Youth on Trial


59m 1945

Brief Synopsis

A hard-boiled juvenile court judge orders that a popular road house be raided because she knows it is a popular hangout for young punks but then is appalled when the cops bring in her own daughter with the rest of the delinquents.

Film Details

Also Known As
Our Wandering Daughters
Release Date
Jan 11, 1945
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,288ft

Synopsis

When high school student Cam Chandler falls under the influence of juvenile delinquint Tom Lowry, her younger sister Meg asks Denny Moore, the student council president and Cam's boyfriend, for help. After school one day, Denny witnesses Tom leading the other teens in a game of craps and brings him before the council on charges of gambling. Although Tom openly challenges the council's authority, he agrees to observe the school rules in exchange for reducing the charges to probation. In criminal court, meanwhile, Judge Julia Chandler, Cam and Meg's mother, voices concern about the wave of juvenile delinquincy that is sweeping the community and asks the mayor and city council to allocate funds to build a youth center. Although the commissioners accuse her of being an alarmist, the police chief firmly supports her efforts. To force the commission to take action, the judge asks the chief to raid Rico Romano's roadhouse, where the local teens drink and carouse. Soon after, Tom takes Cam on a date to his father's nightclub, the Saratoga Club. Disapproving of his son's actions, Jud Lowry orders Tom to take Cam home, but instead, the teens drive to Romano's roadhouse. After the police raid the bar, Tom and Cam escape through a window and speed away. When they are pursued by Ken Moore, Denny's motorcyle officer father, Tom runs Moore off the road and smashes his cycle. After Denny warns Cam about Tom at school the next morning, Cam defiantly returns his pin. At a preliminary hearing of the teens and their parents in the judge's chambers, commissioner Ryan protests the arrest of his daughter in the raid. When Marvin, one of those arrested, accuses Cam of being at the roadhouse, Ryan challenges the judge to bring her own daughter to justice, and in response, Julia orders the arrest of Tom and Cam. Afterward, Julia's suitor, Robert Reynolds, upbraids her for neglecting her children and proposes that they marry, but Julia proclaims that it is her mission to bring the commissioners to their senses. To intimidate Marvin into retracting his statement, Tom pummels him. The attack is witnessed by the other students, and Tom is once again brought before the student council on charges. When the council sentences both Tom and Cam to ostracism for their anti-social behavior, Tom suggests that they run away and elope. After arranging to meet Cam later that night, Tom sneaks into his father's office, steals a gun and is in the process of emptying the safe when Lowry enters. When Lowry slaps his son, Tom pulls out the gun, and in the ensuing struggle, the weapon fires and the bullet hits Lowry. Tom flees, but Mario, the club's maitre d', is drawn by the sound of gunshots, and rushes into the office. With his dying words, Lowry instructs Mario to notify the judge about the children's planned elopement. After picking up Cam, Tom speeds out of town, and when she questions him about his agitated state, he orders her to be silent. Upon checking into a motel later that night, Cam overhears a radio announcement about Lowry's murder and becomes hysterical. Provoked by Cam's accusations, Tom slaps her unconscious and then drinks himself into a stupor. Upon awakening, Cam sneaks out of the room and alerts a nearby shopkeeper to call the police. Fearful of alarming Tom, Cam returns to the room, and soon after, the police and the judge arrive. After Tom engages the authorities in a shootout, Cam begs him to surrender, but he refuses. Cam runs out of the motel and is pursued by Tom, and in the hail of bullets, both teens are wounded. The judge takes her daughter home to recuperate, and later, as Denny and Cam reconcile, the commission finally votes to fund the youth center.

Film Details

Also Known As
Our Wandering Daughters
Release Date
Jan 11, 1945
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
59m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,288ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Our Wandering Daughters. The film closes with an epilogue admonishing parents to "accept responsibility for their children." The Variety review incorrectly spells the screenplay writer's name as "Michael" Jacoby. According to materials contained in NARS in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles Board of Review Office of Censorship disapproved this film for export on the grounds that it was "lawless throughout and generally objectionable...without the possibility of redemption by editing."

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 11, 1945

Released in United States Winter January 11, 1945