Age 13, A Melodramatic 1955 Educational Film About a Grieving Teen

Age 13 is a melodramatic 1955 educational “social warning” film from director Sid Davis that depicts a grieving teenager named Andrew as he struggles to cope following his mother’s death. As the story goes begins, Andrew’s radio coincidentally stops working the same time his mother dies which sets him in the wrong direction. Later, Andrew is sent to the school psychologist’s office for a Rorschach test after shooting off a gun in the schoolyard (!). In the end, he runs away from his bitter stepfather but eventually is taken in by family members and shows the ‘first signs of winning his inner struggle’ with the love of his adopters. As campy as the film can be, it does show a fun slice of 1950s life of the “working-class Inglewood, Hollywood and other parts of the Los Angeles basin” where it was filmed. Age 13 is in the public domain and available from the Prelinger Archives.