|9:10 p.m.||Youth Runs Wild|
Mark Robson (U.S., 1944)
“Orgy of youth!” screams one of the headlines blazoned across the opening of Youth Runs Wild, but the film that follows is more fretful than orgiastic in its treatment of teens and their troubles. This rare Lewton venture into straight social realism, cowritten by novelist John Fante, portrays an America where “normal” family life has been dangerously destabilized by World War II. When parents are either irresponsible or absent, building bombs on the graveyard shift or drinking the nights away, kids are left to find their own paths to adulthood; a few wrong turns lead quickly to melodrama. Studio interference steered the film toward overt propaganda, and ultimately caused Lewton to disown the production. Still, apart from the usual kitsch attractions of a JD exploitation flick, Youth Runs Wild offers an intriguing view of the war at home.
• Written by John Fante, Ardel Wray, from a story by Fante and Herbert Kline. Photographed by John S. Mescall. With Bonita Granville, Kent Smith, Jean Brooks, Glenn Vernon. (67 mins, B&W, 16mm)