The Explosive Generation (1961)

 |  Drama  |  October 1961 (USA)
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High school teacher gets in trouble when he tries to teach a class in sex education.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Gifford
Janet Sommers
Lee Kinsolving ...
Dan Carlyle
Virginia Field ...
Mrs. Katie Sommers
Stephen Dunne ...
Bobby Herman Sr. (as Steve Dunne)
Phillip Terry ...
Mr. Carlyle
Arch Johnson ...
Mr. George Sommers
Mr. Morton
Suzi Carnell ...
Marge Ryker
Jan Norris ...
Peter Virgo ...
Fred - Dean of Boys
Police Captain
Bruce Kerner ...
Peter Virgo Jr. ...


Peter Gifford is a likable, dedicated schoolteacher that teaches a senior life skills class. When student Janet Sommers brings up the topic of sex and dating, he asks students to write questions on the topic, and will cover them in the next class. The parents get wind of what Gifford is about to do, notify the principal, and he warns Peter not to read the questions in class. Gifford decides to go against this and is suspended. The whole student body protests, and the administration gets worried on what to do. Written by Pat McCurry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Never has youth gone on such a rampage... never has a motion picture gone so far in telling their raging story! See more »




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Release Date:

October 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frühreife Generation  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
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Did You Know?


Although a drama set in a (then) contemporary setting, the movie contains actors who had already or would become science-fiction legends; Billy Gray co-starred in the science-fiction classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and his co-star from "Father Knows Best", Elinor Donahue, would later be featured as a guest star in one of the original Star Trek episodes (Metamorphosis)as Commissioner Nancy Hedford. Of course, the star of the movie, William Shatner would go on to fame as Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk, while the father of co-star Beau Bridges (Lloyd Bridges) was one of the actors considered by Star trek's creator, Gene Roddenberry to be the star of the series as the Captain of the Enterprise. See more »


The first time William Shatner enters the classroom, a microphone is visible at the top of the frame for a full ten seconds. See more »


Mrs. Katie Sommers: What do you mean "prove" your love?
Janet Sommers: Well if you don't know, maybe you'd better ask DAD!
See more »


Referenced in Mommy's Day (1997) See more »


Wait for Me
By Hal Borne
Sung by Kim Charney (as Kimm Charney)
See more »

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User Reviews

A less learned reaction
3 September 2004 | by (Reading PA) – See all my reviews

A previous comment wondered whether 21st century sarcasm should be applied to this film...I believe there's genuine enjoyment to watching this vintage film in that manner - the soundtrack alone is truly priceless.

And you should walk into this story with 21st century cynicism, sneer at the plastic performances and ridiculousness of the script, the scenarios it portrays...because it's only then that the real power of the film - I'm not kidding - comes through. When you're absolutely convinced that this generation and movie couldn't be further from "explosive" you are, with all the others, focused on the moment when our protagonist Janet reveals that which started all the fuss.

Then, even in this century, could a truth be more plainly and easily revealed to all. I danced to its music (for kicks) and ended astounded at its simple honesty. A great catalyst for discussion, if you can convince folks to relish, then release, their cynicism...

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Wow, these ruffians sure are explosive Stick2000
didja notice Jocelyn Brando ? ksf-2
Visible Microphone lisajohn-4
Additional Credits (not noted on IMDB as of 9/17/07) regisblb
Seen Once spockoda
Beau Bridges is Stephen not Mark as listed in IMDB credits zzzhuh2
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