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  • This film tries to show you the importance of parents to a child and how if they are not around bad things can happen, but it fails in so many ways. The main reason it fails is that I could find very little to actually blame the parents on. The movie starts of with this guy accusing his parents and blaming them for the fact he had committed manslaughter then the movie flashes back and shows what led up to that point. Unfortunately, other than a couple of instances right at the beginning of the story for the most parts the parents aren't really responsible. The thing that gets this kid in trouble are the constant lies and the fact he is a bit stupid. I mean a lot of people have neglectful parents, but they don't somehow get involved with organized crime and not even realize it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    .....and why not? In the war years juvenile delinquency was being explored and explained in films like Val Lewton's "Youth Runs Wild" which drew attention to the steep rise in employment among parents in munition factories and the fact that kids and teens were being allowed to roam the streets at all hours unsupervised. Even in as late and hilarious a film as Ed Wood's "The Violent Years" (1956) parents were still held up to blame for everything that was wrong with the youth of the day.

    Alright, it's a PRC production so you know it's not going to be exactly high class but the cast has several good veteran actors - John Miljan, Vivienne Osborne and George Meeker, as well as Mary Beth Hughes who was building up a cult following.

    Young Jimmy Wilson is on trial for manslaughter but when he finally breaks his silence it is to accuse his parents (John Miljan, looking pretty elderly and definitely not like the actor who specialized in oily villains and lawyers, and Vivienne Osborne) of never really wanting kids, of neglect and pursuing their own lives and leaving 5 year old Jimmy to get himself up in the morning and fix his own breakfast!! Boo Hoo!!!

    After writing a prize essay on what his family means to him the school principal is eager to have his mother serve on the graduation committee but mom is off on a bender and doesn't say when she'll be back!! In the meantime "family friend" Vera is making a play for his harassed father who in turn takes every opportunity to belittle his mother. After a particularly vicious argument she gets drunk and makes a spectacle of herself at the graduation committee so Jimmy feels he can't return to school. You see Jimmy has been lying about his home life, praising his mother's care and compassion and his father's pride in him, so when he meets Kitty Reed (Hughes) he talks his home life up for hours, finishing with the preposterous statement that his father is thinking of setting him up in his own shoe store!! Kitty comes from the same neglected background but she has another ardent admirer in Blake (Meeker), owner of the nightclub and also determined to put Jimmy on the path to ruin. After putting him in his debt after an expensive meal that Jimmy can't pay for, he sets about using him for "deliveries" around town. Jimmy thinks it's all on the level but during one job a night watchman is killed and Jimmy realises he is in it up to his neck!!

    After making a fresh start as a counter boy in a road side diner the understanding and belief of his boss (plus visiting church on Sundays) has Jimmy returning to his home town to put things straight. Robert Lowell as Jimmy didn't make much of an impression, in fact this movie seems to be his only credited part. The most prestigious thing about this movie is the fact that Ray Evans and Jay Livingston composed the forgettable songs. In just a few years they would win Academy Awards for song compositions "Buttons and Bows" (from "The Paleface") and "Mona Lisa" (from "Captain Carey, U.S.A."). Definitely not as bad as people have commented and deserves more that the average of 2.
  • nonsuchdan22 January 2003
    This isn't nearly as bad as typical MST fodder. Sure, the plot is melodramatic and ludicrous, but no more so than a lot of "troubled youth" movies of the time. Sure, the musical numbers are uninspired, but you have to give them credit for trying. A lot of times the "MST Effect" makes people assume any movie used on the show is terrible, but it isn't so. This one isn't great by any means, but it's reasonably competently made and has its charms. So lighten up, see?
  • The fact that "I Accuse My Parents" is a bad film shouldn't at all be surprising. After all, it's made by one of the cheapest of the so-called 'Poverty Row' studios of the 1940s==where entire scripts NEVER were bought for more than a few hundred dollars! Also, with an exploitation title like this, it sure sounds like a recipe for dreck.

