The mother of thirteen year-old Andrew passed away three days ago, leaving him under the care of his stepfather, who is not a cruel man but an uncaring and non-understanding one. Andrew's mother was his ideal guide in a world that has been less than hospitable to their poor and broken family. His inability to bring his mother back - which he thought he could do by fixing her beloved radio - coupled with being ashamed of the family's poverty, which in turn results in ridicule by his classmates, leads Andrew to rebel against the world around him. Any hope of Andrew getting over this traumatic period in his life will depend on the caring of individuals who understand what he is going through, these people who include the school counselor and a psychologist.Written by
Like many films produced and directed by Sid Davis, this one was recorded silently. The sound was recorded later and synched to fit the picture; in many cases, Arthur Swerdloff, the editor, cut to another shot to allow him to re-sync the audio and the video. See also, Gang Boy (1954). See more »
[Prologue]Acknowledgement We gratefully acknowledge the valuable contributions made to this film by Mildred Malm, Psychologist, Karl Holton, Probation Officer, Harold S. Hodge, Consultant in Child Welfare, and Judge William B. McKesson of Los Angeles County; by Dan Persuit, Delinquency Control Institute, University of Southern California; and by the Police Department of Inglewood, California. This story is based on a case history. See more »
Addresses the beginnings of the juvenile delinquent problem
In 1955, this little short tries to get to the root of the emerging juvenile delinquent problem - in this case, a boy from a broken home, living in poverty compared to his peers and ashamed of his second hand clothes, and further isolated from society when his mother dies when he is just 13, leaving him with only a stepfather as family. The stepdad is not cruel but is not a warm and tender guy either. He shows all of his affection to his cat.
So slowly the boy rebels. At first he turns to theft to get the tools he needs to try and fix his mother's radio which stopped working when she died, somehow thinking that the two are tied together. When his stepfather sends all of his mother's old clothes to charity the boy puts the stepfather's cat in a railroad car (????) headed out of town as a kind of payback....I guess.
But school officials are watchful and get the boy the kind of emotional help he needs, and somehow the cat is in the household at the end of the short. I'm not sure - logistically - how THAT happened. This is one of the shorts Turner Classic Movies usually exhibits as part of TCM Underground, trying to show a piece of Americana that has long passed. At least it shows that, even in the idealized 50s, not everything was perfect and carefree for everybody.
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