Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-Juvenile Delinquents


I was a nerd in school....an uber-nerd who skipped classes on occasion and even got drunk on liquor filled cherry chocolates from the German Delicatessin just before having to go for confession. Yup I went to a Catholic school and my high school was run by priests and some nuns. I secretly wanted to be a juvenile delinquent because they were outsiders who didn’t give a #@*%! I can’t wait to see what the others have chosen for this week. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what the others have chosen.

1. BLACKBOARD JUNGLE-1955


This is a forgotten film in many ways even though it brought Sidney Poitier to the foreground and brought Rock N Roll to the masses with "Rock Around The Clock", by Bill Haley and the Comets. It stars Glenn Ford as a WW2 vet who is now a new teacher at a rough school with some very bad kids. Poitier plays one of the delinquents whom Ford’s teacher sees more in him than he does. Of course, you have the tough kids who do everything they can to make it tough for the teachers. One might find it dated today but for the time it was considered quite gritty and realistic. I find it well acted and consider the times when it was made. It’s worth a look.

2. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE-1955


This is a classic and I consider it one of the best of juvenile delinquency movies plus one shown from the teens’ perspective. It stars the magnetic James Dean as a young man, with a cold mother and a loving but henpecked father, who is an outsider and not well liked by most. The jock and his gang love to bully, have great looking girlfriends, like Natalie Wood and try to get under James Dean’s skin. James Dean’s character falls for Natalie Wood, enters a drag race and finds out who’s chicken with dire results. The parents have no clue what is wrong with their kids and the kids are frustrated, angry and hurt. James Dean is so captivating and intense, Natalie Wood plays someone tender but strong and the young Sal Mineo just explodes on the screen as the kid with no friends. A must see!

3. KING CREOLE-1958


Oh yes...Elvis is in the house! Before he became a plump, pill popping Vegas act in a sequinned onesie, he was a good looking kid who took the world by storm with his singing and swiveling hips known as Elvis the Pelvis inflicting tics on God-fearing crew-cut parents who thought he was the devil. At this time, he started making movies and some were good. In some of his early performances, he played a ...juvenile delinquent and did quite well much to the critics' surprise. This film is considered, arguably, his best as a young teen, with a down on his luck widowed dad, who has failed out of school twice (remember when kids were actually failing in school??). He ends up with a gang but a good girl (Dolores Hart who is actually very good...she became a nun) tries to show him that he can be more. He is brought to a jerk who runs the area, played menacingly by Walter Matthau, and Elvis sings for a spot in the club. It goes from there but, if you think of Elvis in smarmy movies, give this one a try because it’s not half bad.

You know I almost chose Girls Town which is a horrible film with Mamie Van Doren which should have given me my first indication this film would suck. The second indication is that Mel Torme plays a, ready...leader of a gang, leather jacket and all. The song itself is quite hilarious.



38 comments:

  1. Seen the second one. Might have seen parts of King Creole as my uncle used to watch many of his movies.

    Porky's work? Was a tad more juvenile I suppose haha

    Turk 182 popped in, not a great film, but okay.

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    1. My uncle also loved Elvis. Never saw Porky’s or Turk 182

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  2. I might've wanted to rebel as well if I'd gone to your school.
    I guess for my generation it would be The Breakfast Club.

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  3. Hi, Birgit!

    "Rock Around The Clock" is the devil's music and should be banned! :)

    Juvenile delinquent films are one of my favorite genres, and I have seen the first two movies you posted. The tense confrontation between teacher Glenn Ford and one of the young toughs in his class is the type of scene found in every movie in this category - rebellious youth bucking authority. I forgot that Sidney Poitier played one of the delinquents.

    Method actor James Dean was convincing as the messed-up teenager whose parents are "tearing me apart." I love the iconic and oft imitated "Chickie-Run" scene. It saddens me to remember the terrible fates and early deaths of the three stars of Rebel- James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo.

    I never saw King Creole but, in recent years, have cultivated a greater appreciation of Elvis Presley, especially his earlier work in films and in the recording studio. I could listen all day every day to the rich, polished voice of the announcer who narrates that trailer.

    I would like to nominate for this discussion the 1958 exploitation/JD film High School Hellcats starring Yvonne Lime (Fedderson).

    Thank you, dear friend BB!

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    1. I thought the same thing about Sydney Poitier’s diction. I knew you would know that scene that doesn’t work here...damn. They all died way too young especially Dean. I hope you get to see some of Elvis’s earlier films but I always liked him. Love to see High School Hellcats

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  4. Hi Birgit....2 out of three this week....so 1 to add to my list....
    There is a fix for the blogger problem....if you go to stamping-fantasies.blogspot.com there is a full explanation of what you have to do to get your notifications back...it works!...have a good weekend xxx

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    1. I’m glad you saw 2 of the 3 I chose and I hope your computer issues are over with.

