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Thursday, June 16

Directed by Elmer Clifton, Ida Lupino

(1949) Naïve Sally Forrest falls hard for couldn’t-care-less musician Leo Penn (Sean’s dad), then finds she’s...  Warner Bros. star Lupino, already co-writer and producer, took over when vet Clifton collapsed. Inspired by interviews with unwed mothers Lupino did as research for a role.  16mm. Approx. 91 mins. 


“A startling blend of compassion and invention. Lupino displays a documentary avidity for the details of work and play. She conveys Sally’s unworldly, impractical passion with tender, intimate closeups and an intense, effects-driven subjectivity—a hallucinatory sequence in a hospital is a masterpiece of low-budget expressionism. An incongruous yet majestic chase scene, highlighting a photogenic array of Los Angeles locations, projects the intimate melodrama onto the world stage.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Though overshadowed then and now by her work as an actor, the handful of features Lupino directed confirm her as one of the most gifted filmmakers of her generation. Not Wanted, her de facto debut, is a social-problem melodrama of uncommon tenderness and honesty, starring Sally Forrest as a woman who becomes, in the uncomfortably pointed expression, an “unwed mother.” While the plot follows the form of a moralistic exploitation picture, Lupino’s compassion pierces the stifling veil of postwar complacency, admitting a ray of light to a long, dark tunnel.”
– Eli Goldfarb, Brooklyn Magazine

Film Forum