6.7/10
328
14 user 8 critic

Under Eighteen (1931)

A poor seamstress girl sours on her engagement to a grocery deliveryman after seeing her sister's abusive marriage. Trying to help her sister pay for a divorce lawyer, she turns to a rich playboy she met at work.

Director:

Archie Mayo

Writers:

Frank Mitchell Dazey (story "Sky Life"), Agnes Christine Johnston (story "Sky Life") (as Agnes C. Johnston) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Marian Marsh ... Margie Evans
Anita Page ... Sophie
Regis Toomey ... Jimmie Slocum
Warren William ... Raymond Harding
Norman Foster ... Alf
Joyce Compton ... Sybil
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Pop Evans
Claire Dodd ... Babsy
Paul Porcasi ... François
Maude Eburne ... Mrs. McCarthy
Murray Kinnell ... Peterson - harding's Butler
Dorothy Appleby ... Elsie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lilian Bond ... Penthouse Party Guest
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Storyline

A poor seamstress girl sours on her engagement to a grocery deliveryman after seeing her sister's abusive marriage. Trying to help her sister pay for a divorce lawyer, she turns to a rich playboy she met at work.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't Call her a BAD GIRL! (Print Ad- The Sun, ((New York, NY)) 24 December 1931)

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 January 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Under Eighteen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The $16,000 for the fur coat would equate to almost $273,000 in 2017. See more »

Quotes

Margie Evans: There's plenty of love to be had without making a mess of things. I've made up my mind that any time I hand myself to a man for life, it's cash on delivery. I'm sorry, ma, but what I said goes!
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User Reviews

 
A straight up drama about two girls trying to make it in New York--and a fabulous party scene
11 August 2014 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Under 18 (1931-22)

A light-hearted comedy drama with a few very serious moments. It's a sincere and touching story about two sisters trying to make it in the poor tenements of New York. They each have a man from the same neighborhood, one a loafer (and pool shark) and the other a sweet and goofy grocery delivery driver. Mom lives with one of the sisters who is the title character, a bit young to know what she wants.

But not too young for the rich ladykilling man who sees the girl modeling an expensive fur. Which leads, roundabout, to the highlight of the movie, and twenty minute frenzy on the roof of a tall building in Manhattan. This pool party is a real height of the Roaring Twenties as they were winding into the early Depression. It's pure wild decadence, and director Archie Mayo really knew how to ramp it up without getting totally obscene. Great stuff.

And a great contrast with the humble lives of the impoverished stars. None of the leading ladies or their men are names most of us recognize (the main star, Marian Marsh, has several great films to her name, namely "Svengali" and "Crime and Punishment"). It's Warren William, the rich fellow, who is the most famous of the bunch, and he's always a hoot to watch, slyly winning over women despite (or because of) his age.

But there is another serious side to all of this, and that is the trap women faced then (far less than now) in having to find a man to help survive economically. The Depression has clearly made jobs scarce, even in New York (which was still humming in some ways). When Marsh's sister realizes her new husband would rather play pool than work, things go bad—and get worse when she has a child. So Marsh sees the folly of marriage even though her own boyfriend is a decent chap with a job. This fairly realistic portrayal of life at the time is the largest part of the movie.

The party, however, is the most fun, and I would say you could, if impatient, skim ahead to that section, a little after halfway, and just see the craziness of the times. It reminded me of "Madame Satan" which uses the same kind of party—in a blimp—that is so wild and compelling it makes you wonder why these kinds of scenes disappeared by the time of the Hays Code.

There is a slightly awkward feel to the script throughout the film, unfortunately, and the acting of some of the lesser characters is fair but not great, bringing the whole thing down to earth. Still, the best of it…well, give it a shot. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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