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Mad Youth (1940)

 |  Drama  |  5 May 1940 (USA)
5.1
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 124 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

A rich society mother hires a male escort, but he falls for her daughter instead. The mother-daughter conflict forces the daughter to run off to stay with a friend who is enslaved by a prostitution ring.

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Title: Mad Youth (1940)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mary Ainslee ...
Marian Morgan
...
Lucy Morgan
Willy Castello ...
Count DeHoven
Betty Atkinson ...
Helen Johnson
Tommy Wonder ...
Harry
Lorelei Readoux ...
Beth
Margaret Fealy ...
Helen's Grandmother
Donald Kerr ...
Taxi Driver
Ray Hirsch ...
Jitter Bug
Patti Lacey ...
Jitter Bug
Eugene Taylor ...
Jitter Bug
Aileen Morris ...
Jitter Bug
Maxine Taylor ...
Jitter Bug
Pearl Tolson ...
Jitter Bug
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monte Collins ...
Stewart, Singing Bridge Player (as Monty Collins)
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Storyline

A rich society mother hires a male escort, but he falls for her daughter instead. The mother-daughter conflict forces the daughter to run off to stay with a friend who is enslaved by a prostitution ring.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Are Modern Mothers to be Blamed for the Wild Escapades of Their Sons & Daughters? See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Girls of the Underworld  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orchestra and all acts by courtesy of La Golondrina Cafe, Los Angeles. See more »

Quotes

Jane, piano player at Bridge party: Want to play, Stewart?
Stewart, Singing Bridge Player: Oh, I suppose so, but I don't like Bridge. My brother lost his wife playing Bridge.
Jane, piano player at Bridge party: You mean to say your brother bet his wife on a Bridge game?
Stewart, Singing Bridge Player: No, she trumped his ace, and he shot her!
Jane, piano player at Bridge party: That'll never happen to you, you old woman hater.
Stewart, Singing Bridge Player: I'm not a woman hater, I'm just a happy bachelor!
Jane, piano player at Bridge party: I should think lifelong bachelorhood would be pretty lonely.
Stewart, Singing Bridge Player: Oh, well, if it was good enough for my father, I guess it's good enough for me!
See more »

Connections

Edited into Confessions of a Vice Baron (1943) See more »

Soundtracks

I'd Rather Be a Bum on Broadway Than an Angel in the Sky
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Forever 21
18 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

American society dames get a cuffing and a lecture on parenthood from a faux count gigolo in this pre-war cheapie looking to cash in on lurid sensationalism. Disjointed and sloppy most of the way it unintentionally (or indifferently)entertains with titillating moralizing as women of all ages pre-sage this age of narcissism with self centered abandon.

Upper cruster Lucy Morgan (Betty Compson) spends most of her time playing bridge with fellow elites and buying the attention of phony counts from an escort service while ignoring daughter Marian (Mary Ainslee) who throws wild parties while she is absent. Enter Count Dehoven (Willy Castello), gigolo with a conscience and the attention of both mom and daughter. The Count falls heavily for the daughter much to mom's consternation, causing a major rift that sends Marian off to live with her star struck friend who in reality is being held hostage in a bordello, a fate now awaiting Marian. Can she be rescued? Looks like a job for the Count.

This crass high society expose may lack subtlety, second takes and production values of any kind but it does offer some warped incite into the era ( jitterbugging teens, absentee parents) via cautionary tale and the offbeat casting of a suave two bit gigolo as its moral conscience. Battling the hackneyed script and his own limited abilities Willy Costello brings both the unctuous and noble out in his Count DeHoven.

Ainslee's Marian is a bit long in the tooth for a confused teen but silent screen superstar in career free fall Compson is indomitable in a low key Billie Burke sought of style as an incurable romantic and while their scenes together lack smoothness they do confront the heart of the matter.

Mad Youth puts on no airs as it plows its way to its tepid climax but it does score points with its Code challenging moments and fun juxtaposing of the generations; the younger caught up in an energized frenzy at a party (featuring in another bizarre twist a baton twirler in full uniform) while their ever so proper parents battle ennui at bridge tables in another part of town with Ma Morgan attempting to bed the count, forever lying about her age.

Mad Youth may be a bad film but under the right circumstances it can be quite entertaining.


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