Peck obviously remembers the younger Robert Newton and his more daring buddy Soup (1974) with relish. They got into so much gol-durned trouble: shucking off their clothes for an early spring swim and having them stolen by old Janice Riker (she's the one with ""hair like a Brillo pad, muscles like Tarzan. . . when she'd blow in your face, you'd swear she ate a toad for lunch""); building a manned torpedo out of an old ""gallonized"" iron tank to ram Janice's soap box racer. Later, Soup cuts Robert's hair and then patches up the mistakes by pasting locks back on with Pink Awful bubble gum. You can't completely resist these cow-licked rustics, and the holiday reminiscences--when the boys get stuck in the bell tower trying to ring Miss Kelly a Christmas salute, or nearly let an old turkey get the best of them before giving it to a poor family--work best because we expect a certain amount of sentimental indulgence at that time of year. If only Peck weren't quite so taken with himself. . . he keeps telling us how cute these bratty boys are and you can't help wondering whether, like Soup, he's come to believe that he can sucker his friends into going along with anything.