Not Wanted

Watch Not Wanted

". . . in a picture that plunges heart-deep into the story of one girl's mistake!"
  • NR
  • 1949
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.8  (902)

Not Wanted is a 1949 drama directed by Ida Lupino that tells the story of a young woman named Sally Kelton (played by Sally Forrest) who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand with a musician named Steve Ryan (played by Keefe Brasselle). Sally is unmarried and doesn't want to have a child at this point in her life, so she decides to have an abortion. However, the illegal operation nearly kills her and she is forced to stay in a hospital to recover. Meanwhile, her boyfriend disappears and she has nobody to turn to.

As the film progresses, we see Sally struggling to come to terms with her situation. She feels ashamed and isolated, unable to return home to her mother (who she thinks will judge her) or to be with her lover (who she discovers is on the road with his band and doesn't know about her pregnancy). She is also unable to resume her job as a dancer due to her weakened condition, adding to her financial worries.

In the hospital, Sally befriends a kind-hearted nurse named Anne (played by Lois Leonard) who takes a vested interest in Sally's well-being. Anne tries to be a source of comfort and encouragement to Sally, even after she moves out of the hospital and into a home for unwed mothers. At the home, Sally meets other women in similar situations as hers and bonds with them over their shared experiences.

Not Wanted is notable for being one of the first Hollywood films to tackle the taboo subject of unwed pregnancy and abortion. The film was made outside of the studio system by Lupino's own production company and funded by a doctor who wanted to raise awareness about the dangers of illegal abortions. The film's frank depiction of Sally's plight adds a level of realism to the story and highlights the societal pressures and moral judgments that unmarried mothers faced during this time period.

Sally Forrest's performance as Sally Kelton is particularly noteworthy. She brings a raw emotional intensity to the role, capturing the character's fear, desperation, and resilience in equal measure. Keefe Brasselle also delivers a solid performance as Steve Ryan, capturing the character's youthful charm and irresponsibility.

Not Wanted is a powerful film that addresses important social issues that continue to be relevant today. It sheds light on the challenges that single mothers faced in the mid-20th century and the need for safe and legal abortion access. The film's unflinching approach to these topics makes it a landmark of early feminist cinema and a testament to Lupino's trailblazing role as a female director in Hollywood.

In conclusion, Not Wanted is a socially conscious drama that features strong performances and tackles important issues with sensitivity and honesty. It is a film that continues to resonate with audiences today and remains a landmark of feminist cinema.

Not Wanted is a 1949 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.

Not Wanted
Where to Watch Not Wanted
Not Wanted is available to watch free on Plex and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Not Wanted for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (902)