This is the drama of the troubles facing young people in the big city. The title is "Ungdom i fara". The international title was the literal translation "Youths in danger". It can also be translated to "Troubled Youth", which I think sounds better. It can be compared to several American movie from the 50's about troubled youths. "Rebel without a cause" comes to mind.
The plot evolves around Wille Nilsson (played by Kenne Fant) who has come from a troubled home. He has no parents and so he had to live with a foster-father (step-father?) whose responsibly was to take care of him, but in fact he beat him up regularly and treated him bad.
This led Wille into seeking out wrong company. He became friends with "Gänget" ("the Gang"), a bunch of no-good crooks. The film begins in a court room, where Wille and a few other of "Gänget" stand trial for auto theft. Wille gets a light sentence. A social worker gets to be his "Assistant". This is like a parole officer who he has to report to.
He is lucky. The Assistant has a positive view on humanity and understands that Willes troubled upbringing hasn't given him much of a chance in life. The Assistant meets Willes girlfriend Karin, a pretty girl who is equally worried by Willes behaviour. As the assistant says "At least we both have one interest in common: Wille". They decide to do their best to improve Willes situation.
The Assistant gets Wille a mechanics job. He also encourages Wille, Karin and their mutual friends to start a club where they can enjoy themselves with music, drawing and discussions. He also provides for Wille to move out of his abusive foster-father's home.
The problem is that Wille is what we today would called depressed. This term wasn't shoved onto kids back then, instead Wille is told to "pull himself together". He complains that he somehow just can't be optimistic, even if he tries. I don't find it surprising that he doesn't feel he belongs to his merry friends. Wille is more of a punk guy, while his friends listen to what's on the radio and want to behave civilized.
The movie is a bit slow at times, but it is straight forward. Style influences are, I think, American gangster movies and film-noir from the 30's-40's. This one has more self-reflection though. The main actor plays the depressed boy very well. The other teenage actors play standard teenagers.
If they wanted to improve it they could have made it a larger production, made the characters deeper and add more feeling to it.
In the 50's, they applied (unsuccessfully) to get the movie deducted from entertainment-taxes (according to "den svenska långfilmen", cd-rom), because I think they felt the film was a important portrait of society. The problem it depicts, according to the CD-ROM, is that many people move in from the country and get lost in the city because they don't know anyone, and then easily get into the wrong company.
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