Youth Will Be Served


1h 8m 1940

Brief Synopsis

A southern girl (Withers) goes to a National Youth Association camp after her father goes to jail for bootlegging. When a mean tycoon tries to buy the campground for himself she stages a show which endears her to him. Then her father escapes and catches the crooks who took the tycoon's money, all is saved.

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 22, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: 14 Nov 1940
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 8m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,100ft

Synopsis

In the swamps of the deep South, Clem Howie and his teenage daughter Edie May try to dig an oil well. Benjy, a neighbor boy who is sweet on Edie May, warns them that revenue agents are nearby. Clem is arrested for moonshining, and Edie May is told to go to her aunt's until Clem is released from jail. Edie May instead enlists the aid of Benjy to go after her father. Attacked by hoboes, the two youngsters jump off a train just as the police capture half of a robbery team that stole $18,000 in payroll money in a postal theft. Hungry, the two find a National Youth Administration girls camp. Given food by the cook, the two are caught by the camp supervisor, Mrs. Stormer. Stormer convinces Edie May to stay at the camp until she is able to contact the authorities about the disposition of her father. Benjy joins a nearby Civilian Conservation Corps boys camp. Rufus Britt, the local skinflint tycoon, wants the camps to house his workers. Edie May accidentally breaks his foot with an ax blade and ends up working in the hospital nursing Britt. Not knowing she is one of the campers, Britt takes an immediate liking to Edie May, all the while working the townspeople into a lather over the camps. Edie May falls in love with Dr. Bob Wilson, only to have her heart broken when she discovers that Bob has secretly married another camper, Pamela. Clem, who is sharing a jail cell with Dan McKay, the captured robber, is convinced that Edie May is in a girl's prison camp. Dan persuades Clem to join in a jail break and lead him and his partner, Buck Miller, back into the swamp where they have hidden the payroll money. The two camps, in an attempt to get the townspeople on their side, put on a musical revue. On the night of the show, Britt discovers Edie May is a camper and rejects her. Edie May, in turn, tells Britt off. The show is a flop, as the townspeople follow Britt's lead in rejecting it. Edie May gets fish peddler Ephraim to join the show, and he brings down the house. The show is interrupted by the sheriff, who tells of the jail break. A posse is formed to hunt the swamps for Clem and the robbers. Clem helps the robbers locate the money just as Edie May finds him. Upon learning that he was deceived about Edie May's plight, Clem helps the police capture the robbers and the money. In the struggle, Edie May is bitten by a snake. Back at the hospital, Edie May is attended to by Clem, Benjy, and a reformed Britt, who buys all of Ephraim's catfish and corn dodgers. Although he learns that he can now close the camps, Britt informs his assistants that they will be fired if the camps don't stay open.

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 22, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: 14 Nov 1940
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 8m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,100ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a Twentieth Century-Fox press release, this was Jane Withers twenty-fifth consecutative starring film for the studio. As such, Withers was the first child star of her time to complete her entire seven-year contract for the studio uninterrupted. This was the third film in which Withers and Brown, Jr. performed together. Press releases also report that Charles Holland got his role in this film when associate producer Hubbard heard him perform as a "filler" on a Red Cross radio program. Daily Variety reported that officials within the National Youth Administration were worried about the film's depiction of the group's administration as President Roosevelt had "chastized its (NYA) so-called leftist faction" while the film was in preparation. The NYA's national administrator, Aubrey Williams, wired producer Hubbard requesting permission "to send a rep here to sit in during script preparation." According to Los Angeles Times, the film's budget was higher than previous Withers vehicles, as Fox was attempting to build her up after the departure of Shirley Temple from the studio. Hollywood Reporter reported that director Brower was assigned to this film when a film he was directing, The Ghost of Cisco Kid, suspended filming due to an injury to its star, Cesar Romero. The publication stated that Brower would be replaced by another director should filming begin again before the completion of Youth Will Be Served.