5 user

Delinquent Parents (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 15 July 1938 (USA)
A woman is forced to keep her marriage and past indiscretions a secret from those she loves.


Nick Grinde


Nicholas T. Barrows (original screenplay) (as Nick Barrows), Robert St. Claire (original screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Doris Weston ... Carol Wharton Caldwell
Maurice Murphy ... Bruce Jefferson
Helen MacKellar ... Judge Edith Ellis
Terry Walker ... Cousin Betty
Richard Tucker ... Harry Jefferson
Charlotte Treadway Charlotte Treadway ... Mrs. Harry Jefferson
Morgan Wallace ... Charles Wharton
Marjorie Reynolds ... Edythe Ellis
Theodore von Eltz ... Carson
Walter Young Walter Young ... Joseph Caldwell
Sibyl Harris Sibyl Harris ... Katherine Caldwell
Carlyle Moore Jr. ... Charles Wharton Jr.
Janet Young ... Mrs. Mihom
Byron Foulger ... Herbert Ellis
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Herbert Ellis


Edythe Ellis, a middle-class , small town girl is secretly married to Charles Wharton, handsome but the weak-willed son of the town mayor, on the eve of his enlistment in World War One. Before he can get away the Armistace is signed, but Charles is reluctant to make their marriage known, not willing to arouse the wrath of his snobbish parents. A speak-easy rendezvous, a few spirited prohibition-era drinks and the inevitable car crash sends Edythe to the hospital where her impending motherhood is discovered. His parents refuse to let Charles see Edythe, after learning she was not seriously hurt. Edythe's mother supports her daughter during her ordeal, but when the child, a girl, is born she insists that it be sent to an orphanage.Edythe, broken hearted, is made to consent to the arrangement. The child, Carol, is adopted by the Caldwells, a kindly couple who have no children of their own, and is brought up to believe she is their own. Carol celebrates her eighteenth birthday in blissful... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Picture You Will Never Forget... Modern Youth In Revolt!


Crime | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Carol's birthday, shown being entered in the ledger at the beginning of the film, is May 2, 1919. She is birth number 555. Her Certificate of Adoption is dated September 21, 1921. See more »


Once Around the Clock
Written by Lee Zahler and Carroll K. Cooper (as Carroll Cooper)
Performed by a dance troupe including Kay Marvis and Marge Champion (as Marjorie Bell)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Unusual, interesting, under-rated
28 December 2006 | by catherine-71See all my reviews

This is a very low-budget social drama of the type familiar to modern audiences as a "tv drama" -- that is, a short, sincere look at a serious social problem, dramatised through the lives of a small number of people. The story is simple: a young female law student gives her child up for adoption and must live with the consequences, as must the girl, who, when she finds out that she was adopted, runs wild and enters into unsavoury company. The past has repercussions on the present, and in the end the young law student, now a kindly family court judge, must face her own past if she is to continue to serve the troubled teens to whom she has dedicated her career. Despite the motherhood-loss issues, this movie is not a tear-jerker like "Stella Dallas" or "Madame X," to which easy comparisons could be made, and in many ways it is more progressive and more satisfying than those famous films. The acting is top-notch, the premise is strong, and the resolution is surprisingly low-key and realistic. The only fault i can find with the print i saw (from alpha video) is that it is a noisy print lacking the title credits -- which is why i had to come here to get the full credits. Kudos to Helen MacKellar as Judge Ellis, to Sybil Harris as Kathryn Caldwell, and to Marge Champion as the teen dancer leading the Big Apple number and also the "dance director" for the teen party scene.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed