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Teenage Doll (1957)

5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 152 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 8 critic

A delinquent girls' gang pursues a nice ingenue linked romantically to the male leader of a rival gang, and apparently to the murder of one of their members.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
June Kenney ...
Barbara Bonney
...
Helen (segment "Hel")
John Brinkley ...
Eddie Rand
Colette Jackson ...
May (as Collette Jackson)
Barbara Wilson ...
Betty Herne
Ziva Rodann ...
Eva (segment "Squirrel") (as Ziva Rodan)
Sandra Smith ...
Lori (segment "Lor")
Barboura Morris ...
Janet
Richard Devon ...
Det. Dunston
Jay Sayer ...
Wally Tomasek
Richard H. Cutting ...
Police Sgt. Phil Herne (as Richard Cutting)
Dorothy Neumann ...
Estelle Bonney
...
Police Officer 'Dutch' / Blind Man
Bruno VeSota ...
Fat witness
Paul Bryar ...
Helen's Father
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Storyline

The Black Widows, a teenage girl gang, find one of their number killed; they suspect Barbara, sometime girlfriend of the leader of rival gang The Vandals. As the gangs prepare for a rumble, we glimpse the members' home lives, exaggerating every type of family dysfunction; but that of their "average American" quarry is no better. Full of shadowy urban night scenes. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beautiful, Young and Deadly! See more »


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Young Rebels  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In theatres, this film was preceded by the following titles: "A warning to vandals and hoodlums! This theatre is reserved for people who came to watch and enjoy the show. If you engage in any destructive acts or noisy conduct, we don't want you here! You'll not only be asked to leave, if your actions justify it, you will be prosecuted. Remember this warning and guide yourselves accordingly. (a) The Management." See more »

Quotes

Pre-credits titles: This is not a pretty picture... It could not be pretty and still be true. What happens to the girl is unimportant... What happens to the others is more than important; it is the most vital issue of our time. This story is about a sickness, a spreading epidemic that threatens to destroy our very way of life. We are not doctors... We can offer no cure... But we know that a cure must be found...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mau Mau Sex Sex (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Roger Corman's Gritty JD Masterpiece!
25 February 2005 | by (New England) – See all my reviews

A teenage girl accidentally murders a member of a girl gang, and tries to escape both the police and the gang.

1957 sure was a good year for whiz-kid auteur Corman. He made FIVE masterpieces of 50's genre cinema; ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, NOT OF THIS EARTH, SORORITY GIRL, THE UNDEAD and this astonishingly fresh and dynamic girl-gang movie.

A knowing and dramatic script by Charles Griffith helps, full of punchy, strong street language and memorable soliloquies. Powerful performances by all enhance the gritty dialog. The film is shot in moody, shadowy b/w by Floyd Crosby, making backstreet LA look almost like 1940's Sicily. Walter Greene's haunting, didactic score is as emotional as the rage-fueled generation it both mocks and glorifies.

The efficient plot (members of a girl gang need to raise quick cash in order to catch the girl who murdered one of their own), gives us the opportunity to enter into each of the girl's home lives, and we see immediately why they're all screwed-up: the leader lives in utter filth, alone but for a malnourished kid sister who sits in a pile of garbage and eats stale crackers, begging for food; a Spanish girl goes home to a chaotic landscape in a fascinating scene told entirely in Spanish; the heroine of the piece comes from a wacky, almost surreal WASP environment, with a stuffy nerd-dad and a kooky mom; another gang girl catches her bum of a dad making it with a prostitute, and chews him out for screwing around while his wife breaks her back working; finally, another gang member goes back to a nice apartment only to berate her roommate for screwing around with her boss.

Peripheral characters, including cynical drunks, would-be rapists, creepy bums, nasty cops and deranged gang flunkies, are all overdrawn so colorfully they border on the surreal, and are thus indelible, virtually mythic.

No doubt about it, TEENAGE DOLL packs in more squalor and despair and gritty psychodrama than a dozen other 50's JD flicks. This almost-otherworldly movie moves and talks like something Quentin Tarantino might make today; surely, this lost gem is at least 25 years ahead of its time.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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