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Youth Runs Wild


Youth Runs WIld

Youth Runs Wild information

Alternative titles:
Are These Our Children?
The Dangerous Age

Producer: Val Lewton
Director: Mark Robson
Screenplay: John Fante, Herbert Kline, Ardel Wray

Based upon the Look Magazine photo essay "Are These Our Children?"
issue dated September 11, 1943. The magazine refused to be connected to the film after its poor reception, and thus its name do not appear in the movie credits.

[Look was a bi-weekly, general-interest magazine published in Des Moines, Iowa from 1937 to 1971. Look ceased publication with its final issue of October 19, 1971. Read about Look Magazine at Wikipedia]

Youth Runs Wild
Production start November 3, 1943
Finished December 21, 1943

Premiered in New York City September 1, 1944
General release (after new edits) January 1944

Finished film aspect ratio 1:37:1
67 minutes long; 6,019 film footage

[There are two copyright numbers assigned to this film. The original Lewton version, which apparently does not exist any longer, and the edited version that Lewton wanted his name taken off of, which went into general distribution and is the film available for broadcast from time to time on Turner Classic Movies cable/satelite channel.]

Watch the Original Film Trailer
Courtesy Turner Classic Movies

• Director Edward Dmytryk was originally assigned the film. A "Madeleine Dmytryk" is credited for "topical research" for the finished film.

"The Curse of the Cat People" proved that Lewton was able to deal with youth very successffully when allowed to treat children of his own class and experience in a more literary form. But the woodenness of Youth Runs Wild solemnly resistes taking on the look and feel of life, however noble the producer's intentions. Indeed, the only hint of youthful feeling in the film is Lewton's joke on himself. When a young couple go to a neighborhood movie, the showcases are literally plastered with posters adverising past Lewton productions." (From page 144 of the Joel Siegel book Val Lewton: The Reality of Terror. Cinema One series, Viking Press, 1973)

• The Hollywood Reporter said that photographer John Mescall experimented with a new lens called the "swivel lens" in order to produce an improved depth of focus for the picture.

• The technical advisor on the film was Ruth Clifton, who founded a youth recreation center in Moline, Illinois.

• After distribution, the film fell short by $45,000 in earnings to meet RKO's costs.

"Lewton argued that the intent of the film was to draw attention to a national problem and help bring about measures to solve it, which would do the country more good than harm... RKO decided not to pull the film from active production, but because of its controversial subject matter, Lewton was given more supervision than usual, much to his displeasure." From the Edmund G. Bansak biography of Lewton Fearing the Dark: The Val Lewton Career (McFarland & Co.)

Youth Runs Wild Lobby


Directed by Mark Robson
Assistant Director Harry D'Arcy

Music by:
Music directed by C. Bakaleinikoff
Music by Paul Sawtell

John S. Mescall

John Fante (Screenwriter)
Ardel Wray (Additional Dialogue)
John Fante (Original Story)
Herbert Kline (Original Story)

Editing by John Lockert
Art Direction by Albert S. D'Agostino and Carroll Clark
Special effects by Vernon L. Walker
Make-up by Mel Berns
Costumes and gowns by Edward Stevenson

Set Decoration:
Darrell Silvera
Ross Dowd

Sound Recording by Frank McWhorter

Technical advise by Ruth Clifton
"Topical Research" by Madeleine Dmytryk


Bonita Granville
Kent Smith
here Jean Brooks
Glen Vernon
Vanessa Brown
Ben Bard
Mary Servoss
Arthur Shields
Lawrence Tierney
Dickie Moore
Johnny Walsh
Rod Rodgers
Elizabeth Russell
Ruth Alvarez
Joan Barclay
Harold Barnitz
Joan Blair
Stanley Blystone
Tom Burton
Claire Carleton
Jack Carrington
Les Clark
Harry Clay
Ruth Clifton
Peter Dane
George DeNormand
Danny Desmond
Don Dillaway
Gloria Donovan
Chris Drake
Jack Gargan
Edmund Glover
Harry Harvey
Maxwell Hayes
Russell Hopton
Nita Hunter
Teddy Infuhr
Gordon Jones
Daun Kennedy
Donald Kerr
Molly Lamont
Margaret Landry
Rosemary La Planche
Fritz Leiber
Dorothy Malone
Frank O'Connor
Lee Phelps
Mike Road
Ida Shoemaker
Art Smith
Robert Strong
Steve Winston
Bud Wiser
Danny Coates
Mary Hauser Coates
Frank Hauser (as Glenn Vernon)
Sarah Taylor (as Tessa Brind)
Mr. Taylor
Mrs. Cora Hauser
Father killed by his son
Larry Duncan
Son who kills his father
Herb Vigero
Mrs. Mabel Taylor
Bit Role
Girl with Blanche
Stevie Coates
Mrs. Loring
Corporal Jim Hayes
Taxi Driver
Member of Horse Act
Good Humor Man
Walter Dunlap
Police Officer
Eddie Wilson
Nancy Taylor
Bud - Usher
Man in Shooting Gallery
Pete - Telephone Lineman
Lucy Taylor
Max - Kid Brought Into Day Care
Truck Driver
Girl in Booth
Member of Horse Act
Mrs. Webster
Hysterical Girl
Girl in Booth
Police Officer Martin
Night Watchman
Boy with Toddy
Card Player
Mr. Fred Hauser
Juvenile Court Officer
RH. Winkler
Motorcycle Policeman


• Review by Dennis Shwartz at Osuz World

"I don't blame Lewton for wanting his name removed from this banal piece of trash, as it hardly turned out the way he wanted it to."

• Over view of the film at Ken Yousten's Val Lewton Home Page

• Much information about the film at TCM Online

• Contemporary New York Times 1944 Review:

"Juvenile delinquency is still with us on the screen. Currently the problem is being melodramatized in two Broadway theatres, at the Victoria in "Are These Our Parents?" and, as of yesterday, at the Palace in "Youth Runs Wild." Both pictures make the same point, that parental indifference is the root of the trouble. And both pictures have a common failing in that their respective producers, Monogram and RKO, have mirrored extreme rather than average cases of war-neglected youngsters. But there the comparison ends, for it must be admitted that even though the entertainment quotient (an integral part of any pictorial sermon) of "Youth Runs Wild" is negative, it at least handles this sociological manifestation with comparative restraint.

That alone is a welcome relief. But the question still remains as to what good can be accomplished through such films. Obviously, and despite all their good intentions, the producers of "Youth Runs Wild" don't have the answer. At this late stage just pointing a warning finger is hardly sufficient justification for a feature-length picture. ... "

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Lewton Links

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Lewton RKO Films
Cat People*
I Walked With A Zombie*
The Leopard Man*
The Seventh Victim*
The Ghost Ship*
Curse of the Cat People*
Youth Runs Wild
Mademoiselle Fifi*
Isle of the Dead
The Body Snatcher*

Other Lewton Films
My Own True Love*
Please Believe Me*
Apache Drums*
Misc Films

*Pages under construction


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