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Mad Youth

Mad Youth(1939)


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Mrs. Lola Morgan, a woman in her forties, calls an escort service, requesting a young man to accompany her to a bridge party and is assigned Count De Koven. Mrs. Morgan then asks her daughter Marian, a girl of twenty, to lend her some money because she has already spent her month's alimony. While her mother is at the bridge party, Marian invites her friends Helen Johnson, Harry and Bill, to a party at the Morgan house. At Marian's party, wild dancing and games of strip poker prevail, while at the bridge party, Mrs. Morgan gossips with her aging women friends about their many affairs. After Marian's friends leave, Mrs. Morgan returns home and introduces her daughter to the count, whom Marian calls a gigolo. Mrs. Morgan sends her daughter to bed, but Marian watches her mother and the count through a keyhole and later learns that her mother expects to marry the count. Meanwhile, Helen, having left Marian's party, returns to her grandmother's home and sneaks in through a window. Time passes and the count, tired of being an escort, asks Marian to La Golondrina Cafe, where she meets Helen and her other friends. That night, Helen's grandmother discovers that she is missing and locks her out of the house. At the club, Marian drinks too much and is taken home by the count, where she finds Helen waiting. Refusing to return to her grandmother's home, Helen decides to marry a Mr. Bowman of Pittsburgh, whom she has met through a lonely-hearts correspondence service. Over the next few months, the count continues to see Marian, but then abruptly ends their relationship without explanation. When Mrs. Morgan reads her daughter's diary and learns of the affair, Marian leaves home to visit Helen in Pittsburgh. There, Marian discovers that Helen, now called Maisie, is living in a brothel, where she has been forced to work after being lured to the house by the prospect of marriage. Marian is taken prisoner and a similar fate awaits her. Meanwhile, a now reformed count, discovering that Marian has left home, lectures Mrs. Morgan on the responsibilities of motherhood and then begins a search for Marian. He finds her, and after a fight with the residents of the house, rescues Marian and Helen. Now an American citizen with a legitimate job, the count proposes to Mary.