Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)

In the first film starring the Peanuts characters:

  • the evocative opening of the characters of Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy looking for cloud shapes in the sky, and Charlie's resigned response to Linus' extravagant visions: ("Well, I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie... but I changed my mind")
  • the scene of 'born loser' Charlie's repeated failures trying to fly a kite, and win a baseball game: ("I think it would be kind of fun to win once in a while...Losing isn't anything"); Linus was encouraging for him to be optimistic: "Look at it this way, Charlie Brown, we learn more from losing than we do from winning" - Charlie joked: "I guess that makes me the smartest person in the whole world" - although at the same time, Linus defeated Charlie in a game of sidewalk tic-tac-toe
  • Snoopy's two fantasies: as a WWI ace pilot fighting an aerial battle with an opponent (the Red Baron) with his doghouse transformed into a Sopwith Camel, and as a hard-nosed hockey player
  • Lucy's promise to point out Charlie's faults in her psychiatric help booth, in a slide show viewed on a slide projector system in her home: ("I recognize your frailties, your weaknesses. You need me to point out your faults, Charlie Brown. It's for your own good. Besides, I can do it better than anyone else"); she pointed out many of his faults, including his tendency to be fat and have a large nose, and his repeated clumsiness at kicking a football
  • Charlie's final victory at his school's spelling bee by spelling the word: "Perceive - P-E-R-C-E-I-V-E, perceive" - (after remembering the spelling song "I Before E (Except After C)" that he had earlier practiced with Snoopy playing a jaw harp), and his triumphant reception by his friends
The Spelling Bees
The Audience
  • Charlie's embarrassing failure to win the annual National Spelling Bee in NYC by mis-spelling "beagle" (Snoopy's breed) as B-E-A-G-E-L, with all of his friends watching on television in an auditorium
  • the powerfully poignant ending sequence that followed, beginning with Linus' exquisite speech to a morose, bedridden, and depressed Charlie Brown after failing at the national spelling bee: ("...I suppose you feel you let everyone down, and you made a fool out of yourself and everything. (pauses before leaving) But did you notice something, Charlie Brown?...The world didn't come to an end")
  • the scene of a thoughtful Charlie walking through town watching life go on as before, and his sneaky but futile attempt to kick the football out of Lucy's hands for the umpteenth time - when she removed it just as he approached
Missed Football Kick
  • the ending: Lucy's warm greeting as Charlie lay on the ground after missing the football, with the film's final line of dialogue: "Welcome home, Charlie Brown!" - with Rod McKuen's soulful: "A Boy Named Charlie Brown": ("He's just a kid next door, perhaps a little more / A boy named Charlie Brown")

Cloud Shapes

Kite-Flying Failure

Snoopy as WWI ace pilot vs. Red Baron

Lucy's Psychiatric Help Booth

Linus' Speech to Charlie Brown


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