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This article is about the 1951 documentary film about a boy. For 1974 and later films about a fictional dog, see Benji.
Directed by Fred Zinnemann
Produced by Fred Zinnemann
Starring Lee Aaker
Narrated by Henry Fonda
Release dates
  • 1951 (1951)
Country United States
Language English

Benjy is a 1951 American short documentary film directed by Fred Zinnemann. It won an Academy Award in 1952 for Documentary Short Subject.[1]


Henry Fonda narrates this short film about a boy who was handicapped from birth. An orthopedic pediatrician wants to provide a therapeutic regimen that could cure the child, a scoliosis patient, but first he needs to convince the boy’s parents, who have rejected the child because of his disabilities.[2]

Zinnemann and the film’s production crew worked gratis on this project, which was originally designed to be used as a fundraiser for the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital.[2]

In his 1992 book An Autobiography, Zinneman noted that Paramount Pictures arranged for the crew on this production, and that the union members connected to the production turned their salaries back to the hospital. Henry Fonda also volunteered his services for the film.[3]

Although the film extensively used dramatized sequences to tell its story, it was successfully entered in the Academy Award category for Best Documentary Short Subject.[4]



  1. ^ "New York Times: Benjy". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  2. ^ a b “Fred Zinnemann”
  3. ^ Zinneman, Fred, "An Autobiography." Forest Stewart/Charles Scribner & Sons, 1992. ISBN 0-684-19050-8
  4. ^ Oscar’s Docs”

External links[edit]