout from hencemen." Starring Frank Stallone and William Zipp. I watched the latter half of the movie and it is bad. But then when Frank Stallone is the star then you've not given yourself a high standard to start wtih. Actually all of Stallone's parts are filmed completely separated from the movie just to tack his name to the movie. I'm not sure how the boy scout got involved (and he looks very old to be a Scout) but somehow the hencemen make a helicopter crash and the Scout takes some very important computer disks from the helicopter and the hencemen start chasing him. Basically a chase through the woods killing people as you go. The Scout has very little to do as the ex-Vietnam Mountain Man runs everywhere and kills lots of people. No plot. Lots of those scenes when you say "Why the hell did he do that?" Ignore it.
Note: Bad movie starring Aaron Norris (Chuck's brother.) Story is very rich bad guy who hunts people and he's after Aaron Norris. Near the end of the movie when his main henchmen has send out several men to track Norris down (and of course they've all failed), the main villain says "How are all the little boy scouts you sent out?
Note: (Jodi Foster) When locked in the panic room with her daughter with the criminals outside the door, they try to get help. One way they try is to use a flashlight to flash S.O.S. through a drainhole to the neighbour next door. Foster says "I hope he was a boy scout". The guy just closes his blind.
PEARL HARBOURNote: (Ben Afflicted, Kate Beckinsale). Leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbour, there are some scenes of the Japanese Zeros crossing the island past pastoral scenes of kids playing baseball etc. One scene shows Scouts waking up and coming out of their tents and watching the planes fly by.
PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
Note: (Ed Wood - director). Ed Wood's masterpiece of bad cinema. After one of the deaths in the graveyard and the 2 police officers go looking for the possible murderer, one says "What about the morgue guys?". The other cop, who just came from the body says, "Who do you think we left back at the car? Boy Scouts?"
Note: ( Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers) Once the commandos realize that whatever is stalking them can see human made objects like trip wires, they start to make traps and dead falls from natural objects. Weathers is not certain this will work so turns to Schwarzenegger and says something like "Do you think this Boy Scout shit is going catch him?"
Note: (Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen) A jingoistic movie but still interesting to watch. Cuban and Russian troops have invaded and occupied western North America. A group of students head off into the mountains and eventually form a guerilla force. At one point one of the occuping generals makes reference to one of them (the mayor's son) as having belonged to "an elite paramilitary organizations - Eagle Scouts". The irony is that particular student is the first to recommend surrending, does not seem especially prepared for living in the wilderness and at one point in the story betrays his friends. Doesn't sound like Eagle Scout Behaviour to me.
Note: (Val Kilmer, Carrie Anne Moss). This might not be a Scouting reference but I think it is and if so - I think one of the more subtle and impressive Scout references. When the mission to Mars arrives, things go wrong, and the shuttle crash lands. One of the astronauts (Terence Stamp) is injuried in the crash and is sitting by a rock. When they decide to hike to the habitat module, he says he is not going as he has internal injuries and will not survive and will slow them down. After the typical discussion they leave him behind. As he sits there quietly dying, it looks like he draws a small dot in the sand and then draws a circle around it. GONE HOME. Maybe he's drawing a planet orbit but I don't think so. Look it over and let me know what you think.
ROOM FOR ONE MORE 1952
Note: (Cary Grant) Quote from Michael's site: "Grant's wife (played by Betsy Drake) kept bringing home foster children no one else wanted. This included a handicapped boy with a monster chip on his shoulder. The boy's life was changed by this family and by scouting. The movie details his road to Eagle Scout and how he insisted on fulfilling all requirements despite his handicap. It culminates with his Eagle Scout Court of Honor. The movie is "Room for One More" from 1952. Cary Grant's biography says it is also known as "The Easy Way". (Source: Denise Hayes) "
SCOUTS HONOR 1980
Note: TV Movie (Gary Coleman, Katherine Helmond) Think TV movie. Think Gary Coleman. Think Gary Coleman as Scout. You know the plot. I saw this on TV one day but was going out and could only see a short bit of it. That was about all I could stand.
THE SANDWICH MAN 1966
SEX MONSTER, THE 1999
Note: (Mariel Hemingway) Not very funny sex farce about a man's fantasy of having a menage a trois backfiring and his wife finding out she likes being with women. Dull movie. At one point when another woman is wanting Hemingway to come to bed she says something like "You better hurry, I haven't got all day. It's my Cub Scout pick up day."
