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Little Mister Jim (1946)

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


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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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film did very poorly at the box office for MGM, resulting in a loss of $640,000 ($8.6M in 2017) according to studio records. 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

Leave It to Butch
4 May 2013 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Seven-year old Jackie "Butch'' Jenkins (as "Little Jim" Tukker) and his cute dog "Wolf" are missing. Stationed in a wealthy military town, handsome father James Craig (as "Big Jim" Tukker) gets fellow officers to help search for his son. Uncommonly cheerful Chinese servant Ching Wah Lee (as Sui Jen) is frantic. Pretty wife Frances Gifford (as Jean) finds young Jenkins and the family returns to thinking about a "coming bundle from Heaven." Before the blessed event, Jenkins celebrates his eighth birthday. At his birthday party, the lucky tyke greedily gets more gifts than most kids get at Christmas...

Jenkins receives a bicycle from his parents and a knife from Mr. Ching, who shows uncommon patience in teaching Jenkins how the pedal. Unfortunately, this happy family receives some sad news. About 45 minutes into the running time, director Fred Zinnemann tries a strange scene which may be part-imaginary. Jenkins enters an empty, candlelit bedroom and watches his mother sleep. Dark topics and "Leave It to Beaver"-style antics next turn into a story about clashing "oriental" and mainstream cultures. The film's intentions may be honorable, but the overall effect is awkward and uneven.

***** Little Mister Jim (3/14/47) Fred Zinnemann ~ Jackie "Butch'' Jenkins, James Craig, Ching Wah Lee, Frances Gifford

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