Rascally Boys in Movies

By Mary Simon

Boys who steal your heart, give you pause, make you mad, and engage you for life! Haven't we all fallen under the spell of young men who defend their family or brighten the screen with their rambunctious, sometimes pugnacious personalities? Or perhaps it's their quiet empathy for others (including animals) that catches our attention. In any case, we willingly let them into our psyche, because there is resonance with whom they are and what they do! Who's your favorite rascally boy?

  • Slumdog Millionaire


    This sad yet joyous feature is worth watching and re-watching. As a 5-year old boy in the Dharavi slums of India, Jamal Malik is the true embodiment of a rascally boy. Certainly, his circumstances dictate that he be resourceful and street smart, but throughout his life, Jamal cares for his brother and others while getting into all sorts of unwieldy situations.

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  • My Family and Other Animals

    2004 by Durrell, Gerald

    For a light hearted, sun-filled treat, this series by Durrell fits the bill. Gerald is an adventurous lad who loves animals, and his family is willing to put up with adopted pets of all sizes and shapes roaming their huge house on Corfu. If you like the books, the BBC Masterpiece Theater series is equally appealing.

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  • Jojo Rabbit


    Young, sensitive boys growing up in Hitler's Germany were often shamed into joining youth initiatives to uphold the Fuehrer's regime. This satiric film portrays a lonely youth who discovers mysteries about his mother, his home, and himself. Captured in a humorous fashion, this film is sure to delight and brighten your night (or day if that's your preference).

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  • Swiss Family Robinson


    If you were living on a deserted island, you would probably be rascally too. Climbing trees and building forts and rafts are certainly part of the definition of "rascally." Throw in the need to simply survive with your siblings and parents and you'll understand why this "older" movie makes my list.

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  • The Rescuers Down Under


    Cody, a 9-year-old boy from Mugwomp Flats, responds to a distress call about a trapped giant Golden Eagle called Marahute. Freeing her, he gains a close friendship with the bird. Thus begins a thrilling, feel-good movie with one of the best rascally boys ever--caring, compassionate, funny, and clever to boot.

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  • To Kill A Mockingbird


    Jem is a gentleman and a rascally Southern-type boy. He climbs through fences, rolls a mean tire (with his sister in it), and watches out for her and his next-door neighbor, Dill. And when he gets beat up, and Boo Radley visits him, he treats Boo kindly and graciously--just as you would expect of a rascally boy.

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  • A River Runs Through It


    A film about two sons who can only be described as rascally--especially when they try to rebel against their very strict, Methodist minister father. They love the outdoors, seeking adventures in whatever shape they come, and treat women--especially their mum--with respect and kindness. Enough said!

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  • Legends of the Fall


    This film features three rascally brothers who grew up in the wilds of Montana. Their adventures in nature and with Native Americans during our country's early frontier days will make you laugh and, yes, cry. Riding horses, exploring the world outside Montana, and later in life, enduring the horrors of war, make me nominate these brothers as superb rascally boys (and men).

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