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So Young, So Bad (1950)

Approved | | Drama | 20 May 1950 (USA)
A psychiatrist and nurse overthrow the abusive heads of a girls' reform school in order to teach the "unfortunate" young women that they have a chance at healthy lives.


Bernard Vorhaus, Edgar G. Ulmer (uncredited)


Jean Rouverol (story and screenplay), Bernard Vorhaus (story and screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Paul Henreid ... Dr. John H. Jason
Catherine McLeod ... Ruth Levering
Grace Coppin Grace Coppin ... Mrs. Beuhler
Cecil Clovelly Cecil Clovelly ... N.E. Riggs
Anne Francis ... Loretta Wilson
Rita Moreno ... Dolores Guererro (as Rosita Moreno)
Anne Jackson ... Jackie Boone
Enid Rudd ... Jane Fleming (as Enid Pulver)


Idealistic and naive Dr. Jason arrives at a school for delinquent girls and immediately begins to try to make a difference in the lives of some of the inmates. Oblivious to the sadistic treatment of the girls by the matrons, it takes a rebellious girl named Loretta to open his eyes. Assisted by a female staff member, Jason finally gets proof of the abuse and threatens the head of the school with exposure unless he is given free rein to run things. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What Made Them This Way!




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


There are lesbians, because all of them were young and some were very naive about sex it is implied only (because of the code) See more »


In Mr. Riggs' office early in the film, the shade on his desk lamp is level until the moment before Dr. Jason knocks the lamp over. See more »


Jackie Boone: [Talking to one of the girls who is leaving] I don't want to see your ugly puss again.
See more »

User Reviews

Early Exploitation
18 January 2004 | by abooboo-2See all my reviews

The director, Bernard Vorhaus, had real talent, as evidenced by the undeniably powerful firehose and suicide scenes, not to mention his handling of a fascinating young cast headed by Anne Francis (who is terrific) Rita Moreno, Anne Jackson and even Mike Kellin, in a bit. Vorhaus knows how to play with light and shadow - he probably would have excelled in Noir films had he not been blacklisted - and has a knack for finding novel settings to either enhance or contrast the mood of a particular scene. (The merry-go-round scene would do Hitchcock proud.) His camera's always on the move and the editing of the film has a rhythm and a pull that keeps you involved and in suspense.

But make no mistake this is a B-film with an erratic script that falters at several critical junctures. Immediately after the sadistic worker turns the hose on the girls for setting fire to the dorm, things come to a head, with Henried and pretty Catherine McLeod angrily confronting the corrupt Head of the institution (Cecil Clovelly) and threatening to file official reports on the abuse at the school unless sweeping changes are made. Clovelly admits that if that happened there would probably be an uproar, an unfavorable investigation and he would more than likely be fired, BUT - and this is what made absolutely no sense - he gets them to back down by suggesting that if he were fired who's to say somebody even worse than him wouldn't take his place? Huh?!!! What are the odds of that? I think I'd take my chances.

Still an effective film that will hold your interest. I should also point out that the other comment about this film is inaccurate on several plot details and seems to have it confused with some other film.

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Release Date:

20 May 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Runaway See more »

Filming Locations:

Yonkers, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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