    The film begins with a trial. A young man is accused of manslaughter. In an insanely unrealistic moment, the judge asks the accused to come to the front of the room and talk about his life story. At first, it's all about how his childhood sucked because his parents were both self-involved jerks (hence the title), but so many of his actions seem to have little to do with his upbringing and more to do with that he's a total idiot! To earn some extra money, he goes to work as a courier for a mobster--and having absolutely no idea that he's doing anything illegal! Think about it--he gets paid huge amounts of money to do 'odd jobs' at all hours and he isn't suspicious! Anyway, but the end of his long story, the young man once again asserts that it's pretty much his parents' fault--at which point the judge summarily decides on his fate--with no deliberations, no additional testimony...nothing! And then, what follows, is the judge's message to the parents! Uggh...it's really pretty dumb. However, I must admit that despite being pure corn and bad script writing, it was, in an odd way, entertaining...yet still quite bad. For bad movie buffs, this sort of silly sermonizing and bad writing is exactly what they are looking for--and I can't recommend it enough for those who occasionally like a bad film. Dopey but easy to like.
  • A wonderful film - if seen through the eyes of Mystery Science Theater. It is devoid of logic. The best scene is where Joe, our hero, on the run, goes into a diner, broke, and sits at the counter with a gun under his jacket. The old man behind the counter goes through a contrived, rambling speech and then offers the boy a free meal. In the process, he comments that he saw the gun and wouldn't Joe like him to take it. Naturally, he gives him work and a place to stay. One of the many unbelievable scenes in this movie. A must see.
  • Of all the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episodes I have seen, and I haven't seen that many, this movie is probably the least terrible of them all. Sure it is slow, boring, outdated, and without any redeeming quality, but at least it has a coherent plot and resembles a professional film. It isn't as bad as some other MST3k stinkers like "Manos: The Hands of Fate," "Mitchell," "Eegah," or "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians." However, if it weren't for Joel and the bots, I don't think I would have made it through the entire movie; which is true for all the MST3k movies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's hard to imagine that stuff like this was being churned out in the very middle of WW II. IAMP portrays a fantasy land where high school kids wear sack suits and ties around the house, everyone is rich and has plenty of time and leisure for drinking and partying and night-clubbing, and a young shoe store salesman can get involved in organized crime. So the point must have been for the movie to be total escapist fare that took peoples' minds off their troubles. But it also had to be a Morality Play, to assure the viewer that he was watching Important, Meaningful Stuff. Kind of like Adam Sandler movies only with less punching and more nightclub scenes.

    And actually, this movie isn't so bad, for what it is. All the actors did their best with the platefuls of corn, cheese, and ham they were handed, and I would guess that everyone gave exactly the performance that the director (and probably the producer and the studio) wanted from them. It wasn't their fault that they had such Goofus-And-Gallant level material to work with. I felt especially bad for "Jimmy" (who was probably in his mid-20s), who had to play a high school graduate who was a painfully earnest,well-meaning kid...but also a total sap. I'm sure he just thought of his paycheck every time he had to sit down with George Lloyd and talk about a 'hamburger with a side of french-fried potatoes'.

    "Kitty" (Mary Beth Hughes) seemed familiar - hell, even her bangs-on-steroids hairstyle seemed familiar. Sure enough, IMDb lists the actress as a player in dozens of other films from that era, notably a bunch of westerns. She played the same kind of part here that she probably played in all those other movies - the bland, wholesome, attractive blonde next door. You can see how Jimmy could get hooked on a "glamourous" nightclub entertainer like the one she plays, at least within the parameters of the movie...she stood for everything men thought they wanted back then.

