Throwback Thursday (movie) | Diary of a High School Bride (1959) NR

Diary of a High School Bride is not what I expected.

 

I had to Google “1950s movies on Netflix” to find this little gem, and I’m glad I did!

Diary of a High School Bride tells the story of 17-year old high school senior, Judy (Anita Sands), who weds 24-year old law student Steve (Ron Foster). The film begins right after the two have eloped, and then chronicles their experiences when members of the community do not support the marriage of such a young girl.

The premise isn’t great, but this film is definitely worth watching. It’s only 72 minutes long, and once you are through the first 10 minutes, it picks up. I would classify Diary of a High School Bride as a drama but, near the middle, the story takes an unexpected turn, which causes a genre shift, making it almost a thriller.

Diary of a High School Bride is not what I expected. It’s true to the 50s style in that it is black and white, focuses on two central characters (one male and one female), and while watching in the 21st Century the acting seems overdramatic at times—but I still really enjoyed it. The film held my attention the entire way through; I actually wasn’t able to finish watching it in one sitting and found myself thinking about the ending and feeing anxious to see if my suspicions were correct when I was able to complete it.

I love the supporting characters as well—they make many decisions that alter the story dramatically.

I will note that while they are supposed to be 17 and 24, Judy and Steve appear closer to 30 and 45, respectively, so you will have to get past that for the film to really work, especially because Judy carries around a stuffed animal for a majority of the film to signify her youth.

I do not like the point at which the film begins, because I think seeing Judy and Steve’s relationship prior to their marriage is essential information that is left out.

Diary of a High School Bride is interestingly relevant material to watch today. It’s intriguing to see a young girl be ridiculed for getting married in an era where young marriage was more common, and then compare that to how people respond to young couples getting married today. It seems that in both eras there is a stigma against marrying young, but I like how Diary of a High School Bride approaches the reasons not to marry young. The arguments they make against marrying at 17 are probably ridiculous to anyone watching this today, so it’s a good demonstration of how far society has come. | Samantha LaBat

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