Teenage Doll (1957)

Reasonably fun, trashy melodrama from the redoubtable team of screenwriter Charles B. Griffith and producer / director Roger Corman. June Kenney, receiving an official “introducing” credit, is appealing as Barbara Bonney, an upper class kind of gal who believes that she’s committed murder. A girl gang called The Black Widows spends the night relentlessly tracking her down, while she tries to make it to what she perceives as safety.

This amusing Corman quickie purports to be touching upon the “important” real life topic of juvenile delinquency, but in reality it’s not really something to be taken all that seriously, despite that opening text. It *is* entertaining, and Corman keeps the pace reasonably taut so that the story clocks in at just around 68 minutes. It’s got solid atmosphere, some humour, and a respectable rumble during the finale.

The pretty Ms. Kenney makes a noble effort at acting her heart out, particularly when she’s required to recite her story in front of a crowd. John Brinkley makes the most of his role as confident, swaggering male gang leader Eddie Rand. There are solid actors in the supporting cast, consisting of Corman regulars like Barboura Morris, Richard Devon, Richard H. Cutting, Ed Nelson, Bruno VeSota, and Paul Bryar. But this little movie truly belongs to a memorable Fay Spain, as Black Widows leader “Hel”. She sinks her teeth into her role and dialogue, and is the most entertaining person to watch here.