    So I can't make too much fun of the movie...it is what it is. But I also can't imagine any modern audience having any reason to sit through this WWII version of an ABC AfterSchool Special 60 years after its release...except to enjoy the MST riffing on the dramatic clich├ęs of the time and Jimmy's complete lack of awareness or self-determination.
  • Come on. Seriously. Who actually said that this movie would be a good idea? What idiot sat in a writing room and said "Hey! I know! A kid accuses his parents! For his lame crimes that he committed after gaining really weak mob ties!" And who said "Hey! I like it!" Yes, Jimmy is pitiful. And yes, he writes a dang fine essay (full of lies). But a angst-ridden teenager and a deceitful essay do not a good movie make. I cannot possibly imagine watching this movie without MST3K. It would be unbearable, especially the awkward singing numbers. I really enjoy the scene where Kitty and Jimmy meet for the first time when he is cleaning the window of the shoe store. That wonderful bit of classic cinematic romance goes on for about...10 minutes. What is going on there?? Why doesn't she just GO IN?? Come on, Kitty. Although she is not a bad actress (can't say as much for Jimmy), there is no chemistry at all between those two. It's like negative chemistry. My advice: stay far away from this movie if you don't see Joel and the bots in the corner. They make it a thousand times more enjoyable.
  • I accuse my parents is a film that definitely has not stood the test of time. Blaming one's parents for your criminal ways is a very out-of-date idea, and the whole premise is silly. There are people out there who have grown up in abusive homes and managed to make things work out fine for themselves.

    Don't watch this unless you're looking at the MST3K version. In the end credits they mention that this film was sent to our fighting forces in Europe. They probably used it as a torture device.
  • This PRC second feature is quite sincere, if a bit simplistic, in its treatment of the pitfalls faced by wealthy but ignored children.

    Though nice looking Robert Lowell seems a shade mature for High School, his likability, coupled with the absolute earnestness of his portrayal lends the film great conviction, even when his character is caught in the most improbable of melodramatic predicaments.

    Mary Beth Hughes is effective as a small town chanteuse, and delivers her numbers winningly.

    Production values are all quite solid and the picture manages to transmit its message entertainingly, without ever being overly didactic.

    Edgar Ulmer fans will note props and settings from his "Bluebeard" and "Strange Illusion," popping up here and there throughout the film.
  • There are movies that are so bad, they deserve to be sent up from Gizmonic Institute to the Satellite of Love. This movie is one of them.

    "I Accuse My Parents" is not only one of the oldest films to be shown on "Mystery Science Theater 3000" ("Werewolf" or "Future War" is one of the most recent), it's also a good movie for that show! This movie "tries" to be serious with all the sly detective stuff going on, but really, just like those "Popstars who can't act" movies, or better yet, like "Manos: The Hands of Fate," it's nothing but a laugh-fest from start to finish. Besides, without MST3K, would we really survive this flick?????

    "I Accuse My Parents" also lacks of any greatness most other movies truly achieve. So, in conclusion, only watch the MST3K version. 1 star, but 10 for MST3K!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    WARNING: SPOILERS!!!

    This movie is basically one long public service announcement.....from HELL!!

    So, young Jimmy gets charged with manslaughter and his reason for doing so is because of his parents' lack of attention?! And here's the kicker: he's aquitted!! Anyway, whenever he meets new people, he constantly lies about how his parents are "swell" and starts shoving his "award winning" essay down their throats. However, these aren't simple, everyday lies that satisfy us. No, these are ELABORATE lies.

    And because of his parents' "lousy" care, Jimmy somehow starts a life of crime, yet he is totally oblivious that it actually IS crime (now I REALLY hate this movie).

    Finally, after all his whining and crying, the Judge forgives Jimmy, and warns all parents to pay more attention to their kids. So, what's our moral here? "Any child whose parents are alcoholics will eventually become chronic liars and resort to a life of crime"?! Aw man, if this weren't in MST3K format, this movie would be 10x as painful.

    Hey, I have a better moral for this movie: "If the B.S. Fits, You Must Aquitt"!
  • Here we go with another hour long movie that has no story.It starts with a man on trial for murder and his defense is that he accuses his parents.Then it flashes black as he the tells the story.We immediately find out that he is in high school even though he's clearly over thirty.He's a sad rich boy and his parents don't pay attention to him.When his mom shows up to his school drunk, he drops out and gets a job selling shoes.Then he randomly meets a crime boss and works for him not knowing that he is a criminal.The story is very boring and almost nothing happens.About twenty percent of the movie is a woman singing.This was a movie that didn't need to be made.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is an issue that goes back generations. Perhaps as one of the Smothers Brothers said, Cain said to Abel before he struck that blow, "Mom always did like you best!" But here, the troubled youth (Robert Lowell) is an only child, and so what if his mother showed up drunk at a school function, the words of students and faculty echoing through his nightmares. The very next scene, he's praising them to nightclub singer Mary Beth Hughes who looks ten years at least older than him, stealing the Barbara Stanwyck look from "Double Indemnity", made the same year with better results.

