The Flaming Teenage (1956) Poster

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From Alcohol to Heroin
Michael_Elliott4 January 2018
The Flaming Teenage (1956)

** (out of 4)

Fred (Noel Reyburn) is a small town boy who seems to have the perfect small town life. His father left him a candy store and he's dating a great gal but this just isn't enough. After getting a sampling of alcohol, Fred decides it's time to head to the big city where soon he's broke and hooked on heroin.

THE FLAMING TEENAGE was apparently shot in 1945 as TWICE CONVICTED and this title is on a card at the end of the picture. Apparently new footage was shot and it finally got released in 1956. No matter what or when it was shot, this is a rather predictable entry into the propaganda machine, which started in the silent era and moved through the next couple decades as countless films were made to warn young people about the evils that await them.

Of course, if you've seen one of these films then you've really seen them all as rarely anything new happened in them. We've seen countless stories were a naive person ends up leaving the small town and going bad in the big city. The only thing somewhat different here is the insane and over-the-top religious element that pops up at the end of the picture. Outside of this THE FLAMING TEENAGE is pretty much like everything you've seen.

Thankfully there are some pretty campy moments that add some laughs including an early scene where a guy drinks alcohol for the first time and turns into a drunken maniac. Scenes like this an others were people are "drugged" make the film a bit more energetic and especially with the weaker performances.
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3/10
Tired sensation drama with a dated look and feel
Leofwine_draca3 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
THE FLAMING TEENAGE is another of those old-fashioned 'sensation' films in which young innocent folk head to the big city and find themselves at the mercy of booze and alcohol. It's usually young pretty girls who become the victims in this genre, but this film features a good-natured young guy who heads for the city lights only to find addiction and eventual destruction waiting for him. The mix of po-faced seriousness and cheap filming qualities do this one in, although the last-reel camera narration is a fun added touch. If this looks dated, that's because it was originally shot in 1945 with new footage added.
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2/10
Choppy and disjoint drivel
MartinHafer25 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The actors in this film do a particularly lousy job. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that a few of them appeared to be zombies--they were THAT wooden in their performances. And others, like the drunk at the party, were laughably overdone...and very amateurish. To make things worse, an annoying and moralizing narrator punctuates scenes to give his brilliant insights.

The film is about the wild exploits of teens as they go drinking and carousing. In particular, the film centers on a guy named Fred--whose life is becoming a mess due to his alcohol abuse (wow--he drank so much that he looks to be a 25 year-old teen). After getting home from a wild party, Fred goes to work and is picked up by a lady who looks to be his mother's age. Couldn't they have found someone closer to Fred's age or who was at least semi-attractive? I assume with the minuscule budget, the answer was no! Then, out of the blue, the film changes very abruptly into a story about Fred's boss getting him to put on a local show. Fred assumes he's the next Andrew Lloyd Weber and acts like he knows everything. Then, just as abruptly, he quits. Soon afterwords, he's broke and is talked into a life of crime. Then, he's arrested. They release him and soon his shooting up drugs! Fred's dad dies of a broken heart--followed by a montage of Fred on skid row and a life of drugs--all during which he manages to wear a suite AND necktie!! Finally, he's arrested once again and has hit bottom. All of the plot elements just seem tossed into the picture rather rapidly--with little rhyme or reason--as his life seemed to be nothing but plot points with little in between--until, out of the blue, he has a religious conversion and all is right. Since it all comes off like an outline of a life and not a real story, it all comes off as very phony. Too bad, as an inspirational story about a guy who turns his life around COULD have been good--with decent writing and acting and not this drivel!

Much of this disjoint and choppy nature of the film is no doubt due to the film being pieced together with new footage and footage from another film that was filmed more than a decade earlier. The made for a disjoint film. Overall, I'd give it a 2. However, unfortunately, while it is a bad movie, it isn't particularly enjoyable or funny--just bad.

By the way, the running time listed on IMDb is 55 minutes, but the DVD from Something Weird Video ran 69 minutes instead. Perhaps this was the Director's Cut!
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