Young Don’t Cry, The (1957)

A teenage orphan must choose between his own integrity and the corrupted might of the law!

US / 90 minutes / bw / Columbia Dir: Alfred L. Werker Pr: Philip A. Waxman Scr: Richard Jessup Story: The Cunning and the Haunted (1954) by Richard Jessup Cine: Ernest Haller Cast: Sal Mineo, James Whitmore, J. Carrol Naish, Gene Lyons, Paul Carr, Thomas Carlin, Leigh Whipper, Stefan Gierasch, Victor Thorley, Roxanne (i.e., Dolores Rosedale), James Reese, Ruth Attaway, Leland Mayforth, Dick Wigginton, Stanley Martin, Josephine Smith.

The Young Don't Cry - 0 opener

Sixteen-year-old Leslie “Les” Henderson (Mineo) is one of the inmates at the Brockton Orphanage for Boys, somewhere in the Deep South. He wants to try for a scholarship to technical college with the aim of becoming an engineer. Like the other older boys, he acts as a big brother to a dormitory of the little kids.

His plans take a bit of a knock the day when he finds another older boy, Tom Bradley (Carr), bullying Les’s little friend Allan (Mayforth); even though Tom’s bigger, Les whales him, thereby earning a reprimand—and a week’s docking of his precious August vacation—from orphanage superintendent Gwinn (Reese). Les had been planning to go on his sailboat with friend Jimmy Brown (Wigginton) to the nearby deserted island of Warsaw for a few weeks’ camping. On the other hand, Les’s defense of the underdog, Allan, and his defeat of Bradley means he’s now accepted by staff and boys alike as one of the orphanage’s Big Fellas.

The Young Don't Cry - 3 Bradley prepares to launch himself at Les

Bradley (Paul Carr) prepares to launch himself at Les.

Another of the Big Fellas is Johnny Clancy (Carlin). We know from the outset that Clancy is a bit of a snake. Called to do something about the punchup between Les and Bradley, he just Continue reading

Shrike, The (1955)

US / 88 minutes / bw / Universal‑‑International Dir: José Ferrer Pr: Aaron Rosenberg Scr: Ketti Frings Story: The Shrike (1952 play) by Joseph Kramm Cine: William Daniels Cast: José Ferrer, June Allyson, Joy Page, Kendall Clark, Isabel Bonner, Will Kuluva, Joe Comadore, Billy M. Greene, Leigh Whipper, Richard Benedict, Mary Bell, Martin Newman, Herbie Faye, Somar Alberg, Jay Barney, Edward C. Platt, Fay Morley, Jacqueline de Wit, Adrienne Marden.

The Shrike - 0 opener

Jim Downs (Ferrer) is admitted to the mental ward of the city hospital following a suicide attempt; with him comes his worried wife Ann (Allyson), who wants to be by his side always, even when the doctors would prefer she not be, and who keeps repeating how her love for him is undying. Doctors Barrow (Bonner) and Kramer (Barney) are impressed by her supportiveness, even when it emerges that Jim and Ann have been separated for some while, and that Jim’s heart now lies with a new girlfriend, Charlotte Moore (Page).

Because Jim attempted suicide and suicide is regarded as a violent crime, and because he’s been brought to a public hospital, he falls into the category whereby he can be held until the psychiatric staff believe him to be no longer a threat to other people. (I have no idea if this was the law at the time but, if so, the law was being a ass.) Further, the person who really has control over his freedom is Ann: he can be released into the custody of his wife, not into that of Charlotte, whom the staff obviously consider to be just his bit on the side.

The Shrike - 2 Charlotte, forever stalle from visining Jim

Charlotte (Joy Page), forever stalled from visiting Jim.

After he’s made a physical recovery from the effects of the phenobarbital he swallowed, Jim’s transferred to Continue reading