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Mister Scoutmaster

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Mister Scoutmaster
Poster for Mister Scoutmaster
Directed byHenry Levin
Screenplay byLeonard Praskin
Barney Slater
Based onBe Prepared
1952 novel
by Rice E. Cochran (Keith Monroe)
Produced byLeonard Goldstein
StarringClifton Webb
Edmund Gwenn
George Winslow
CinematographyJoseph LaShelle
Edited byWilliam B. Murphy
Music byCyril J. Mockridge
20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century-Fox
Release date
  • August 19, 1953 (1953-08-19) (Los Angeles)
  • August 28, 1953 (1953-08-28) (New York City)
  • September 2, 1953 (1953-09-02) (United States)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.6 million (US rentals)[2]

Mister Scoutmaster is a 1953 comedy film about Boy Scouts, starring Clifton Webb.[3] It is based on the book Be Prepared by Keith Monroe, writing under the pseudonym Rice E. Cochran.[4]


An arrogant, aloof television personality gets more than he bargained for when he consents to be leader to a troop of Boy Scouts. The sponsor of Robert Jordan's (Clifton Webb) TV program says he might cancel the show because Jordan appeals only to a middle-aged following and is out of touch with a younger audience.

Jordan takes his troubles home to wife Helen (Frances Dee), who wants a child of her own. When he learns that Helen has donated a favorite suit to a Boy Scout clothing drive, Jordan goes to retrieve it, but is flabbergasted when 8-year-old Mike Marshall (George Winslow) insists he pay full price for it.

The boy returns the money, impressing the Jordans. When the couple pursue adoption through the local church, Rev. Dr. Stone (Edmund Gwenn) mentions that the Scout troop is in need of a new scoutmaster. Jordan sees it as a chance to find out more about children, but is appalled by their rowdy behavior. Mike is too young to be a Scout, but persists in joining every activity.

Jordan discovers that Mike is an orphan who tries to hide the fact that he lives with an irresponsible aunt in the city's waterfront district. Mike comes to the Scoutmaster's rescue in the woods when Jordan gets trapped inside a sleeping bag at the bottom of a ravine. The Jordans decide to adopt the boy, and Robert's television show is continued.


Further reading

  • Rice E Cochran (1952). Be prepared!: The life and illusions of a scoutmaster. ASIN B0007E4WS0.


  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey (1989). Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1.
  2. ^ "The Top Box Office Hits of 1953". Variety. January 13, 1954.
  3. ^ "Mr Scoutmaster". TCMDB.
  4. ^ "Keith Monroe". Scouting. May 2004. p. 6.
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Mister Scoutmaster
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