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  5. I've seen Rebel but not the other two.

    Breakfast Club
    Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

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    1. You’re first 2 picks are excellent but I have yet to see your third

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  6. I haven't seen any of these

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  7. I had a feeling you'd pick Rebel! I wish I would've liked that movie like everyone else does.

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    1. You are right and I do really like this film but it is not a huge favourite of mine

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  8. Terrific picks! I knew Rebel Without a Cause would show up somewhere. It's an excellent film though despite its reputation I don't think its the best film any of the cast or crew made. A perfect fit however.

    Blackboard Jungle is a good film though not one I return to often. Sidney Poitier has to be the most articulate delinquent ever!

    I think King Creole is Elvis's best film. For one it was based on an actual novel which gave it a stronger footing from the start and it probably has the most solid supporting cast of any of his films which usually had one or two strong character performer and a bunch of vapid cuties. Interesting to see Matthau in one of his last villainous roles. I agree that Dolores Hart is quite good but the strongest performer on the female side is the great Carolyn Jones.

    I went the juvie exploitation route for mine with the exception of my last which takes a more sober view.

    Youth Runs Wild (1944)-While Mom and Dad are busy at the production plants making the tools to win WWII the kids are home and being neglected and the first thing you know “Youth Runs Wild!!!!” Horror meister Val Lewton (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie) produced, though disavowed this studio reworked version, this mild teen rebellion film where the biggest sins are tire swiping and other minor infractions until a rather violent conclusion. Still somewhat surprising to see this type of film in the 40’s where young people were almost always presented as sweet, compliant angels.

    High School Hellcats (1958)-Joyce (Yvonne Lime) is the new girl in school and on her first day she is confronted by Connie (Jana Lund) the leader of the Hellcat gang. Connie tells her she can join the gang or be ostracized and we’re off on a round of shoplifting, kissing parties and murder! Starts off as a mild little cautionary tale but considering there’s a body count it goes on a wilder ride than expected. The kind of film to be found at the local drive-in in the 50’s.

    Look in Any Window (1961)-Teen idol Paul Anka plays “The Masked Prowler” a teen Peeping Tom who scales the fences of town residents wearing a frightening mask while his parents and their neighbors drink and carouse amongst themselves ignoring their children. Sensationalist with mostly over the top performances (though Ruth Roman is good as Anka’s mother) but Anka’s compulsion to voyeurism feels disturbingly prescient of an incipient serial killer or rapist.

    The Young Stranger (1957)-Rebellious well to do teenager Hal (James MacArthur), a decent boy at heart, is arrested for punching a theatre manager at a movie theater which he truthfully claims was self-defense. The problems begin when Hal’s father (James Daly), an inattentive parent at best, doesn’t believe him leading to an even further estrangement and Hal acting out. Tom’s mother (Kim Hunter) tries to forge some sort of understanding between them before their hostility leads to worse issues. John Frankenheimer’s (The Manchurian Candidate) first theatrical film is an even handed account of the isolation and antipathy that often leads to juvenile delinquency.

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    1. Joel - You might enjoy my Yvonne Lime tribute:

      http://shadydell.blogspot.com/2015/04/lime-disease-aka-fedderson-fever.html

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    2. My favourite Dean film is East of Eden but I’m glad you like this pick plus my others. You’re right about Carolyn Jones who died too young. I haven’t seen any of your picks...yet but I so want to see Hellcats and I want to see The Young Stranger. The Paul Anka film sounds interesting to see and he was also in Girlstown. Shady..I’m going to check out this tribute

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  9. Hi Birgit - I've not seen these .. though I quite liked the look of Blackboard Jungle - also the others if they come to light somewhere along my path of film watching ... love your takes on these - cheers Hilary

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  10. I've always been a rebel and skipped school a lot in 12th grade. You must have eaten many chocolates to get drunk from them! ☺ These movies are all familiar and my favourite has to be King Creole. Another great one is Wild In The Country. Elvis' early films were so good and he had genuine acting talent. Too bad The Colonel screwed it all up later on!

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  11. Not a rebel here in school (thought brother was and he was a year ahead of me so I guess that's why I wasn't one, LOL). Hadn't seen any of these movies :)

    betty

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  12. Needless to say, I've never seen any of these, although I have heard of the first two, but never the Elvis flick. I was never a juvenile delinquent, though. I was always trying to make my grandparents proud of me!

