Twentyish Sally Kelton is unhappy at home and in the drab town in which she lives, until she meets roving musician Steve Ryan. Sally falls for Steve, but to Steve, she's just another fling before he heads to another town. Sally decides to "pull up stakes" and heads on a bus to Steve's next stop. On the road, she meets Drew Baxter, owner of a gaseteria in the town where she's heading. Drew sets Sally up with a room at a local boarding house and a job at his business. Try as he might, Drew can't win Sally's heart from Steve, who has remained indifferent to Sally since her arrival. When Steve heads off to South America, Sally is even more despondent--especially after she learns that she's pregnant with his child. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <DanNGM@aol.com>
Ida Lupino took over directing chores after original director Elmer Clifton suffered a serious heart attack and was unable to complete the picture. Clifton, in fact, died shortly after the film's release. Several films he had directed before this one were not released until after his death, causing some confusion as to exactly what his final directorial effort was, but this film is it. See more »
The story is dramatic and well done, the insidious shocker medical insert is a shame
The Wrong Rut (1949)
What a bizarre movie with a really strong female lead doing her best with an overly emotional part. The title alone is a goofy thing, meant to preach a little to the poor youth of the country who get pregnant out of "wedlock." The other title, "Not Wanted," has far more meaning and none of the insouciance.
There are two surprises to this tale of a young woman frustrated at home, meeting a man (a piano player, no surprise) and getting knocked up. The first is the leading female, Sally Forest, who has to run through a huge range of emotional situations, from giddy to superficial to terrified to worn out to enamored to simply being a heartbroken would-be mother. This is her first credited role in a movie, and she did appear in a number of decent early 1950s films (including one directed by Ida Lupino) before switching to t.v. (I have seen only "Mystery Street" which was quite good.)
The other surprise might a reason to either watch this film or run far and fast. It's a fifteen minute insert in badly faded (but once vivid) color of a C-section birth. It's clearly a medical short inserted, not relating to the plot, and it cuts in badly with in intertitle card and then is as gruesome as possible. Then it flips back to the nicely filmed black and white narrative, which is a huge relief. I found the documentary aspects interesting on some level, but was so put off by the apparent shock tactics of it I got a little miffed. The idea, it seemed to me, was to shock the young women in the audience, so they wouldn't dare get pregnant, since having a baby was really a cold, violent, bloody affair.
Of course, this has nothing to do with much here. We don't even know if Forest's character has a caesarian (we assume so, of course), and what about women in marriages who want their babies who have to have a caesarian for health reasons? Furthermore, why go along with the horrors of being pregnant at all, in this way? Did anyone mention condoms? It's just a crude painful propaganda piece, on some level.
And yet most of it is a pretty well made mini-drama, an hour long (minus the color insert), and quite well filmed and edited. You might enjoy it, but be forewarned.
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