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Under Eighteen

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marian March, Anita Page, Regis Toomey, Warren William, Norman Foster
  • Directors: Archie Mayo
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: April 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IKND1C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,726 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Working girl Margie Evans has decided there are two kinds of opportunities for a slum kid during the Depression. Those you make. And those you take. Determined to help her family out of its financial bind, she is ready to do both after she shows up at the penthouse pool bash of a wealthy playboy. "Why not take off your clothes and stay awhile?" the roue? asks her. Marian Marsh, a screen sensation as the lovely obsession of John Barrymore's mesmerizingly sinister maestro in Svengali, reteams with that film's director Archie Mayo to portray Margie in an earnest pre-Code melodrama. Talented Warren William, who like Marsh would see his career peak during the 1930s, portrays the pool-party ladykiller.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Though it only has one star usually associated with Warner Brothers in the early 1930's - Warren William - and even he has a supporting role in relation to the now forgotten Regis Toomey, this film is just bursting with the attitude of precode Warner Brothers.

It's subject is very definitely the depression and specifically how fortunes quickly changed for families when the male head of the household died. The beginning of the film is full of hope as the movie opens on the wedding day of Sophie (Anita Page), oldest daughter in the Evans family. However, three still-shots later - Dad's grave stone reading 1872-1928, a room for rent sign, and a pawn broker's store sign, and the audience is standing in the middle of a crowded tenement neighborhood in New York City in 1931. Youngest daughter Margie is working as a seamstress, living in a complete dump with her mother, and her boyfriend is making annoying happy talk about how their next big break is just around the corner. What is just around the corner is that sister Sophie, her husband Alf (Norman Foster), and their baby are moving into Margie and Mom's cramped quarters because they have just lost everything. Worse, Alf doesn't think that getting a regular job is a priority.

The daring subject that is insinuated here but never mentioned specifically is abortion. After Alf hits Sophie when she objects to him taking what little money they have and betting on himself in a billiards tournament, she reveals to Margie that she wants a divorce from loafer Alf, and furthermore she's pregnant again. Margie talks about taking her to someone the other girls have talked about, and you do see her talking to a lawyer next, but you've got to wonder what else happened since the pregnancy is never mentioned again.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ann Rynd on July 23, 2013
Marian Marsh plays Margie, a bright young girl who has the misfortune of living in Hell's Kitchen and having to support her sick mother, her oafish brother in law, her sister and her sister's baby on her meagre salary. On top of that, her delivery-boy boyfriend won't stop nagging her to marry him. Margie perseveres and is determined to "get someplace", but her naivete is against her.

I really wanted to like this movie, but its attitudes about women and marriage are disgustingly dated, more so than many pre-codes. Though Margie's sister experiences domestic abuse and deep emotional distress and depression at the hands of her no-good husband, she is eventually made to look silly for wanting a divorce and stays with him in the end because he stops being lazy for about a minute and wins a gambling tournament. While Margie's ambitions to become a rich man's mistress weren't that great, the fact that she has apparently has no other option but to run into the arms of her bland boyfriend (who also treats domestic violence as nothing) is worse.

Though it is well-acted, this is one of the most puritanical pre-codes I've seen. If you're looking for an interesting 30s film, I'd skip this.
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