A sometimes sappy, yet effective melodrama about a woman who tries to make amends with her teenage daughter that she gave up at the end of an unhappy marriage. When Nancy Fallon's daughter, Dorothy, is sent to live with her and her new family after years of separation, the struggle to maintain some semblance of family quickly deteriorates. (Nancy's ex-husband was able to persuade the courts to let him keep the girl because the mother was seen as unfit.) Now Dorothy's father has an interest other than his daughter and to appease his new interest, he asks Nancy to take and raise their daughter. This begins a tumultuous time in Dorothy's life as well as her mothers.Written by
(1955). Stage Play: A Roomful of Roses. Comedy. Written by Edith Sommer. Scenic Design by Donald Oenslager. Costumes supervised by Audré. Lighting Design by Donald Oenslager. Directed by Guthrie McClintic. Playhouse Theatre: 17 Oct 1955- 31 Dec 1955 (88 performances). Cast: Patricia Neal (as "Nancy Fallon"), Warren Berlinger (as "Dick Hewitt"), Russ Conway, Alice Frost, Betty Lou Keim (as "Bridget Macgowan"), Lulu B. King, Darryl Richard, David White, Ann Whiteside. Produced by Guthrie McClintic and 'Stanley Gilkey. Note: Filmed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation as Teenage Rebel (1956). Screenplay adapted more melodramatically by Charles Brackett and Edmund Goulding. Mr. Berlinger and Ms. Keim reprised their stage roles in the film. The film was notable as the first black and white film shot in CinemaScope. See more »
No one is ever quite the way we want them to be - no one.Most of all, we ourselves are not. But you can't go on resenting people. The mother you wanted... you will have to be yourself for your children."
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From a fairly successful Broadway drama, TEENAGE REBEL has been given, as everyone agrees, an absolutely terrible title. Our teenager, Betty Lou Keim, is not particularly rebellious, only suffering from the emotional baggage of her parents' divorce. As the story goes, her mother (Ginger Rogers) had left her father for another man (Michael Rennie) some eight years previously. Apparently embittered, the father had kept Keim completely away from Rogers by living with his daughter in Europe all that time, but he had now returned to the States to remarry and wanted some privacy for his honeymoon, thus had finally shipped the girl back to Rogers. Daughter Keim remains in the dark about all of this and is angry with her mother for leaving her when she was seven, for never seeing her since (not the mother's fault), and other than general feelings of abandonment is also suffering the pangs of loneliness, having lived too peripatetic a life in Europe to establish any roots there. The movie is mostly about Keim and Rogers breaking through these emotional barriers to re-establish a loving relationship.
In a relatively small role, Rennie was good as the understanding husband, Ginger for the most part was fine as the loving mother, but I found Keim too declamatory for film acting, not entirely her fault as the dialogue seemed clumsy from time to time (Ginger also fell into this declamatory trap occasionally). Keim had originated the role on stage where such acting is far more effective.
All in all, TEENAGE REBEL is an average to slightly above average movie.
And I must take special note of Ginger Rogers' physical appearance, positively stunning for a woman of 45. I don't believe that she'd looked that good in nearly a decade. It's a pity that her great film career was practically at its end.
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