    Other than the blame game at the beginning, this actually starts off pretty good even with the inconsistencies regarding Lowell's lady who lunches mama. It goes haywire and becomes ultra camp when Lowell takes up with Hughes and finds a rival in Hughes's boss, an obvious gangster. His erratic behavior becomes of concern to the negligent parents, and ultimately Hughes is forced to humiliate him which leads to a strange scene with a kindly greasy spoon owner who has to be the most aggressive of good Samaritans that I have ever seen and leads to a confrontation and accidental death and a finger wagging judge that ends the film on a truly laughable note. This becomes fun bad schlock within seconds which gives this film a second personality. I wouldn't want to see thus with wise cracking robots spoiling this for me. It is fine just the way it is.
  • sbibb111 July 2004
    This film is one of those "message" films from the 1940s. Produced by PRC, one of the cheapest of the B pifcute studios, this film premise is that parents had better take more of an interest in their children's lives, otherwise your child might find himself involved in uderworld sumggling rings and commit murder.

    The title of the picture is poor, for no matter how you view this film, the parents of the lead character have no more to do with his downfall then you or I.

    This was one of those cheapie B films made to fill the lower half of a double bill.
  • jcoons16 January 2004
    Early in their career, songwriters Jay Livingston & Ray Evans wrote the laughable "Are You Happy in Your Work?" (Do you never, ever shirk?). I suppose this makes the movie notable to trivia buffs, but the film and song are not really worth the effort. Thankfully Jay & Ray went on to write much better songs ("Buttons and Bows", "Silver Bells", "Que Sera, Sera", "Mona Lisa", etc.) for much better films.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILERS? Well, perhaps....

    This became a gem of Mystery Science Theater 3000 satire, both because the movie itself is so overly sappy and sentimental and because the geniuses of MST3K were so great at poking fun at Midwestern '50's mores. "Are You Happy in Your Work" chokes me up every time, with both laughter and tears, because all the work depicted in this movie is either totally dishonest or merely life-sucking and hateful. Except, that is, serving up hamburgers with a French-fried potatoes garnish in a sad, small-town diner. Now, that's the way to find yourself! Ah, MST3K! We hardly knew ye. The movie itself? Well, I can't imagine getting through a rendition of "Are You Happy" without Gypsy's lip-sync (complete with feathered boa) to look forward to.
  • logz1423 August 2000
    Yeah, okay, so it wasn't a great film. Or even a good film. But it was definitely a so-so/fair film. There wasn't any stupid bloopers like in Cave Dwellers. For its time, it was good. I just didn't think it was THAT bad. There isn't much more to say beyond that.
  • Wow! Wow! What an intense movie! I cried longer after watching this than after THE GODFATHER PART II. I'm POSITIVELY SURE Francis Ford Coppola looked to this wonderful, impact-movie for inspiration. What clear-thinking person wouldn't? I am often accused of becoming too emotional, but I guarantee you'll be biting your nails when Jimmy goes on some of those incredibly dangerous missions for his mob boss! Also, his parents are raving mad alcoholics that ignore his needs--I was shaking with grief the whole time. It's bad enough this kid lives in 1945...but he's got to have a neglectful mother and father on top of it? I Think we need even more movies with the protagonist pinning all personal faults on his parents!! This way, parents with troubling emotional problems, would amend their ways IMMEDIATELY after viewing this movie. Just think how many young people we could save from crime! Unlike most reviewers who saw this on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, (which I believe to be a tacky show, often making fun of some of the best tear-jerkers of our century), I watched this movie on my Beta machine where I taped it long ago on cable access.
  • Don't get me wrong; I'm not claiming this is THE GODFATHER. But neither does it sink to the levels of such pieces of tripe as GIANT SPIDER INVASION.

