The Violent Years (1956)

The Violent Years (1956)

Released: 1956
Genre: Crime, Genre, Thriller
Director: William Morgan
Starring: Art Millan, Barbara Weeks, Jean Moorhead, ,
Run time: 65 min
IMDb: 3.2/10
Country: USA
Views: 182334


A newspaper publisher’s daughter suffers from neglect by her parents. She and her friends turn to crime by dressing up like men, holding up gas stations, raping young men at gunpoint, and having makeout parties when her parents are away. Their “fence” gets them to trash the school on request of sinister un-American clients, and they run afoul of the law, apple pie, and God himself.
Written by
Ed Sutton <[email protected]>
User Reviews: In what is yet another bad juvenile delinquent movie from the moralistic 1950s, four "teenage" girls rob a gas station, erase a classroom chalkboard, and do other vile things. The four females are all miscast. They’re too old to be teenagers. The main "girl", Paula, is 18 years old. But the role is given to an "actress" who looks more like she’s in her thirties.

The film’s sets are cheap looking. Dialogue is horrible. There’s no subtext at all. Characters say exactly what they’re thinking, which renders a production reminiscent of a high school play. Overall acting is amateurish. None of these people have any talent. They mouth the words without conviction or credibility. B&W lighting is conventional but tolerable.

With speech after speech about right and wrong, the worst element of the film is the ending, as a judge hits us over the head with a moralistic sledgehammer. He starts out by blasting a teenager: "…this thrill seeking became the one great thing in your life, piling one thrill on another until, with ever increasing intensity, you became much like the drug addict, with his continual increases of dosage …" As the actor playing the judge continually looks down at a paper, which is probably the film’s script, he slogs on: "… to kill for the love of killing, to kill for a thrill". The judge’s sermon to the teenager goes on for several more minutes.

But the judge isn’t through yet. Later, he gives another sermon, this time to the parents: "No child is inherently bad. He’s made what he is by his upbringing and his surrounding. Adults create the world children live in". (I didn’t know that! hehehehe) "And in this process, parents play the key role. When children grow up among adults who refuse to recognize anything that is fine and good or worthy of respect, it’s no wonder that …" Yawn! The film "credits" show that the infamous Ed Wood, Jr. was the scriptwriter. No wonder the script is horrible.

There are unintentionally funnier films out there than "The Violent Years". But the film still provides a good lesson for young filmmakers about what to do, and especially what not to do, when making a cheap movie.

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