Sunday, October 09, 2011
Teenage Rebel (3 stars)
Teenage Rebel, from 1956, is a slightly sentimental comedy-drama starring Ginger Rogers and Michael Rennie. They portray Nancy and Jay Fallon, who, along with their little boy, Larry, are preparing for a visit from Nancy's daughter, Dodie (played by Betty Lou Keim). Since Nancy's ex-husband was awarded custody of their child and since he didn't comply with the visitation schedule, it has been eight years since Nancy has seen her daughter. Dodie is no longer a little girl...she is now 15 years old...and she does not want to be called Dodie, preferring, instead, the more grown-up Dorothy.
Harboring ill feelings towards the mother she feels abandoned her and longing to be back home with her father, Dorothy is sulky and bad-tempered to everyone with whom she is in contact---Nancy, Jay, Larry, and the neighbor kids too. She absolutely does not intend to make a go of things. Even though Nancy tells Dorothy that she longs to build a relationship with her, Dorothy insists that will not happen---as far as she is concerned, her mother died eight years ago.
Will Nancy ever be able to convince Dorothy that she really does love her and that she always did? Will Dorothy ever forgive her mother? Will the two ever develop a mother/daughter relationship? Those are the questions that play out in this sweet film. Though it's called Teenage Rebel, the girl really is not rebellious---she's just hurt and lonely---so you don't have to fear an obnoxious brat in this film.
Ginger Rogers, who is my husband's #1 gal, is still looking mighty fine at this point in her career. And she even gets an opportunity to strut her stuff a bit. Ginger fans will definitely want to see this film.