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Delinquent Parents (1938)

A woman is forced to keep her marriage and past indiscretions a secret from those she loves.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Wharton Caldwell
Maurice Murphy ...
Bruce Jefferson
Judge Edith Ellis
Charles Wharton, as an adult
Cousin Betty
Harry Jefferson
Charlotte Treadway ...
Sibyl Harris ...
Katherine Caldwell
Walter Young ...
Joseph Caldwell
Charles Wharton, as a youth
Edith Ellis, as a youth
Mayor Wharton
Mrs. Wharton
Herbert Ellis


A woman is forced to keep her marriage and past indiscretions a secret from those she loves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Picture You Will Never Forget... Modern Youth In Revolt!







Release Date:

15 July 1938 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Carol's birthday, shown being entered in the ledger at the beginning of the film, is May 2, 1919. She is birth number 555. Her Certificate of Adoption is dated September 21, 1921. See more »


Once Around the Clock
Written by Lee Zahler and Carroll K. Cooper (as Carroll Cooper)
Performed by a dance troupe including Kay Marvis and Marge Champion (as Marjorie Bell)
See more »

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User Reviews

Unusual, interesting, under-rated
28 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a very low-budget social drama of the type familiar to modern audiences as a "tv drama" -- that is, a short, sincere look at a serious social problem, dramatised through the lives of a small number of people. The story is simple: a young female law student gives her child up for adoption and must live with the consequences, as must the girl, who, when she finds out that she was adopted, runs wild and enters into unsavoury company. The past has repercussions on the present, and in the end the young law student, now a kindly family court judge, must face her own past if she is to continue to serve the troubled teens to whom she has dedicated her career. Despite the motherhood-loss issues, this movie is not a tear-jerker like "Stella Dallas" or "Madame X," to which easy comparisons could be made, and in many ways it is more progressive and more satisfying than those famous films. The acting is top-notch, the premise is strong, and the resolution is surprisingly low-key and realistic. The only fault i can find with the print i saw (from alpha video) is that it is a noisy print lacking the title credits -- which is why i had to come here to get the full credits. Kudos to Helen MacKellar as Judge Ellis, to Sybil Harris as Kathryn Caldwell, and to Marge Champion as the teen dancer leading the Big Apple number and also the "dance director" for the teen party scene.

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