The Careless Years (1957)

70 mins | Drama | September 1957

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HISTORY

This film's working title was Young Lovers . Although a print was unavailable for viewing, the credits and summary above were derived from studio billing sheets and synopses in the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library and from reviews. Although contemporary materials state that the film was produced and written by Edward Lewis, in 1998 the Writers Guild of America restored the credits of blacklisted screenwriters John Howard Lawson and Mitch Lindemann, who wrote the screenplay. In a synopsis submitted to the PCA, Catherine McLeod is listed as playing "Helen Meredith," but the role was played by Barbara Billingsley. A contemporary source states that some scenes were shot at Santa Monica High School in California. The Careless Years marked Arthur Hiller's debut as a feature film ... More Less

This film's working title was Young Lovers . Although a print was unavailable for viewing, the credits and summary above were derived from studio billing sheets and synopses in the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library and from reviews. Although contemporary materials state that the film was produced and written by Edward Lewis, in 1998 the Writers Guild of America restored the credits of blacklisted screenwriters John Howard Lawson and Mitch Lindemann, who wrote the screenplay. In a synopsis submitted to the PCA, Catherine McLeod is listed as playing "Helen Meredith," but the role was played by Barbara Billingsley. A contemporary source states that some scenes were shot at Santa Monica High School in California. The Careless Years marked Arthur Hiller's debut as a feature film director. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Sep 1957.
---
Daily Variety
30 Aug 1957
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Sep 1957
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 1957
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 1957
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1957
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 1957
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 Aug 1957
p. 513.
New York Times
28 Nov 1957
p. 57.
Variety
4 Sep 1957
p. 6.
Variety
3-9 Aug 1998.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Ward supv
Clothes by
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
In charge of prod
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Careless Years" and "Butterfingers Baby," music and lyrics by Joe Lubin, sung by Sue Raney.
PERFORMER
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Young Lovers
Release Date:
September 1957
Production Date:
7 January--early February 1957 at Hal Roach Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Michael Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
23 September 1957
Copyright Number:
LP9126
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Duration(in mins):
70
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18483
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When eighteen-year-old Jerry Vernon returns to retrieve his belongings from a cluttered motel room, he sees two matching wedding rings, which trigger recollections of events leading up to that moment: Jerry and his pal, Bob Williams, two typical California teenagers, decide to crash a party being given by Emily Meredith and her friend Harriet. At the party, the self-assured Bob pursues Harriet while Jerry and Emily talk uneasily until her parents Helen and Charles return home. Later, Emily and her mother discuss Emily’s college plans and her mother brings up the topic of sex and how some teenagers tend to view a moral code as old-fashioned. When Jerry invites Emily to a beach party, he tries to kiss her, but she gently rebuffs him. However, they discover that they enjoy talking to each other and begin dating regularly. Soon they fall in love and find it increasingly difficult to control their sexual urges, although the moral values they have been taught help to restrain them. When Emily’s parents leave on a weekend trip, she and Jerry have dinner at her house and Jerry tells her that he wants to make love to her. They kiss passionately, but Emily pleads with him to go no farther. He respects her feelings and leaves, but not before she agrees to his suggestion that they should get married. Jerry’s parents, steelworker father Sam and mother Mathilda, are not happy when they hear the news and Sam, who has been saving for Jerry’s college education, points out that Jerry will never get a decent job without an education. After Emily’s parents learn about her plans, they decide to take her on a summer-long vacation ... +


When eighteen-year-old Jerry Vernon returns to retrieve his belongings from a cluttered motel room, he sees two matching wedding rings, which trigger recollections of events leading up to that moment: Jerry and his pal, Bob Williams, two typical California teenagers, decide to crash a party being given by Emily Meredith and her friend Harriet. At the party, the self-assured Bob pursues Harriet while Jerry and Emily talk uneasily until her parents Helen and Charles return home. Later, Emily and her mother discuss Emily’s college plans and her mother brings up the topic of sex and how some teenagers tend to view a moral code as old-fashioned. When Jerry invites Emily to a beach party, he tries to kiss her, but she gently rebuffs him. However, they discover that they enjoy talking to each other and begin dating regularly. Soon they fall in love and find it increasingly difficult to control their sexual urges, although the moral values they have been taught help to restrain them. When Emily’s parents leave on a weekend trip, she and Jerry have dinner at her house and Jerry tells her that he wants to make love to her. They kiss passionately, but Emily pleads with him to go no farther. He respects her feelings and leaves, but not before she agrees to his suggestion that they should get married. Jerry’s parents, steelworker father Sam and mother Mathilda, are not happy when they hear the news and Sam, who has been saving for Jerry’s college education, points out that Jerry will never get a decent job without an education. After Emily’s parents learn about her plans, they decide to take her on a summer-long vacation in the East in the hope that she will forget Jerry. That only prompts the young couple to plan to elope immediately, as they fear they will be kept apart. When Sam refuses to give Jerry some money from his college fund, Jerry forges his father’s signature. After telling only his younger brother, Biff, about his plans, Jerry meets Emily at a motel before heading to Mexico. Sam tracks them down and hits Jerry, accusing him of throwing his life away because he cannot stay out of bed with a girl. A horrified Emily witnesses the confrontation and realizes that their imminent marriage is causing their parents much anguish. Unable to convince Jerry to delay their marriage, she walks out on him. In the motel room, Jerry looks at the rings again then leaves. Eventually, after an emotional reunion with his father, Jerry admits that he was wrong and agrees to pursue his plans for college. Jerry then forces himself to visit Emily and is welcomed by her family as if nothing has happened. Jerry assures Emily that he will be waiting for her when she returns from her vacation. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.