Problem Girls

Ewald André Dupont, USA, 1953, 71 min.

Fifties Hollywood churned out just as much studio dreck as the Hollywood of today. But through the filter of a couple decades most of that has been forgotten. Problem Girls is one of those films that shouldn’t have made it through. But somehow it appeared on TCM.

The acting by third-tier studio players is poor, the direction is muddled and the editing is doing its best to tie together a poorly shot picture. This must be due to the production value, as the film was probably shot over a few days on its simple studio sets. I’m guessing the post-production team had their work cut out to make the results into a feature.

The story is very convoluted. A doctor takes a job at a school for troubled girls and winds up stumbling onto a den of sin: murder, kidnapping, brainwashing, girl-fights, torture, erotic piano playing, etc. I make it sound sensational. It isn’t.

Apart from the image above all of these things are presented quickly and without fanfare. It’s as if the film-makers were putting these things into the movie in order to check them off a list. All that does is make for a good poster, not a good film.

This movie wins the award “Least Believable Epilogue” for, well, the most forced happy ending I have ever seen.

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