This film proves the old adage "You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you shouldn't pick friends who rob banks." Local bad girl Hilda convinces Connie to join her at a ...
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This film proves the old adage "You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you shouldn't pick friends who rob banks." Local bad girl Hilda convinces Connie to join her at a party and lends Connie a dress she "borrowed" from the cleaners where they both work. When the dress gets torn, the owner Jane and her boyfriend Neil notice and Connie gets blamed, fired, and prosecuted for it. Neil is the prosectuing attorney, but feels sorry for Connie, so he drops the charges and loans her the money to pay off the dress. Connie goes to the big city to escape the shame and get a job to pay off Neil. She meets Hilda there and gets mistakenly arrested, along with Hilda and Tony, for bank robbery. A kindly parole officer believes her story and helps get her paroled. Connie returns home, gets engaged to Neal and is doing well when Hilda returns once more and threatens to ruin her life by spilling Connie's secret shame. Written by
R Reay <email@example.com>
Carole Landis was cast as inmate Ruth but she was replaced by Peggy Shannon. Carole can be seen as an extra in one scene walking behind Ronald Reagan. See more »
Hilda and Tony rob the bank with Hilda as the get-away driver. When Tony jumps into the back seat after the robbery, Connie is inadvertently caught-up in the confusion and is now a passenger in the front seat. The car is pursued by police and drives dangerously fast making many sharp turns. Scenes change from the interior of the car to exterior shots of the police pursuit; however, at some point both girls are now in the back seat and Hilda has the gun as she shoots at the police. See more »
[on Connie's relationship with Neil]
They're good friends, that's all. I'd trust Neil Dillon anytime.
You would, eh? I wouldn't trust any lawyer - or banker, either!
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The only significance that Girls On Probation has in cinema history is that it was the first role of significance for Susan Hayward who plays Ronald Reagan's date at a party. Susan was dropped by Warner Brothers after this film and her contract picked up with Paramount who saw what Jack Warner missed. Despite Girls On Probation Hayward went on to a great career.
The subject of the film however is Jane Bryan who borrows a dress that friend Sheila Bromley who 'borrowed' it from the dry cleaner she works at. Fine, but at the party that Bryan goes to Hayward spots the dress and identifies it as her's and Bryan is arrested. She tells her story, but no one believes her but Reagan who is taken with Bryan. He's a lawyer and defends her and she's let off with a first offense.
Not good enough for her strict father Sig Ruman who throws her out of the house. She moves to another town, but who does she run into but Bromley and gets whisked into a getaway car from a bank robbery driven by Bromley's boyfriend Anthony Averill. They all get arrested and Jane's now in a real jackpot.
The girl just can't catch a break until a sympathetic probation officer Dorothy Peterson convinces Judge Henry O'Neill to grant her probation. Back she goes to her home town and takes up with Reagan who is now an Assistant District Attorney.
Of course trouble follows and I won't say more because the story gets more clichéd as it goes on. Let's say it all conveniently works out in the end.
Two things connected with this film. Jane met and later wed Justin Dart of Rexall Drugs and retired from the screen. When Ronald Reagan started a political career she got her husband behind him and he became part of the unofficial Reagan kitchen cabinet.
Also when Susan Hayward was at the height of her career in the mid Fifties, Warner Brothers re-released Girls On Probation to take advantage of that. It was inflicted on the public again after Hayward scored in I'll Cry Tomorrow, an infinitely better film than this. I'm not sure she appreciated Warner Brothers gesture.
She survived Girls On Probation and if you see you will too.
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