Mirian Wilkins, teen-age daughter of Senator Wilkins, starts a Society for the Rahabilitation of Criminals and, without the approval or knowledge of the Senator, elects him to the position of honorary president. When a new gardener, Bacter, of the family turns out to be an notorious ex-convict who was sentenced to prison by Senator Wilkins when he was a judge, Wilkins is about to fire him until his daughter point out that would be an unwise decision considering the position her father held on her society. Further complications arise involving a fuss-budget banker, Albert, a former suitor of Miriam's older, married sister, plus some domestic misunderstandings between Baxter and his wide, and the older sister and her husband. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
I noticed that one other reviewer gave "Dear Brat" a score of 10....which makes me wonder if we were watching the same film. "Dear Brat" is a film I wanted to like, but Miriam (Mona Freeman) played a character that was so incredibly badly written that it more than strained my ability to buy into the plot. To say her character was very broad and stupid would be an underestimation of what I think about her! I really felt sorry for Ms. Freeman--it must have been hard for her to have to utter such insipid lines with such conviction! While not as omnipresent in the film, Albert (Billy De Wolfe) was also given a tough job, as his part was almost as poorly written as hers!
The film begins with the Senator (Edward Arnold--who is very good in the movie) coming home--only to find that his kooky daughter, Miriam, has started a prison reform organization AND made him their president! He is shocked to say the least. But it gets worse--as she soon brings home an ex-con to rehabilitate! The guy (Lyle Bettger) turns out to be a guy who the Senator sentenced (when he was a judge) to a lengthy prison term years ago--for kidnapping, assault and other VERY serious charges. And, the guy clearly had a grudge for the Senator!! Now the idea of a kooky kid driving her father crazy is not bad--but this stretches the idea clearly WAY beyond the breaking point! The only thing worse might have been to invite Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson home to live with the family! You could certainly understand the Senator getting upset. What I couldn't understand is why he didn't throttle the little brat!!!
The bottom line is that the film could have worked but it was just written poorly. Everyone tried hard in this one (so at least it earns a 3)--but the script was terrible--so bad that my daughter kept begging me to turn it off!! And, I really couldn't blame her. Why do I watch films like this?! I love old films--just not stupid ones! And this is a terribly stupid one.
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