Troubled Teens of the 50s

The trials and tribulations confronting teenagers growing up in the Post-war era are shown in these nostalgic short subjects from the 1950s.
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 8232D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 38 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: May 21, 2019
  • Originally Released: 1956
  • Label: Alpha Video

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These vintage educational films of the 1950s were created to help American teenagers navigate the trials and travails of their formative high school years.

BOY IN COURT (1940s): 15-year-old Johnny ends up in court after taking an automobile on a joyride. Fortunately, the judge takes pity on him and assigns Johnny a probation officer, who quickly realizes that the boy's problems are all because of a bad environment, including a "tired, nagging mother." Soon, Johnny's juvenile delinquency is a thing of the past. "Gee, that was dumb, wasn't it?"

ACT YOUR AGE: EMOTIONAL MATURITY (1949): Jim is called into the principal's office after vandalizing his school desk with a pencil ("I understand you have an unusual pencil, Jim.") The principal (who is variably addressed as "Mr. Edwards" or "Mr. Evans") explains that different aspects of our personalities mature at different rates, and it's important for our outward behavior to match our actual age. Luckily, he has a handy worksheet for Jim to determine just which traits he needs to improve on. "Wouldn't you like trying to rate yourself on a sheet like this?" No thanks!

ROAD RUNNERS (1952): If there was one thing that kids of the 1950s loved, it was hot rods. Road Runners offers the idea of racing hot rods (safely on a drag strip, of course) as an alternative to juvenile delinquency. According to the narrator, "the juvenile nuisance problem has been reduced by almost as much as 90 percent in some communities" by drag races. "It's trophies now instead of traffic tickets – he'll never speed down the highway again!"

THE COOL HOT ROD (1953): A teenager with the extremely cinematic name of "Tom Hanks" moves to California, where he gets in trouble speeding around in his hot rod. With the help of the local police, he learns to be a responsible driver and not a "kid killer at the wheel." "People were killed once every two minutes last year by teen drivers - that's as much as in the whole Korean War!"

WHY VANDALISM (1955): Encyclopedia Britannica produced this unusually dark vignette on the lives of rebellious teenagers "twisted and warped by an unfriendly world." A gang of juvenile delinquents trash a classroom with impunity until they realize they accidentally killed a cute bunny rabbit (shades of Of Mice and Men.) Why Vandalism was produced in association with Bruno Bettelheim, a noted child psychologist in the 1950s. After his death, it was discovered Dr. Bettelheim often physically abused his underage patients, meaning he did some of that "twisting and warping" himself.

BOY WITH A KNIFE (1956): Teenaged Jerry Phillips finds himself on the wrong side of the tracks until he meets handsome counselor Bud Williams (played by a pre-Rifleman Chuck Connors.) Chief among Bud's responsibilities is getting Jerry to "ditch the's always a poor substitute for understanding." Thankfully the deadly weapon is disposed of before it can do damage to anything more important than the Phillips family sofa. Also featuring Ken Osmond a year before he starting playing Eddie Haskell on Leave It To Beaver (1957-1963). Boy with a Knife is narrated by Richard Widmark and directed by Laslo Benedek (The Wild One).

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 3,252
  • UPC: 089218823298
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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