IMDb > They Were So Young (1954)

They Were So Young (1954) More at IMDbPro »Mannequins für Rio (original title)


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Release Date:
7 January 1955 (USA) See more »
Too innocent! Too willing! and far, far Too Eager!... and so Beautiful!
A model agency in Rio de Janeiro is actually a front for a white-slavery ring that kidnaps European women and sells them on the South American sex market. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Sleazy Import See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Johanna Matz ... Eve Ullmann
Scott Brady ... Richard Lanning
Ingrid Stenn ... Connie Voorhees

Raymond Burr ... Jaime Coltos
Gisela Fackeldey ... Mme. Lansowa
Kurt Meisel ... Pasquale
Katharina Mayberg ... Felicia

Gert Fröbe ... Lobos
Erica Beer ... Elise LeFevre
Hanita Hallan ... Lena
Elizabeth Tanney ... Emily
Gordon Howard ... Garza
Eduard Linkers ... M. Albert
Pero Alexander ... Manuel

Caterina Valente ... Tanzt & singt auf der (Palacio do Oro)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hannelore Axman ... Vincenta
Das Cornell-Trio ... Music Players
Josef Dahmen ... Dr. Perez
Das Horst Wende-Sextett ... Music Players
William Trenk ... Senor Bulanos
Leo Fischer ... (uncredited)
Friedl Hardt ... VicentaGamboa Mannequin (uncredited)
Ian MacDonald ... General Rodriguez Garcia (uncredited)
Gerhard Wendland ... Singt im Nacht-Club zu Rio (uncredited)

Directed by
Kurt Neumann 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ernst Blass  retold by
Jacques Companéez  source material
Felix Lützkendorf 
Kurt Neumann 
Dalton Trumbo  uncredited
Michael Wilson  uncredited

Produced by
Kurt Neumann .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Jary 
Cinematography by
Ekkehard Kyrath 
Film Editing by
Eva Kroll 
Art Direction by
Hans Sohnle 
Costume Design by
Alfred Bücken 
Makeup Department
Gertrud Coesfeld .... makeup artist
Josef Coesfeld .... makeup artist
Production Management
Max Koslowski .... production supervisor
Georg von Block .... production manager (as George von Block)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Winterstein .... assistant director
Sound Department
Ernst Walter .... sound

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Mannequins für Rio" - West Germany (original title)
See more »
Germany:95 min | USA:80 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Klangfilm-Magnetcord-Eurocord)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in Trumbo (2007)See more »
Das sind die Nächte in RioSee more »


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Sleazy Import, 2 December 2011
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA

An American engineer helps a German girl escape the clutches of a white slavery ring in South America.

The movie's a peculiar production. The origin appears West German since the names in the credit crawl are German, while the cast, except for Brady, is also German. I guess the film was released here by Lindsley Parsons' low-budget outfit. All in all, the package seems odd since not many English-language films came from West Germany during this post-war period.

Anyway, the result plays like an exploitation movie with its tawdry subject-matter (notice all the euphemisms used for the taboo word "prostitute"), plus a suggestive title that, as I recall, was heavily promoted at the time. The opening part in the city plays pretty well, but once the action moves inland, the screenplay becomes darn near incoherent with its shifting locales minus connecting segues.

Still, Matz is a spunky little number, reminding me of Debbie Reynolds with an accent, while Brady delivers a surprisingly spirited performance as the white knight. Burr turns up in a sinister role so typical of his pre-Perry Mason period; at the same time, his jumbo tropical suit suggests a younger version of the great Sydney Greenstreet.

The movie has a few good moments and some suspense, but on the whole fails to rise above the level of exotic sleaze.

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