Synopsis by Hans J. Wollstein
The most controversial "road show" film of the 1940s, this was actually a rather innocent little morality play about a teenage girl (June Carlson) who gets in the "family way" during her very first date. The reason, of course, is that Mom (Lois Austin) and Dad (George Eldredge) failed to tell their little darling about the birds and the bees. The father of the expected child (Hardie Albright) is killed before he can make the girl an honest woman, but there is the obligatory happy conclusion with the parents appearing suitably repentant. Nothing to get too excited about -- even in the mid 1940s -- Mom and Dad became a cause celebre courtesy of its producer, crafty promoter Kroger Babb, whose common-law wife Mildred Horn had provided the script. Babb added a live hygienic lecturer, the estimable Elliott Forbes, and inaugurated segregated screenings, not between black and whites, but a separation of the sexes. Women and teenage girls were admitted to the two early showings, while their menfolk had to wait until the late show, naturally getting more and more excited as time went slowly by. The Legion of Decency, a Roman Catholic organization, helped Babb no end by banning the film, and Mom and Dad went on to make money for the promoter well into the '50s. Another legendary "sleaze merchant," David Friedman, took over the film in the '60s, when it was finally allowed to be shown in the puritan city of Chicago. At one point, as Friedman recalled, the film played at 10 Chicago theatres simultaneously, still advertized as featuring a live lecture by the redoubtable "Elliott Forbes." No one apparently questioned how this man could be in 10 places at the same time! The actual filming of Mom and Dad had taken place at the Monogram studios in Hollywood on a one week shooting schedule courtesy of co-producer J.S. Jossey, a Mid-Western exchange man. Incredibly, the film proved to be the fourth highest grosser of the '40s behind three Disney cartoons.
father, mother, pregnancy, sex-education, teen-pregnancy