Problem Girls


1h 10m 1953
Problem Girls

Brief Synopsis

A reform school doctor uncovers a murder plot.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Velvet Cage
Genre
Drama
Release Date
Apr 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Wisberg-Pollexfen Productions
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

After medical missionary service in Shanghai and internment in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, physician John Page seeks a quieter life in Los Angeles. While waiting for his state medical certification, John applies for a teaching position at the Manning School for Girls, run by Dr. Manning. John discovers immediately that Manning has a drinking problem and the school is managed by his associate, the domineering Miss Dixon. Miss Dixon warns John that the school is not a typical boarding school, but a haven for wealthy young women with behavioral problems. At dinner that evening, romance languages professor Richards introduces John to the rest of the staff, including Max Thorpe, head of athletics, and reveals that everyone at the Manning School is otherwise unemployable. Although disturbed by this information and the strange atmosphere about the school, John nevertheless takes up his job. A few days later, Miss Dixon abruptly demands that John tend to Thorpe's wife Jean. John protests that he is not licensed to practice medicine yet and seeks out Manning, but finds the doctor in an alcoholic stupor. John tentatively agrees to examine Jean, who apparently has attempted suicide by a drug overdose. Miss Dixon convinces John to treat Jean by warning him that bringing in doctors from town will only cause problems for Manning and the school. Although uneasy about this request and the questionable way in which erratic students are handled, John agrees. Miss Dixon orders Thorpe not to allow John to visit Jean alone, but the next day, John sees Jean and is startled when she weakly discloses she is not married to Thorpe and has no clear memory of the suicide attempt. Miss Dixon catches John with Jean and declares that Manning will assume responsibility for Jean. John confides the odd goings-on to Richards, who can only add that no one has seen Mrs. Thorpe for a long time. Later, John overhears a representative of the trustees of the Jean Patterson estate trying to arrange a meeting with Jean without success. Afterward, John sees Manning alone and expresses his concern about Jean, convinced that she is under some mysterious mental strain. He recommends the use of sodium pentathol to assist Jean in recovering her memory, but Miss Dixon returns and discharges John for his audacity. When he protests, she threatens to reveal that he treated Jean without a license. After John departs, Manning protests, but Miss Dixon silences him by threatening to reveal his responsibility in a botched fatal operation which he performed while drunk. Determined to help Jean, John sneaks back into her room and asks her if she will allow him to give her the sodium pentathol injection. She agrees and after the injection, discloses that she is not married to Thorpe and that she is not Jean Patterson. Warned by housekeeper Bella, Miss Dixon and Thorpe break into the room before Jean can continue and John is escorted off the school grounds. The doctor then tries to meet with the Patterson trustee, Mr. March, but finds he is on vacation and unreachable. John then looks up the Patterson obituary and learns that Patterson was a wealthy oil magnate who died abruptly, leaving all his money to his only child, a daughter Jean. In newspaper articles, John read that the daughter is scheduled to inherit the money upon turning twenty-one. and that after a mysterious fire at the Patterson country estate, an amnesia victim was identified as Jean by her husband, Max Thorpe. John seeks more information at the hospital and after he says he is a friend of Jean's, they give him her personal effects which Thorpe left in his haste to check his wife out. Among them, John discovers a photo of Jean and tracks down the photography studio, where he is startled to see a large portrait of Jean. The photographer identifies Jean as Babette Nelson, a top model who disappeared after she was involved in a car accident that killed her mother and best friend. John contacts Richards and reveals his belief that Miss Dixon and Thorpe are attempting to get the Patterson estate and were using him as a witness for Jean's faked suicide after the inheritance came through. Richards helps John get back on campus, where John then asks one of the students who knew Jean when she was going to the school to identify her, but she does not recognize the woman in Jean's room. John and Richards then question the superstitious Bella, who reveals that Thorpe beat up the real Jean, who later died in surgery performed by Manning. John arranges a diversion among the students in order to smuggle Jean into the basement and there they overhear Miss Dixon and Thorpe discussing digging up and relocating Jean's body. In an attempt to escape, John and Jean struggle with Miss Dixon and Thorpe, and Miss Dixon produces a gun, which accidentally goes off, killing Thorpe. Later, the Manning School is renamed for Jean Patterson, and John and Babette decide to stay on together.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Velvet Cage
Genre
Drama
Release Date
Apr 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Wisberg-Pollexfen Productions
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Film Length
7 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Velvet Cage.