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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 »
Try not to show it too much, kids like you to be casual.
Grace, I'll welcome any tip you can give me on how to behave with a teenage daughter.
Well, all I know is anything you do is wrong. If you try to spruce yourself up it's, "Oh Mother, that's too kiddish for you," and if you don't it's, "Mother, do you have to dress like an old bag?"
Oh, you make it sound awful.
They love you. They bully you, but they love you, the little monsters. And if anything goes wrong, they turn back ...
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As others point out, the title is at best misleading. Dodie (Keim) suffers more from angry alienation than teenage rebellion, while the movie is more about adjusting to family splits than teenage delinquency. At first, Dodie's almost a hateful little brat, unhappy at being sent to her divorced mother's (Rogers) house so that her dad (Stephenson) can marry a new wife. In her mother's house, she hides behind an air of icy superiority that makes acceptance difficult. Keim spreads on the histrionics pretty thick, unusual for teen girl portrayals of the time. But thanks to the attentions of neighbor boy (Berlinger), who's been bribed by Dodie's stepdad (Rennie), Dodie begins to soften up. I like the pivotal drugstore scene where Dodie finally gets into the teen swing because of the infectious high spirits. It's astutely done, given her previous resistance to verbal persuasion. But, will the softening continue once she finds out some secret truths.
All in all, it's an odd film, and I can sympathize with teen boys drawn in by the title and expecting beer, drag-racing, and switchblade knives. Except for a brief dragster race, there's none of that here. For Rogers, it's a minor come-down since her role is really secondary to Keim's. But then the actress was still coming off the reverse blacklist, a Hollywood backlash against those who had cooperated with HUAC's blacklisting of movie lefties. For a time in the 50's, she found employment difficult. Plus, who would expect to see the 50's favorite space alien, Michael Rennie, actually shaking a leg to a teen beat. I'm still recovering from that. All in all, it's an affecting little film, with a good look at mores of the time, including upscale home decor and suburban high fashion. Too bad none of the teen cast went on to bigger careers after such promising starts.
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