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Delinquent Parents (1938)

A woman is forced to keep her marriage and past indiscretions a secret from those she loves.


Nick Grinde

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doris Weston ... Carol Wharton Caldwell
Maurice Murphy ... Bruce Jefferson
Helen MacKellar ... Judge Edith Ellis
Morgan Wallace ... Charles Wharton, as an adult
Theodore von Eltz ... Carson
Terry Walker ... Cousin Betty
Richard Tucker ... Harry Jefferson
Charlotte Treadway Charlotte Treadway ... Mrs. Jefferson
Sibyl Harris Sibyl Harris ... Katherine Caldwell
Walter Young Walter Young ... Joseph Caldwell
Carlyle Moore Jr. ... Charles Wharton, as a youth
Marjorie Reynolds ... Edith Ellis, as a youth
Harry Hayden ... Mayor Wharton
Betty Blythe ... Mrs. Wharton
Byron Foulger ... Herbert Ellis


A woman is forced to keep her marriage and past indiscretions a secret from those she loves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Picture You Will Never Forget... Modern Youth In Revolt!









Release Date:

15 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Carol's birthday, shown being entered in the ledger at the beginning of the film, is May 2, 1919. She is birth number 555. Her Certificate of Adoption is dated September 21, 1921. See more »


Once Around the Clock
Written by Lee Zahler and Carroll K. Cooper (as Carroll Cooper)
Performed by a dance troupe including Kay Marvis and Marge Champion (as Marjorie Bell)
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User Reviews

Social Drama About Bad Parents
23 August 2015 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Delinquent Parents (1938)

** (out of 4)

Edith Ellis, a good but poor girl, is involved in a wreck where her rich boyfriend's parents demand that he stays away from her. It turns out Edith is pregnant but her mother demands that she give the baby up for adoption. Flash forward eighteen years and now Edith is a judge in a small town where her daughter Carol (Doris Weston), who doesn't know she's adopted, is another good girl. This all changes when she finds out that she's adopted.

DELINQUENT PARENTS is sold as an exploitation movie today but it's actually a fairly straight-forward and serious drama that takes a look at how some folks just consider themselves "above" others when in fact they're not. This film deals with several social issues including the rich getting away with certain behaviors but the real goal of this film is to show parents that their poor judgment can also effect the children they're trying to protect.

There's certainly nothing bad about this picture. It runs for less than a hour and director Nick Grinde actually does a nice job at keeping it entertaining. He certainly manages to keep it flowing at a nice pace and we're also given a couple good performances. I thought Weston was fine in her role as was Maurice Murphy and Helen MacKellar who plays the judge. Again, if you bought this picture expecting an exploitation movie then you're going to be disappointed because this isn't another REEFER MADNESS or SEX MADNESS.

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