    The actors all do fairly good jobs, especially George Meeker as the deliciously evil mob boss Charles Blake, and short-order cook Al Frazier as portrayed by George Lloyd. The script doesn't hold up to super-close scrutiny, but on an average viewing there's nothing blatantly wrong, either. The few original songs are pretty good, and you may actually find yourself humming a couple of them.

    But the wonderful crew of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" do a magnificent job of ripping it to shreds nonetheless.

    If you ever happen onto the 'uncut' version of this and you have some free time, you may as well settle down and watch, it's a good way to take up some time. And if you find the MST3K version, you should most certainly watch this, it's very funny.
  • My fourteen-year-old son has never been in trouble. He's an honor student scoring on standardized tests in the 99th percentile and he's also a participant in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program. He's engaging and argumentative, fun and challenging. But he also wants his first job. How can I ignore the possibility he'll wind up, like the well-dressed, nicely spoken teen in "I Accuse My Parents" running felony errands for a local criminal mini-mind? I can't so last night I sat him down to see this 1944 sermon with songs about the seductive attractiveness of fast money in dubious enterprises.

    By 1944 the morality message semi-documentary genre was on its way out, replaced by more realistic films depicting myriad evils. "I Accuse My Parents" is a somewhat more professional, better acted sequel to such unforgettable epics as "Reefer Madness." Like its predecessors it has a straight from the screen admonitory message for parents, here from a judge.

    The plot is simple-nice only son has parents more interested in their separate social lives (dad gambles, mom imbibes) than in the kid's activities. He announces he's won an essay contest, dad gives him money. He mentions the next day is his birthday as dad and mom head out for hilarious partying, dad gives him money (my son liked THAT theme).

    Good Kid lies to all about his homelife, painting it as idyllic. Then he meets Nightclub Singer/Gang Boss's moll and falls head-over-heels in love. Of course she's a blond. They hug and kiss-sex hadn't been invented yet. She tries to steer him away from her lover, he gets involved in a murder and flees. He comes back, confronts evil crime boss, a struggle, a shot - exit mob boss, enter prosecutor.

    All ends well. Of course. And the end credits inform us that "I Accuse My Parents" will be shown in combat zones to America's fighting forces. I bet any G.I. would have preferred this film to having his time wasted by Bob Hope or Hedy Lamar.

    A period piece but one better acted than the usual scare-the-parents comedy of its day. And only $5.99 for the DVD.

    Maybe I'll show it again to my kid soon.

    5/10
  • **SPOILERS** Not defending himself or proclaiming his innocence at his trial for manslaughter young Jimmy Wilson, Robert Lowell, is asked by the judge, Edward Earl,if he has anything to say before he mets out justice. With tears in his eyes Jimmy opens his mouth for the first time as he turns to the spectators and reporters, including his morn & dad, as says "I accuse my parents" for whatever crimes that I've committed. Stunned with disbelief we get the real low down to what caused Jimmy to turn out the way that he did a an hour long flashback that takes up almost the entire film.

    Hollywoods attempt to explain juvenile crime back in the 1940's is no where as good as the films that came out of that town ten years later on the same subject like "Blackboard Jungle" and "Reble Without a Cause" in 1955 and the very underrated "Dino" in 1957. Still the movie is nowhere as bad as it's been made out to be over the years by it's many critics and detractors.

    Jimmy was a very good student in high school and later had a good job selling shoes at a local loafer store in the neighborhood but his home life was a total wreck. Both his parents Mr. & Mrs. Wilson, John Milljan & Vivienne Osborne, never had any time for Jimmy with his mom an alcoholic and his dad never at home and always at some gambling den losing his money or carousing around at night looking for "action". Jimmy's troubles started when he met at the shoe store young an pretty Kitty Reed, Mary Beth Hughes, who was buying a pair of shoes from him and fell in love with her.

    Kitty working at "The Paradise" nightclub as the top act also fell for the sweet and innocent Jimmy. Her boss nightclub owner and gangster Charles Blake, George Meeker, who was also in love with Kitty became very resentful of the young man and planned to use him, knowing that he'll do anything to be close to Kitty, as a pasty in his crime operations.

