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Joshua Vonder Haar
Sweet young lass Patty Smith moves from her native Kansas to Los Angeles, California. Everything is going smoothly for Patty until one fateful night in which she gets raped by a trio of thugs on the beach. After her doctor informs her that she's pregnant, Patty decides to get an abortion. But since abortions are illegal, poor Patty must resort to drastic illicit measures in order to obtain one.Written by
Pretty hard-hitting stuff for 1962...and it will really challenge many viewers.
"The Shame of Patty Smith" has an alternate title, "Patty". I much prefer the second title because the film is not titillating and there should have been no shame for Patty as the girl was wronged and was very desperate as a result. I assume they chose to try out the more salacious title in order to get more folks to come to the theaters to see it...which is really a shame because the film is talking about some very, very important moral and legal matters.
When the film begins, Patty and her boyfriend are out for a drive. Some punks run through a stop sign and hit them. No serious damage done but the punks make it very clear that they're paying for nothing! After the pair leave, they assume everything is fine...not realizing the punks are a lot more dangerous than they thought. They track down Patty and her boyfriend and rape her! If this isn't bad enough, she soon learns that she's pregnant!! More unfortunate still, abortion laws at the time only allowed for the procedure to be done if the mother's life is at risk. So what is she to do?!
Despite a low budget and mostly no-name actors, this film is very well and sensitively made. It also talks about abortion and although this is naturally controversial, it is nice to see a movie addressing it in such an extraordinary circumstance. It does take a decidedly pro-abortion stance towards the end of the film...and I am sure it offended many back in the day and would do so today. The bottom line is that the film gets you to think and wonder what you might do if you're stuck in this sort of situation.
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