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Eighteen and Anxious (1957)

PG | | Drama | 15 November 1957 (USA)
A naive teenager gets pregnant and is forced to face the realities of life.

Director:

Joe Parker (as Joseph Parker)

Writers:

Katherine Albert (as Katherine Eunson), Dale Eunson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Campbell ... Pete Bailey
Martha Scott ... Lottie Graham
Jackie Loughery ... Ava Norton
Jim Backus ... Harvey Graham
Ron Hagerthy ... Danny Fuller
Jackie Coogan ... Harold 'Eager' Beaver
Mary Webster ... Judy Graham Bayne
Charlotte Wynters ... Mrs. Warren
Yvonne Craig ... Gloria Dorothy McCormick
Katherine Barrett Katherine Barrett ... Mrs. Bayne
Damian O'Flynn ... John Bayne
Louise Sorel ... (as Jacqueline Sorel)
Trustin Howard Trustin Howard ... Morty (Pete's agent) (as Slick Slavin)
Lowell Brown Lowell Brown
Hal Smith ... Abortionist
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Storyline

A naive teenager gets pregnant and is forced to face the realities of life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Parents may be shocked, but YOUTH WILL UNDERSTAND!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Judy, a Adolescente Perdida See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

AB-PT Pictures Corp. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mike Wallace voiced the promotional radio spots. See more »

Connections

Featured in Teenage (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Teach Me How To Cry
Written by Phil Tuminello
See more »

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User Reviews

As Lurid as the Title Suggests, but not your Typical Juvie Flick
12 July 2011 | by uhhuh47300See all my reviews

As a lover of 1950s juvenile delinquent films, I sought out EIGHTEEN AND ANXIOUS for years. I expected a cross between the more serious efforts like BLUE DENIM and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, and the fun, slightly cautionary fare such as HOT ROD GIRL, HIGH SCHOOL CAESAR or DRAGSTRIP RIOT. My guess was somewhat on the mark, but EIGHTEEN AND ANXIOUS proved to be even more of a departure.

The plot concerns a nice, normal teen girl who plans to marry her high school sweetheart, as soon as they graduate. His untimely death derails those plans, but not as much as the discovery that he's left her…in the family way. To say much more would be spoilerish, but suffice to say her loved ones don't understand, and her life spirals downward faster than her late beau's race car.

Surprisingly, though an early scene takes place in a soda shop where a DJ does his radio show, the film contains almost no rock 'n' roll. Rather, jazz is prevalent in both the story and soundtrack. That the main character, a pregnant 18-year-old girl, interacts as much with various adults as with fellow teens, and that the preggers protagonist is less than sympathetic much of the way lead the film into unusual territory for a juvie.

In many ways EIGHTEEN AND ANXIOUS is more of a noir, than a juvenile delinquent flick: The jazz setting and sound, the less-than-lovable anti-heroine, plus various unsavory adults, rather than the squaresville but well-meaning parental units of most JD entries. It's also rather bleak, as noirs can often be.

The acting is above average; not great, but better than one might expect from a lurid, low budget teen drama. The great Jim Backus, best known for comedic roles, but just a few years removed from playing dad to James Dean, gives a strong performance, pulling no punches as a boorish step papa. Mary Webster does nice work as the troubled teen. She carries the film, and delivers an impressive arc as her character either drifts into bad behavior, or shows her true colors. That the character's real motives and morals are left unclear makes for an interesting second act. Director Joe Parker and writers Katherine Albert and Dale Eunson deserve credit for skirting the rules and taking some risks with a fairly tried and true genre.

EIGHTEEN AND ANXIOUS is darn near impossible to find, but should you get your hands on a copy, it's a fairly fascinating rarity that works as both a noir and as a juvie.


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