Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mad Youth, 1940

Not a still from the movie, but a couple of dancers who were in it. 
And they did this dance move in the film. And he was wearing the same shirt.

Saw an old exploitation film called Mad Youth. It started out promisingly enough. A rich woman spends her alimony hiring male escorts. While the woman and her escort are out playing bridge, her daughter has some friends over for a party. They play strip poker. A couple dances. The girl's dress flies up every time she twirls around. Another girl marches into the living room dressed as a drum majorette. She begins tap dancing while twirling a baton.

At the bridge party, a drunk sings a song about Broadway.

The mother keeps hiring the escort who is a deposed Russian Count. He's alarmed that she keeps asking for him. He calls the daughter and asks her out. They go to a restaurant with a floor show. First we see clog dancers then a "matador" fights a tiny bull.

We see a montage of the escort and daughter dating. They see a knife-throwing act, a magician sawing a woman in half, a man painting a picture with his feet.

When the mother finds her diary and learns she's been dating her escort, the daughter goes to see her friend who, it turns out, is now enslaved by a prostitution ring. They try to force the daughter into prostitution as well.

The escort talks to the mother. She doesn't know where the daughter is.

"You mean to tell me you let your daughter go to visit Helen without even knowing where she lives?" he says in his Russian accent. "But all we know about her is that she ran away to marry a man she'd never seen, a man she met through a matrimonial agency advertisement...Don't you know that some of those agencies are the worst kind of traps? That many of the customers are criminals, morons, white slavers or people who are physically or mentally diseased?"

"Oh, I'd never given it a thought."

"Oh you American mothers, with your bridge parties and beauty shops and your silly flirtations, wasting your lives and neglecting your duties, letting your children run wild for lack of sensible parental supervision."

"You don't know American children. They're spoiled and disobedient and drunken."

"Drunken? Yes. Drunk with the exuberance of youth and sheer joy of living. There is nothing really wrong with the children of today. Nothing that proper environment and congenial home life wouldn't correct."

"What do you expect us modern mothers to do?"

"Quit trying to be butterflies. Get back to the business of being mothers like your mother and your grandmother and generations of mothers before them."

"A lesson in morals and ethics is fine coming from you, a professional gigolo."

"That's all changed now. I have found a real job. And I've worked long enough to know that I can hold it and earn an honest living."

"That's all very interesting but I don't see that it concerns me."

"But it does concern you. I am going to marry your daughter."

He uses his gigolo detective skills to find his way to the brothel where the daughter is a prisoner.

Russian escorts are tough customers. They fight their way out and speed away in a taxi.

"Oh, Count. I'm so glad you came."

"Don't call me 'Count', Marian. All that stuff is behind me...I got my American citizenship papers yesterday and I've got a job. We'll get married and we'll live like self-respecting, self-supporting Americans should."

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