SCOUTS TO THE RESCUE 1939
Note: (Jackie Cooper) A 12-part serial about Cooper as an Eagle Scout who, with his troop, a G-man, a FBI agent find counterfeit money; have a run in with some Indians and save the day. Was available as item #3052 from 1-800-SCOUTER.
SHRIEK IF YOU KNOW WHAT I DID LAST FRIDAY THE 13TH 2000
Note: (Tom Arnold) Horror movie spoof. At one point someone says to one of the teens, "You've got blood on your head". The teen picks up a bottle and starts pouring it on his head and says "Tequila will fix that. It's an old Scout trick."
Note: In one minor scene of an angry townsperson confronts a nasty businessperson and the sheriff has to step in. The townsperson says something like "Why do you have to be such a boy scout?"
SPEEDNote: (Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper). At one point in the movie, near the end in the subway I think, Dennis Hopper says something like "Be Prepared, that's the boy scout marching song."
Note: (Robert Redford, Brad Pitt). Redford is relating how he recruited Pitt into the CIA. In flashback it shows Redford interviewing Pitt, an excellent sniper, in Vietnam. Redford asks "Where'd you learn to shoot like that solider?" Pitt replies "In the boy scouts." Redford says "you're shitting me" and Pitt replies "no sir". And so Pitt is called the boy scout from there on. Later in the movie one of the covers Pitt has to take on is a war photographer. Redford says he was a very good photographer and "you know damn well he's got a photography merit badge back home in some drawer".
Note: I've seen this but don't remember the part in the movie when Bill Murry arrives at boot camp. Mike's site says he is "wearing a red scout jacket that has the old city and state markings on the arm with a troop number".
STAR TREK II - THE WRATH OF KAHN
Note: Dr Marcus (Kirk's son - although he does not know it) says to his mother "Remember that overgrown Boy Scout you used to hand around with ?" His mother responds "Listen kiddo, Jim Kirk was many things but he was never a Boy Scout!"
THE TAKENNote: This was really a mini-series but is now out on DVD so most people will likely think of it as a movie. It's about aliens and UFOs and conspiracies. There is one scene in the first 20 minutes or so of a father leading his two sons, both in Scout uniforms, over a hiking trail. He's taking them over the route they'll have to take to pass some Scouting test. The kids wonder if this is cheating and the Dad says it isn't - it's just doing some reconnaissance. Of course they find a downed UFO.
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT 1983
Note: (Shirley Mclaine, Debra Winger) This was recently on TV in the background and very near the end while Winger is in the hospital, the grandmother (Mclaine) is walking with her grandson. She says something like "This is a great year for Cub Scouts in xx(the town they're from)" and the boy replies "I was never a Cub Scout." They chat a bit more then the son badmouths his mom and grandma slaps him.
TEX RIDES WITH THE BOY SCOUTS 1937
Note: (Tex Ritter)
THAT CERTAIN AGE 1938
WITCH HUNTNote: (Dennis Hopper) Hopper play a detective in a 40's Los Angeles where everyone uses minor magic to achieve their goals. Of course he doesn't. At one point, his McCarthy like opponent is described in roughly the following way "He could go to a Boy Scout Jamboree - he would fit right in. Didn't drink. Didn't smoke."
THE WRONG GUYS 1988
Note: (Louie Anderson, Richard Lewis, Richard Belzer, and John Goodman). Might actually be funny.
YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942
Note: (James Cagney) Quote from Michael's web site, "scene where the music "You're a Grand Old Flag" is played..marching onto the stage carrying the flag, was a modest-sized (about 20 boys) Boy Scout troop--in full uniform. "
YOUNG EAGLES 1937
Note: Another serial, this time 13 parts. Quote from Michael's site "Two Eagle Scouts are on a expedition to the Amazon (doesn't the BSA hold one every year?) En-route the plane crashed and the boys were stranded in the jungle alone defending themselves against crocodiles, tigers (tons of tigers in the Amazon), and cannibals (tons of them too) ... They get a chance to make a raft which looks better than the one in the handbook, practice lots of first aid skills, and even rappel down a mountain using palm leaves.