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Child Bride (1938)

 |  Drama  |  2 March 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.5/10 from 510 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 10 critic

Schoolteacher in a rural community campaigns to stop the practice of older men marrying young, underage girls.


(as Harry J. Revier)


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Cast overview:
Shirley Mills ...
Bob Bollinger ...
Warner Richmond ...
Jake Bolby
Diana Durrell ...
Miss Carol
Dorothy Carrol ...
Ma Colton
George Humphreys ...
Ira Colton
Frank Martin ...
George Morrell ...
Mike Nulty (as Rex Baxter)
Angelo Rossitto ...
Angelo (as Don Barrett)
Al Bannon ...


Jennie is a twelve-year-old girl living with her parents in extremely rural mountain country. Her schoolteacher, Miss Carol, though a mountain girl herself, has gone off to be educated and returned in hopes of stopping the tradition of child marriage which permeates the culture. Jennie's father Ira is a good man who tries to protect Miss Carol from the men who threaten her if she doesn't call off her crusade. One of these men, Jake Bolby, has his eye on little Jennie and plots to make her his bride. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A THROBBING DRAMA OF SHACKLED YOUTH! (original 1938 one-sheet poster)




See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 March 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dust to Dust  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$24,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Child Bride is based on a LIFE MAGAZINE February 15, 1937 photo story about a 9 year old girl married legally in Tennessee to a 22 year old man. The movie was created and shot and put in theaters all before 1937 ended, and the title credits state clearly the Copyright date is 1937. However, the movie is widely and wrongly identified as a 1938 movie, which is incorrect. Check the movie title credits to confirm this (date is provided in Roman Numerals which translate to "1937," not "1938.") Interest in 1937 in the backwoods Tennessee "moonshine" culture and strange ways of locals became national when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) publicized its then continuing work and findings re: the local population of poor people in mountain Tennessee, and their unmet needs. See more »


Miss Carol: But all I'm trying to make you understand is that you *can't* fight nature's law. Bearing children is a woman's job. Child marriage must go!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The role of Angelo, the midget moonshiner, is played by Angelo Rossitto. In the credits the role is credited to a "Don Barrett." See more »


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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Creepers Will Love It
13 January 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Exploitation movie disguised as educational film about Ozarks hillbillies. The movie's supposed message is that it is anti-child marriage but that's a small part of the plot. The story revolves less around the child bride of the title and more around this one evil hillbilly (Warner Richmond) who keeps doing messed-up stuff. First he shoots his partner. Then he tries to take money from a dwarf and another guy who run a still, which results in a ridiculous fight sequence. Then he joins a gang of masked men who drag the teacher from her house in the middle of the night, take her to the woods, and attempt to whip her bare back. Then, because he wants the little girl, he tries to blackmail her mother (whom it was heavily implied he had been having sex with before her husband died). So he's a real winner.

Obviously the main reason this movie is even talked about today, and the reason I can't recommend it just to laugh at it, is due to the nudity of 12 year-old Shirley Mills. Don't listen to any of the talk about tasteful this or that or how we're just prudish Americans or whatever. That's all smokescreen. The nudity in this film has nothing to do with art at all. It's there simply to attract grown men who are aroused by young girls. To defend it is simply to label yourself a creeper. The acting is, of course, atrocious. I read some reviews that praise the acting and I wonder what they're smoking. It's a no-budget production that has no artistic or technical merits to speak of. Were it not for the gross exploitation elements, I could recommend it to those who like to laugh at terrible movies. But I can't recommend this to anybody.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Actual underage nudity - maybe even more shocking today than in 1938 ratgirlagogo
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