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Behind the locked gates and barbed-wire fences of a Los Angeles-area reformatory for wayward girls and unwed mothers, the inmates conceal a newborn baby boy from the institution's housemother and caretaker guards two weeks before Christmas to keep them from sending him to an adoption agency. They steal linens and bedsheets to make diapers, take shifts to care for the baby, and make Christmas presents from odds and ends and personal items to give little "Buddy" the Christmas none of them have ever had. —Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
a thoughtful, rare, honest look at an all-too-real reality of every age, not just 1957
There is so much to say about this movie: that it is focused on teen pregnancy in a frank way that was never done in 1950s film or literature and portrays the teens in a respectful way, that it has black actresses treated as equal to everyone else in terms of character and a strong, positive black father character, that it addresses the mental health challenges of "troubled" teen girls, that it includes statutory rape by step fathers and on and on. Yes, it's a B movie and has all that comes with that: exaggerated performances, low rent production values and lots of stereotypes. The parents of the main character are almost too horrible and extreme to be believed - unless you are a social worker or teacher and then, yeah, you know these kind of people really do exist, even now (leaving a baby in the back seat of a car, referring to the baby as "it", and on and on). But it's extraordinarily thoughtful for 1957 - that is probably thanks to Dalton Trumbo. Not sure about the title, as this is Betsy's story, not "Green Eyes". Buddy's mom aversion to her son isn't condemned the way it would be in a movie now. The guide to infant care that the girls read from is hilarious - it always has an answer to every question! But be prepared for very, very disturbing behavior by "cuckoo" - if you are horrified by even the mention of animal abuse, don't watch this. As for the ending... no spoilers, but WHAT THE HELL?!?!
- Sep 30, 2020
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