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Little Mister Jim (1946)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 10 June 1946 (USA)
A boy learns to deal with the loss of his mother and the subsequent mourning of his father through the wisdom of the family's Chinese cook.


Fred Zinnemann


George Bruce (screenplay), Tommy Wadelton (based on the novel "Army Brat" by)


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Cast overview:
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins ... Little Jim Tukker
James Craig ... Capt. Big Jim Tukker
Frances Gifford ... Jean Tukker
Luana Patten ... Missey Choosey Glenson
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Starwell
Ching Wah Lee Ching Wah Lee ... Sui Jen
Laura La Plante ... Mrs. Glenson
Henry O'Neill ... Chaplain
Morris Ankrum ... Col. Starwell
Celia Travers Celia Travers ... Miss Martin
Ruth Brady Ruth Brady ... Miss Hall
Sharon McManus Sharon McManus ... Elsie McBride
Buz Buckley Buz Buckley ... Ronnie Shelton
Carol Nugent ... Clara
Jean Van ... Mary


A boy learns to deal with the loss of his mother and the subsequent mourning of his father through the wisdom of the family's Chinese cook.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Butch! HE'LL MAKE YOU LAUGH... HE'LL MAKE YOU CRY...HE'S TERRIFIC! (original one-sheet poster-nearly all caps)


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 June 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Army Brat See more »


Box Office


$1,085,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


First of two movies in a row that director Fred Zinnemann made with a cast consisting of Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins, Spring Byington, Charles Bates and Gary Gray. The second was My Brother Talks to Horses (1947). See more »


At the beginning of the film, Big Jim calls over a First Sergeant. His stripes are incorrect for that rank as he is missing the third "down" stripe. The diamond in the center is correct, however. See more »


Referenced in Forecast (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

More about cultural differences than its overt message
29 April 2008 | by gzdaSee all my reviews

Since much of this film is the kind of sentimental tripe offered up by Hollywood in the post-war era, it would not have rated as highly with me if it wasn't for the very strong and clear underlying message about cultural bigotry. The character of the Chinese servant, Sui Jen, has a huge impact on the boy who has lost his mother. When the father ceases to be emotionally available to his son, he steps in to fill the void. He teaches the kid important lessons, and then teaches others to the father. While all the other characters in the film are the same, cardboard cut-out, fifties' types, Sui Jen's is a gentle rebel in his subservient role. For example, when the father is too wrapped up in his own grief, and drink, to buy his son new clothes, Sui Jen gets him Chinese clothes. The point is made. When busy-body neighbor women are aghast that the boy is learning about more than one God, the chaplain investigates and learns that the boy knows The Lord's Prayer in Chinese! And then the kid tells him that 'in heaven, they understand all languages!' Much of what this film portrays is bland, predictable and pedestrian, but it is the references to cultural differences that set it apart from other films of its ilk.

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