    Ferrying stolen cash for the Blake Mob Jimmy hit's it big when he's asked to be a driver in a heist, that Jimmy had no idea about, at a warehouse robbery that Blake is planing. The robbery goes bad with an night watchman getting shot and killed by the Blake Gang. Even worse Blake has Kitty break off her romance with Jimmy telling her she'll never sing, or breath, again if she doesn't. Heartbroken and a fugitive from the law Jimmy is out on the lamb alone hungry and broke when he comes upon a diner and, with a gun in his pocket, plans to rob it; it's here where fate steps in and Jimmy's life turns around for the better.

    Al, George Llyod, the short order cook and owner notices that Jimmy is a good boy who ended up with the wrong crowd as well as his intentions of robbing him. In an angelically kind and simple way Al talks Jimmy out of doing what he's got on his mind. Al not only shows Jimmy the kindness love and understanding that his parents failed to show him all these years.

    Letting Jimmy live and work with him, Jimmy has a place to stay at the back of the diner, he for the first time finds the parental guidance that he needed. Later Jimmy comes to the conclusion, together with Al, that he'll have to come back home to face the music for what he did. Going to Blake's office, after he called the police to tell them he'll be there to turn himself in, Jimmy and Blake get into a violent struggle and Blake gets shot with his own gun.

    With the flashback over the judge gives Jimmy a second chance and gives him two years probation, for killing Blake and his involvement in the warehouse robbery/murder. The movie ends with Jimmy together with his girlfriend Kitty and both his parents at last coming to their senses and finally realizing the trouble that they caused for there son by ignoring, and not understanding, his feelings and thus having him end up the way that he did. But thanks to Al and Kitty Jimmy has redeemed himself and paid for his crimes and is ready to go out and face the world a free man in both mind and body.
  • I'll be up front with you; I've never seen this movie in its original unadulterated form. I think if I had, I would found it a harmless (if slightly dull) melodramatic "message" film.

    The truth is, I've only seen this movie as an MST3000 episode, and as such, it is one the funniest and most entertaining movies I've ever seen! Young Robert Lowell (the poet?) as Jimmy is endearingly dim-witted, and Mary Beth Hughes is charmingly wooden as his love interest. (I like her singing, by the way). But the clincher here is George Lloyd as Al, the kindly gravel-voiced father figure and church-going diner owner who tries to set our hero straight (good luck!). When Al's scenes come up, I rewind and watch over and over and over...
  • A Warning To Parents: be sure to nurture your kids otherwise your outstanding high schooler may fall into the hands of criminals and busty blondes. This is one of those campy alerts of the 30's & 40's. You know, where a puff of weed would turn the smoker into a raving idiot, or too much flirting would turn a nice girl into a professional. At least those bizarro's were good for a laugh. Trouble is there's really too little silliness here to qualify as compelling camp. Instead, the hour runtime plays more like a bad B-movie. It's mainly just a lot of head scratching as the script moves from one stretch to the next. I mean having a nightclub toughie like Mary Beth Hughes falling for an emotional blank like highschooler Jimmy really snaps the rubber band. Too bad poor Lowell looks lost in what's really a difficult role. I hope he found more agreeable work after an understandably brief stage career. But what grabs me is that this is 1943, the height of WWII. Yet there's no mention of the war, nor more importantly is Jimmy even facing conscription after graduation, which would solve his home problems. I suspect wartime audiences balked at the glaring lack of topicality. Anyway, some folks may get a chuckle from the stretches. As for me, I just got a wasted hour and a weird desire for the unvarnished lunacy of a Reefer Madness (1936).
  • Before commenting, I read other IMDb user comments and found that a lot of people echoed my thoughts: This movie isn't that bad. Outside of the blatant morality tale the story attempts to foist on us with the title and repetition thereof at the beginning and ending bookends of the movie, it's notably lacking in cheese. Slightly awkward plot developments aside, it's a competently made film, with some skill shown with the staging, editing, acting, and overall production values. Like many, I saw the MST3K treatment, and it's perhaps the least deserving of all movies they've ever done. The title is stupid, and perhaps the best improvement the film's producers could've made was playing down the fact that he blamed his parents for his actions - it would've served as a more effective statement about negligent and apathetic parenting.
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