Jeff Carter has put an end to the town's delinquency with a boys' club. Young hoodlum Danny shows up and influences teenagers Doris, Willy and Leo. They hang out at a juke joint where Eve ...
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Jeff Carter has put an end to the town's delinquency with a boys' club. Young hoodlum Danny shows up and influences teenagers Doris, Willy and Leo. They hang out at a juke joint where Eve works. When Jeff tries to stop a robbery planned by Danny, he is killed and Danny goes on trial. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Dangerous Years" (1947) is a high-quality story that dramatizes juvenile delinquency in depth. This is no cheap throwaway movie. It is no superficial treatment. It is no exploitation flic. This is a serious and intelligent movie, and it is excellent drama. It doesn't flag. It has interesting twists. It holds our interest all the way through, never seeming implausible or exaggerated.
The only thing that viewers should be aware of is that the movie reflects its times and the American mores of that period. It is a more innocent time and a time when authority has greater moral respect, a time when one can more easily identify with the medium-sized town that's the setting of the picture. The picture deals with white family and juvenile issues, not any minority concerns. Justice and the court are treated as due respect and the judge has a moral bearing and commands respect. References to American values ring true as the mythology of the time, to which most people adhered. Today's America is very different, even as it tries to hang on to a shredded past. Yet the picture does identify a common problem relating to the maturation of young men.
The dangerous years are the years from 13-20, especially for boys. The drama looks deeply into the formation of a gang and the reasons for it. There is an attempted theft and a murder that results in a trial. Sadly, the man murdered was a benefactor of boys and had started a boys club.
The acting and direction are up to the well-written script. Richard Gaines has a major role as prosecutor. Harry Shannon is the judge, Jerome Cowan the defense attorney. Billy Halop is the gang leader. Dickie Moore is a gang member as is Gil Stratton. And a young Marilyn Monroe has half-a-dozen lines or so as a waitress at the juke joint that has become a focal point for the youth.
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