Jill, a teenager, feels misunderstood by her neglectful selfish parents, Frank and Alice. Following a misunderstanding with Frank and trouble with her boyfriend she attempts suicide. Jill's...
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Jill, a teenager, feels misunderstood by her neglectful selfish parents, Frank and Alice. Following a misunderstanding with Frank and trouble with her boyfriend she attempts suicide. Jill's guilt-ridden father tries at last to help her and to cheer her up but new problems ensue... Written by
Earnest little endeavor that is unfortunately too transparent for its own good. Jill (Joan Evans) is a typical teenager, though burdened with insensitive parents only interested in themselves and having a good time. Emotionally neglected, Jill falls heavily for Larry (Robert Arthur), and one tipsy evening makes clear that she's marriage minded and available to him in the meantime. Put off by the aggressive demeanor, he dumps her, after which she fills the void by dating indiscriminately, ruining her reputation in the process. Shunned by others and feeling desperate, she attempts suicide.
The movie is from Filmmakers, Ida Lupino's gritty little production company that tried to buck the technicolor trend of the early 50's with social conscience films like this. The problem here is that the script pulls too many punches and the film ends up settling for the conventional in all too predictable fashion. For example, in rather simplistic fashion, the fault is made to lie with the obvious parents and with nothing more complex that might complicate the facile conclusion.The uninspired direction doesn't help either, allowing Bari, for one, to pile on the nastiness in melodramatic style. Note that there is something of a teen sub-culture here, but it's still very much an offshoot of adult approval, a fact that would change in a few years. Probably, the material works best as a reflection of teen mores during that submerged period between the war's end and the eruption of rock-and-roll (the so-called "silent" generation).
In passing-- there is a strong parallel between the emotionally neglected Judy (Natalie Wood) in Rebel Without a Cause and the rebellious Jill in this obscure little film of 4 years earlier. There are other parallels,as well, most notably, in laying primary blame on irresponsible parenting for the upsurge of youthful misbehavior. Likely, the resemblances are no accident.
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