Delinquent Parents (July 15, 1938)

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Delinquent Parents
 

Released on July 15, 1938: A teenage orphan girl chooses between a wild life with racketeers or marriage to the man who loves her.

Directed by Nick Grinde

The Actors: Doris Weston (Carol Wharton Caldwell), Maurice Murphy (Bruce Jefferson), Helen MacKellar (Judge Edith Ellis), Morgan Wallace (Charles Wharton as an adult), Theodore von Eltz (Carson), Terry Walker (cousin Betty), Richard Tucker (Harry Jefferson), Charlotte Treadway (Mrs. Jefferson), Sibyl Harris (Katherine Caldwell), Walter Young (Joseph Caldwell), Carlyle Moore Jr. (Charles Wharton as a youth), Marjorie Reynolds (Edith Ellis as a youth), Harry Hayden (Mayor Wharton), Betty Blythe (Mrs. Wharton), Byron Foulger (Herbert Ellis), Virginia Brissac (Mrs. Herbert Ellis), Janet Young (Mrs. Mihom), Marge Champion (dancer), Gino Corrado (headwaiter), Sam Flint (hospital doctor), Robert Frazer (Wharton's lawyer), Joseph W. Girard (party guest), Lew Kelly (Joe, bootlegger), Kay Marvis (dancer), Edward Peil Sr. (Jack Burke, probation officer).

 

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Kids have been whacky and parents have been poor examples ever since Cain and Abel, and their mom and dad. I believe that, like many things in our universe, parenting has a two edged ironic duality. If you think about it, you could point to parents that are the worst influence possible for young children. But if you think a bit more, you could also point to parents that are the best influence possible for young children. All parents do, by example, show their children both the worst behavior and the best behavior possible. That is just human nature - parents are not perfect. So when the kids grow up, they do not become good adults or bad adults because of their parents. I've seen too many wonderful adults with stinkers for parents, and too many horrible adults that had angels for parents to believe that we must become what our parents were. That is nonsense. Plain old-fashioned horse sense and a bit of good thinking will reveal that every one of us is totally and solely responsible for what we become, and our parents had very little to do with it. If you are a bum, an angel or something in between, it is YOUR doing, and you cannot blame it on anyone else. You can do, have, and become virtually anything that you can imagine and focus on, regardless of who or what your parents are. So don't blame your parents if you have a mediocre life with less than you want. You can do, have or become anything that you think you can, and will pursue with daily action steps in the right direction.

This movie has an amazingly complex story plot for 1938, and you will enjoy it much more than the title might suggest. In 1919 the mayor's son marries a young girl and she gets pregnant. The only problem is that their parents don't know that they are married, and when push comes to shove, they are separated and the young girl is forced by her parents to go away to Chicago to have the baby and give it up for adoption. Their marriage is dissolved and they each go their own way. Fast forward 19 years and we find that the mother has become a respected judge in the city, and the father has become a racketeer backing a local nightclub and gambling hall. The young baby girl has been adopted by a local family and is now a teenager discovering the big, wide world of adults. Their lives will become entangled again in ways that make for a really good movie, and one that is surprisingly well performed by the actors. By the title it sounds like it might be a 'sermon' to parents about bringing up their kids, but it is really just a great story of life in the big city with a bunch of plot curves that will keep you happily munching your homemade white kernel popcorn till the final scene in the judge's chambers.

Doris WestonHelen MacKellar
Doris Weston - 1938Helen MacKellar
Maurice MurphyDoris Weston and Theodore von Eltz
Maurice MurphyDoris Weston and Theodore von Eltz
Edward Peil Sr. and Theodore von EltzHelen MacKellar and Morgan Wallace
Edward Peil Sr. and Theodore von EltzHelen MacKellar and Morgan Wallace
Marjorie ReynoldsMaurice Murphy, Doris Weston and Terry Walker
Marjorie Reynolds as young Edith EllisMaurice Murphy, Doris Weston and Terry Walker
Maurice Murphy and Terry WalkerMorgan Wallace and Doris Weston
Maurice Murphy and Terry WalkerMorgan Wallace and Doris Weston
Morgan Wallace and Theodore von EltzTerry Walker and Doris Weston
Morgan Wallace and Theodore von EltzTerry Walker and Doris Weston
Walter Young and Sibyl Harris
Walter Young and Sibyl Harris