Juvenile Court

Watch Juvenile Court

  • Passed
  • 1938
  • 1 hr
  • 5.6  (159)

Juvenile Court is a 1938 American drama film directed by D. Ross Lederman and starring Paul Kelly, Rita Hayworth, and Frankie Darro. The film portrays the activities of a juvenile court and the issues it faces in the treatment of young offenders. The movie opens with Judge Charles Farrell, Jr. (played by Paul Kelly) presiding over a hearing involving Tommy Davis, a fifteen-year-old boy accused of stealing a watch. Judge Farrell is sympathetic towards Tommy and decides to give him a chance by placing him on probation. However, Tommy's probation officer, Mark Braden (played by Keith Richards), is skeptical of his ability to rehabilitate the young offender and is determined to prove his point.

Meanwhile, Judge Farrell's daughter, Mary (played by Rita Hayworth), becomes involved in a youth group that aims to help troubled teenagers. Through this group, she meets Tommy, who she believes can be saved from a life of crime. She befriends him and tries to help him turn his life around, despite the skepticism of her father, who believes that some cases are beyond rehabilitation.

As Tommy's probation draws to a close, he begins to show signs of improvement, but things take a turn for the worse when he is accused of another crime. The court must now decide whether to send him to reform school or give him another chance at probation. The decision is complicated by the fact that Tommy is being manipulated by a fellow juvenile delinquent, Danny, who is working for a corrupt parole officer intent on sending Tommy to reform school.

As the case unfolds, Judge Farrell is faced with difficult choices as he tries to balance the desire to rehabilitate young offenders with the need to protect society from their criminal behavior. Ultimately, the movie concludes with a tense courtroom scene that highlights the complex moral and ethical issues at stake in cases involving juvenile offenders.

Juvenile Court is a well-crafted film that offers a compelling portrayal of the challenges faced by those working in the juvenile justice system. The movie is notable for its nuanced treatment of issues related to rehabilitation, reform, and punishment, as well as for its excellent performances by the lead actors. While some of the themes and the style of the film may feel dated by modern standards, the movie nonetheless remains an important contribution to the genre of social issue films, which sought to address contemporary problems and stimulate public debate. Overall, Juvenile Court is a thought-provoking and engaging film that is well worth watching for anyone interested in the history of American cinema or the history of juvenile justice.

Juvenile Court
Juvenile Court doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr
  • IMDB Rating
    5.6  (159)