|The Happy Years|
|Directed by||William Wellman|
|Based on||The Varmint by Owen Johnson|
Leo G. Carroll
|Cinematography||Paul C. Vogel|
|Edited by||John Dunning|
|Music by||Leigh Harline|
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.
- Dean Stockwell as Dink Stover
- Darryl Hickman as Tough McCarty
- Scotty Beckett as Tennessee Shad
- Leo G. Carroll as Mr. Hopkins
- Leon Ames as Sam Stover
- Elinor Donahue as Connie (billed as Mary Eleanor Donahue)
- Claudia Barrett as Dolly Travers
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.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.