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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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

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User Reviews

better than you might think

Oh, oh, I thought - exploitation cheapie but, surprise, surprise, "Delinquent Parents" turns out to be a pretty decent movie. The story makes sense, the acting is quite good, the solution is satisfactory. The leads are quite good, quite likable. The 'who is my momma?' story keeps you interested throughout. Much better movie than you might expect. Sure, you can see where some expenses may have been cut, but the end result is a damn good movie. No, not a blockbuster, but plenty easy to take.

One surprise was the Big Apple dance. I had heard about it but never saw it. The movie did not go the route often taken by many of these types of movies - it stayed within the decency limitations, perhaps more than need by. By today's standards it might be a bore, but if it is a good story and good performances you are looking for check this out. For the most part, by the way, the title is misleading.

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