The Explosive Generation

Watch The Explosive Generation

"Never has youth gone on such a rampage... never has a motion picture gone so far in telling their raging story!"
  • TV-PG
  • 1961
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 6.2  (416)

The Explosive Generation is a 1961 drama film that explores the challenges and tensions faced by a group of high school students in the aftermath of their being disciplined for publishing an underground school newspaper featuring controversial topics like sex education, drugs, and teenage pregnancy. Directed by Buzz Kulik, the film features a talented cast including William Shatner, Patty McCormack, and Lee Kinsolving.

The story revolves around a group of teenagers, including Pete, a popular athlete; Lois, a shy and reserved girl; and Lucy, a rebel. They band together to start their own "underground" school newspaper, which becomes an instant hit with their peers. However, their publication quickly comes to the attention of the school authorities, who view it as a threat to their control and discipline. The students are subsequently punished, and the fallout from this incident becomes the focus of the film.

One of the central themes of the film is the conflict between the traditional values of authority and the rebellious spirit of youth culture. The school administration views the students as troublemakers who are disrupting the established order, while the teenagers see themselves as activists fighting for free speech and the right to express themselves.

William Shatner’s character, Mr. Gifford, is the school guidance counselor who tries to mediate between the students and the administration. He wants to help the kids but also tries to discourage them from being reckless and getting into more trouble. Similarly, Patty McCormack's teacher character represents a more liberal perspective, advocating for the students' right to self-expression and individuality.

Throughout the film, we see the characters struggle with issues such as peer pressure, social inequality, and the impact of drugs, alcohol, and sexual activity. We also witness the students' frustrations with a system that they believe is ignoring the realities of life in modern society.

The performances in The Explosive Generation are impressive. William Shatner’s portrayal of Mr. Gifford is nuanced and layered, as he tries to balance his responsibility to the students with his desire to keep them out of trouble. Similarly, Patty McCormack's character is both relatable and sympathetic, as she encourages the students to push boundaries while acknowledging the risks involved.

The soundtrack of The Explosive Generation is also notable, featuring popular songs of the era from artists like Johnny Cash and Frankie Avalon. The music adds to the overall atmosphere of the film, emphasizing the rebelliousness and energy of the teenage protagonists.

Overall, The Explosive Generation is an important film that addresses major issues facing teenagers in the 1960s, such as censorship, conformity, and rebellion. It captures the tension between youth culture and establishment values and invites the audience to consider the role of free speech and individuality in American society.

While the film focuses on a specific moment in history, its themes have enduring relevance and resonance. The performances are stirring, the music is infectious, and the message is thought-provoking, making The Explosive Generation well worth watching for anyone interested in the social and cultural issues of the era.

The Explosive Generation is a 1961 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2.

The Explosive Generation
Where to Watch The Explosive Generation
The Explosive Generation is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV and EPIX. Some platforms allow you to rent The Explosive Generation for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (416)