After a beautiful but unsophisticated girl is seduced by a worldly piano player and gives up her out-of-wedlock baby, her guilt compels her to kidnap another child.

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, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Leo Penn ...
Steve Ryan
...
Mrs. Aggie Kelton
Wheaton Chambers ...
Mr. Kelton
Rita Lupino ...
Joan
Audrey Farr ...
Nancy
Carole Donne ...
Jane
...
Mrs. Elizabeth Stone
Ruthelma Stevens ...
Miss James
Virginia Mullen ...
Mrs. Banning, Infant's mother (as Virginia Mullin)
Marie Harmon ...
Irene
Roger Anderson ...
Bill Aikens
Gregg Barton ...
Patrolman
Charles Seel ...
Dr. Williams
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

. . . in a picture that plunges heart-deep into the story of one girl's mistake! [Australia theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Wrong Rut  »

Box Office

Budget:

$153,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(DVD)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Connections

Featured in Red Hollywood (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Baby, yes, wedding ring, no: Lupino's sad, sad story
18 June 2004 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

To dismiss Not Wanted (alternate title: Shame) as a dated glimpse into the socio-sexual mores of the bad old days is to forget how revolutionary it was. Ida Lupino – one of the first women to make the break from glamorous stardom into the male preserve of directing – co-wrote and co-produced this movie about what we would now call single motherhood but was then whispered about as illegitimacy. (Tellingly, though Lupino took a reportedly large hand in directing as well, she spurns the credit, leaving it to Elmer Clifton.)

Sally Forrest plays a scatterbrained young woman who can't even remember to bring home duct tape for the leak her dad's trying to fix or potatoes for mom's stew. She slings hash by day but at night dreams moonily of a lusher life, as represented by the hot piano-man at a night club (Leo Penn). She throws herself at him, and he catches (his flicked-away cigarette drifting slowly down a stream encodes their rapture). But, footloose and fancy-free, Penn packs up to try his luck in that provincial Paris, Capitol City. In a huff, Forrest packs up, too, and follows him there, only to be brutally blown off.

She takes a job as a gas jockey at a station managed by lame veteran Keefe Brasselle, but resists his tepid approaches at first (scant wonder: he plies her with his model trains.) But joining him at an amusement park, she swoons; a doctor called in diagnoses her as pregnant, much to her surprise. Without a word to her family back home or to Brasselle, she packs up yet again and checks herself into The Haven Hospital, a home for either (take your pick) unwed mothers or wayward girls. Much as she'd like to keep the baby, it's an unworkable option, so she grudgingly gives it up for adoption. But soon she's wandering the streets eyeing other women's babies a little too loonily. Next, the police are involved....

A more or less `happy' ending – undoubtedly the only condition under which the picture got made at all – can't compromise Not Wanted's unblinking look at what pregnancy without a wedding ring spelled for women who proved less than vigilant about their chastity. It's a compassionate (if melodramatic and sentimental) assault on a complacent mind-set that, disrupted by the exigencies of wartime, was striving to reassert itself (and strives still). Whatever else may be said about single parenthood, it's no longer a cause for scandal and indignation. Lupino can take at least a little of the credit for that.


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