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  13. At the risk of invoking the wrath of others, Rebel Without a Cause is the only James Dean film I've ever seen (unless you count his bit part in 1952's Has Anybody Seen My Gal?) because I didn't care enough for his performance here to make me seek out his others.

    King Creole is, IMHO, the best "real" film he was ever in, as opposed to a formulaic "Elvismovie" like Viva Las Vegas (my favorite Elvismovie) or It Happened at the World's Fair. The King supported by a great cast of real actors? What's not to love?

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  14. I've heard of them all, haven't seen any of them. Well, maybe some of the first one. Bits, but not the whole film the whole way through.

    As for delinquents, I'm very familiar with them in real life ;)

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  15. To Sir with Love is, I suppose, a sort of English version of Blackboard Jungle. Made over a decade later, Sidney Poitier is now the teacher!

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  16. BIRGIT ~
    I have seen the first two you mentioned. And I must say that your description of 'Girls Town' makes it sound absolutely hilarious, in that not-meant-to-be-funny way of 'Plan 9' and 'The Room'. I'm gonna have to see that one for sure. Sounds like I'd love it. I'm kind of a sucker for 'So Bad They're Good' movies.

    Seeing as how I once thought I was going to be "the next James Dean" (and perhaps even him reincarnated), it's not surprising that 'REBEL...' was the first movie that came to my mind, even though it's my least favorite of Dean's 3 movies.

    'BOY'S TOWN' (not to be confused with 'Girl's Town') might be a good choice.

    Although it's not principally about juvenile delinquents, there are numerous scenes regarding juvenile delinquency which figure prominently in 'AMERICAN GRAFFITI', which is a huge favorite of mine.

    And then again 'MY BODYGUARD', which I mentioned recently in another one of your Thursday Movie posts twists and turns around the subject of juvenile delinquents.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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  17. I'll be watching Rebel pretty soon. Can't wait. Haven't seen the other two, though Blackboard Jungle is on my watchlist.

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  18. As a kid, I thought the wild girls were in Catholic school. The Daddy used to tell me if I didn't behave, to Catholic school I would go. It was a deterrent of a threat. lol I can't think of any film that tops Rebel of the Cause with teenage angst.

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  19. I thought I'd caught all the Elvis movies, back in the day, but I'm not sure I saw this one.

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  20. I've never seen any of these except for excerpts. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and saw enough bad stuff so I didn't need to see it dramatized in movies.

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  21. "he was a good looking kid who took the world by storm with his singing and swiveling hips known as Elvis the Pelvis inflicting tics on God-fearing crew-cut parents who thought he was the devil."

    You're a heckuva a writer.

    I've seen Blackboard Jungle - and copycats* - timeless.
    *For example the dated one with Michelle Pfeifer and Coolio.

    Heathers. Best movie of the 80's? J.D. Jason Dean.

    The Filth And The Fury. A doco. Every movie about juvenile delinquents is about juvenile delinquents with hearts of gold. Watching The Filth And The Fury.. breath... takes a heart of gold to see them as hearts of gold.. sigh.. I guess so.

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  22. Good picks. I know there are many others that I've seen, but names escape me at the moment. How about The Blob? I've seen this movie several times in the past couple of years and I guess some of the teen characters were kind of delinquent, but I guess they were pretty normal as well--other than discovering a big ol' blob.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  23. The Outsiders has gotta be on that list! Great movie that launched so many careers. And I guess Grease would apply too, even though a singing delinquent is not that threatening.

    And then, there's The Breakfast Club, though that may be stretching the definition a bit.

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  24. I'll take some of those liquor-filled cherry-chocolates please:)
    Have an awesome weekend.

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  25. Birgit,

    I haven't seen any of these films, so I appreciated the introduction. I can't think of any movies that fall in today's prompt, either. Thanks for stopping by for a dance this morning!

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  26. That's a great clip of Blackboard Jungle. I need to see that film.

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  27. Hey Birgit, For a change, I've seen ALL of these movies. I won't say they are among my favorite movies, but I will say each had some fantastic acting in them. Glenn Ford was one of my fav stars, and I do remember Sidney in this one. I agree this was by far one of Elvis' best performances in any movie, but to give him credit, he was brave enough to try other things besides just singing. I can remember the furor when he first came on the scene, and I saw him in what I think was one of his earliest tv performances on the Ed Sullivan show...and he had long blondish hair. Next time I saw him, he had black hair! TFS and a good walk down memory lane. Hope all is going ok for you. Hugs

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  28. It's nice to see a reminder of the heartthrob Elvis was before he let himself go and go...

    Keep a smile, Birgit.

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