The Young Lovers (December 29, 1949)

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The Young Lovers
 

Released on December 29, 1949: A young dancer with great promise discovers that she has polio and may never walk again.

Directed by Ida Lupino

The Actors: Sally Forrest (Carol Williams), Keefe Brasselle (Guy Richards), Hugh O'Brian (Len Randall), Eve Miller (Phyllis Townsend), Lawrence Dobkin (Doctor Middleton), Rita Lupino (Josie), Herbert Butterfield (Walter Williams), Kevin O'Morrison (Red Dawson), Stanley Waxman (Doctor Taylor), Jerry Hausner (Mr. Brownlee), John Franco (Carlos).

 

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I've lived through several medical 'curses.' Of course, recently AIDS was the killer that was a certain and quick death sentence for anyone who contracted it. Earlier the focus of the world was on 'the big C' or cancer. When I was fifteen years old my mother contracted Leukemia and went from seemingly perfect health to death in nine days. I was born in 1951, four years before Dr. Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for Polio, and many kids born when I was contracted Polio, and there was no cure, or even explanation of how the disease worked it's terror. But until the mid 1950's Polio was the great medical curse with absolutely no cure. As a teen in Shanksville, Pennsylvania one of my very best friends was a teen that had contracted polio when he was very young. His dad worked in a steel mill in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and his family was composed of the nicest, most genuinely friendly and honest folk that I have ever met. Randy wore a steel frame around both legs, and walked with a metal crutch in each hand, after he engaged the lock at the knee of his metal leg frames. The first time I ever played football as a kid was with Randy, and we had as much fun as any kids ever had playing outside. I would sit on my rump, like Randy, and using only our hands and arms scoot around with the football, one-on-one trying to get past the other and over our imaginary goal line. Randy was always happy and quite a smart-alek. We were always laughing about something or other. But the curse of Polio in the 1950's was the curse that made its victims a 'cripple,' and caused many people to lose hope of a happy life. Randy went on to become a successful lawyer, but many folk with Polio gave in to the life of a disabled invalid.

Ida Lupino was a successful actor in the golden age of movies, but she had a brain and a heart for more than acting in front of the camera. This movie is her first venture into producing and directing. It is a 'weeper' for certain, and I'm betting that when it hit the theaters it caused quite a stir. If you remember the early years of the AIDS epidemic, imagine a hard-hitting realistic movie about AIDS victims before there were any effective medications for it. Think of a story about the hopelessness of the disease and its effects. Grab your tissues and get ready for the story of a dancer who lived with her legs, and then suddenly became a cripple, losing everything that she lived for.

Sally ForrestKeefe Brasselle
Sally ForrestKeefe Brasselle
Eve Miller and Keefe BrasselleEve Miller
Eve Miller and Keefe BrasselleEve Miller
Hugh O'BrianHugh O'Brian and Sally Forrest
Hugh O'Brian - 1949Hugh O'Brian and Sally Forrest
Hugh O'Brian and Sally ForrestHugh O'Brian
Hugh O'Brian and Sally ForrestHugn O'Brian
John FrancoKeefe Brasselle and Jerry Hausner
John FrancoKeefe Brasselle and Jerry Hausner
Keefe Brasselle and Sally ForrestLawrence Dobkin and Sally Forrest
Keefe Brasselle and Sally ForrestLawrence Dobkin and Sally Forrest
Lawrence DobkinSally Forrest and Hugh O'Brian
Lawrence DobkinSally Forrest and Hugh O'Brian
Sally Forrest and Rita LupinoSally Forrest
Sally Forrest and Rita LupinoSally Forrest - 1949
Stanley Waxman, Sally Forrest and Keffe BrasselleStanley Waxman
Stanley Waxman, Sally Forrest and Keefe BrasselleStanley Waxman