Sex Madness (1937)

Genres - Health & Fitness  |   Sub-Genres - Illnesses & Disabilities, Propaganda Film, Sexuality  |   Run Time - 50 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Of rather mysterious origins, this exploitation melodrama features Millicent Hamilton (Vivian McGill), a small-town beauty queen who gets infected with syphilis while trying to obtain a career in Big City show business. Reduced to working in a burlesque show, Millicent is told by Dr. Harris (Allan Tower) that her condition is curable but that she must abstain from sexual contact with hometown boyfriend Wendel Hope, at least for the foreseeable future. With a warning against unscrupulous hacks that pry on girls in her condition, Millicent returns to home and hearth and resumes her romance with Wendel (Stanley Barton). A year later, Dr. Grenoble (W. Blake) assures her that she is now ready to become a wife and mother but her child is born unhealthy and Wendel dies. Dr. Grenoble is arrested for quackery and Millicent learns from her pediatrician, Dr. Bayard (Frank Howsen), that she still carries the disease. On the brink of suicide, Millicent hears of a new and effective cure for syphilis. Filmed on the East Coast around 1937, Sex Madness was originally released as Human Wreckage and is also known as They Must Be Told. Although the cast was completely unknown to most moviegoers, Vivian McGill, Linda Lee Hill, Ruth Edell, Charles Olcott, Richard Bengali, Jean Temple, Harry Antrim, and Allan Tower were all veteran Broadway performers while Rose Tapley, who plays the heroine's mother, had been an early silent screen star. Young male lead Stanley Barton later changed his name to Mark Daniels and was under contract to MGM in the early to mid-'40s.

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Keywords

sex, teenagers, VD (Venereal Disease), danger, homosexual, lesbianism, STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease), syphilis