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Idealistic and naive Dr. Jason arrives at a school for delinquent girls and immediately begins to try to make a difference in the lives of some of the inmates. Oblivious to the sadistic treatment of the girls by the matrons, it takes a rebellious girl named Loretta to open his eyes. Assisted by a female staff member, Jason finally gets proof of the abuse and threatens the head of the school with exposure unless he is given full reign to run things. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
A weak film with a weak Paul Henreid but some great moments and a great idea
So Young So Bad (1950)
Clearly a B-movie with a B-movie director and the ever-straining Paul Henreid as leading man. But a great theme, a great plot, totally stuff that a remake could take far.
Take a girl's reform school, and some bad girls who are really sweethearts deep down, and start with some really mean administrators. Bring in a reasonable, modern (in other words, liberal) schoolmaster and watch the reform of the school itself. The girls come alive, learn to be responsible and wonderful, and everything is good.
Except that it isn't. For one thing, the old guard resents this new approach (and seems to resent the success that is so obvious, thinking that bad girls need to stay bad or something). So a behind-the-scenes drama starts to unravel all the good that's been done. Throw in the growing romance between the schoolmaster and his pretty assistant. And of course, it doesn't hurt that one of the "bad" girls is hitting on him, pulling her skirt up at all the wrong times.
This final bad girl is none other than Anne Francis, who managed to get the same essential role five years later (when she was a more devastating young woman of 25) in the Glen Ford high school classic "Blackboard Jungle." Here's she's 20 playing 16, and if she is sometimes the life of the movie, she hasn't quite learned how to act. Blame the director, or even blame poor Henreid, who is the one foul spot in "Casablanca" and who always gives his all which is never enough, especially when you feel him trying so hard. He really gives Francis the look, up and down, a couple times, too, the old letch.
If you don't mind a creaky movie, you might be taken in by the girls as delinquents scenario. Not as bad as it sounds!
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