Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Yellow Teddy Bears - 1963

Out on DVD.
No, this is NOT a porn movie despite the picture on the cover- so I'm not going to give you the blurb from the back of the box.
In the wake of the kitchen sink dramas of the sixties came this little number and it was just a second feature.
The movie does a good job about telling the story of a group of schoolgirls who form a 'special' club for those who lose their virginity - the yellow teddy bears that they wear is the only outward sign that they belong to this club.
The leader of this group, Linda, becomes pregnant by aspiring pop singer and window cleaner with the nickname 'Kinky'. What follows is a tragic tale of a girl who, because of the climate of the time, is unable to talk to her parents and the only 'friend' she can confide in turns out to be a prostitute. The 'friend' arranges for Linda to have an abortion and the only way open for Linda to pay for it is to do her 'friend' a favour.
Into the mix is a teacher who discovers the reason for the yellow teddy bears and tries to help out with her own brand of sex education to the extent that she puts her own career on the line.
Maybe, not the best Sixties movie - but within it's 88 minutes running time it deals with a lot of issues - issues that still exist today.
The film was based on true events in which a group of grammer school girls advertised the loss of their viginity by pinning a Robertson's golliwog to their uniforms.
Again this was a movie aimed at a certain audience and was given an X certificate by The British Board of Censors. However, that audience did get to see this film at special screenings in certain areas (Orpington I do know about - as the screening was at the Commodore). I do know that the 5th formers of two schools went down with their teachers to see it.
Of course, there was outrage as parents thought that it was their job to give their children sex education - a debate that still seems to be going on.


David Cranmer said...

It's funny you started your review with NOT a porn movie as that was my first degenerate thought!

I never heard of this movie. It does sound interesting and, as you pointed out, it's still unfortunately topical.

Ray said...

It's a pity that the packaging and blurb for this movie does give the wrong impression. Fortunately for me the wife knew all about this film and was intrigued to see it again. At the end she sat there and said:"You would have thought that after 40 odd years things would have changed but, really, attitudes are just the same."