Untamed Youth (1957): Exploitation Juvenile Delinquency Melodrama, Starring Mamie Van Doren and Lori Nelson

Howard W. Koch directed Untamed Youth, written by John C. Higgins and Stephen Longstreet, and starring Mamie Van Doren and Lori Nelson as two sisters sentenced to farm labor.

Grade: C+ (** out of *****)

Untamed Youth

Original theatrical release poster

In the first scene, sisters Penny and Jane Lowe are arrested for hitchhiking and skinny-dipping.  They are sentenced to work on a rural Texas farm for Russ Tropp, a corrupt agricultural magnate.

The female judge (Lurene Tuttle, better known for playing the wife of Sheriff Chambers in Psycho), who sentenced the sisters to the farm, is dating Tropp.

When her son Russ (John Russell), who has just been released from the Navy, is hired to work at the farm, he uncovers a scam. Tropp ensures that all delinquents and rule breakers are ordered to work off their sentence at his farm, which offers cheap labor and undercuts competition.

The judge’s son falls in love with Jane, while Penny, who performs four songs in the film, dreams of making it big in show business.

The film features Eddie Cochran as Bong, one of the camp’s prisoners, who performs a song onscreen.

Mamie Van Doren as Penny Lowe
Lori Nelson as Jane Lowe
John Russell as Russ Tropp
Don Burnett as Bob Steele
Glenn Dixon as Jack Landis
Lurene Tuttle as Judge Cecilia Steele Tropp
Eddie Cochran as Bong
Yvonne Fedderson as Baby
Jeanne Carmen as Lillibet
Robert Foulk as Sheriff Mitch Bowers
Wayne Taylor as Duke
Jered Barclay as Ralph
Valerie Reynolds as Arkie
Lucita as Margaritia
Matt Malinowski as Hair


Directed by Howard W. Koch
Produced by Aubrey Schenck
Written by John C. Higgins, Stephen Longstreet

Music by Les Baxter
Cinematography Carl E. Guthrie
Edited by John F. Schreyer
Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date: March 10, 1957

Running time: 80 minutes