Too Young The Hero


Twelve-year-old Calvin manages to join the navy and serves in the battle of Guadalcanal. But when his age is revealed, the boy is sent to the brig.

ACTORS :  Ricky Schroder, Jon DeVries, Debra Mooney


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Too Young The Hero  The true story of Calvin Graham who at the age of twelve, but looking quite a lot older, succeeded in joining the navy during World War II. In spite of his young age, he received a purple hart for his bravery in the battle of Guadalcanal. When he reported back to his unit after a leave, his world collapsed. Due to a misunderstanding he is reported as a deserter which is the start of a real nightmare.

User Reviews

Imagine what it was like to be Calvin Graham…
Too Young The Hero  Calvin wanted to join the military service in part because he wanted to serve his country like the older boys (or young men) and in part because he had no real place to live or means of support. Considering how hard boot camp can be on an “of age” enlistee or draftee, imagine then what it must have been like for a 12-year-old boy. Yet he persevered, he endured, he survived, perhaps in part because his family circumstances had really not made it possible for him to be a child for very long. He had been picking cotton in the fields when he was five; he was much more a grownup than what we think of a 12 year old being now.

I thought Rick Schroder did a really good job of playing the role of Calvin. Actually it was a kind of turnabout – while Calvin was 12 and had to pass himself off as 17, Schroder was 17 and had to pass for 12.

Some have pointed out ‘how could the military not have known he was only 12?’. At least one other reviewer pointed out that his teeth would have been a giveaway, well in fact the movie covered that. When he was getting his dental exam the dentist immediately caught that he was only about 12. “You don’t even have your 12-year molars yet, you’ve still got baby teeth!” He handed Calvin his folder and told him to take it to a sergeant to be sent home; instead, when the dentist turned away for a moment, Calvin replaced his folder on the stack and said nothing to anyone. He was past that problem neatly.

There’s more to the story than can or should be shared here. I can only say I found it very interesting and I think this most unusual true story bears watching, and Calvin bears our remembering.

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