Cast & Crew
William M. Morgan
In a courtroom, Judge Raymond Clara denies an unidentified request of Jane and Carl Parkins, who are old friends of his, because they failed as parents. Jane is confused by Clara's condemnation, as she recalls that she gave her daughter everything: One evening, Jane's teenage daughter Paula asks her for a heart-to-heart talk, but Jane is too busy with her plans and instead writes a blank check and gives it to Paula. Unknown to Jane and Carl, Paula leads a double life as the leader of an all-girl gang. That night, Paula and her gang, which comprises fellow high school students Phyllis, Geraldine and Georgia, rob a gas station and knock out the attendant. Later, at the hospital, police lieutenant Holmes and reporter Barney Stetson check on the attendant's condition, and discuss the recent spate of robberies, which appear to have been committed by the same people. Barney then checks in with his editor, Carl Parkins, who instructs him to stay with the story. On another evening, the gang takes as hostages a couple in a car on "Lovers' Lane." After robbing them and forcing the woman, Shirley, to disrobe, they tie her up and rape her boyfriend. The next morning, Carl and Jane, still unaware of Paula's activities, discuss the birthday pajama party Paula has planned for herself. Although neither parent plans to attend the party, they believe Paula is old enough to be left unsupervised. Later that day, Paula surprises her father by visiting him at his office, where she claims to be campaigning as student body president, and inquires about the juvenile delinquent cases in his newspaper. Believing that Paula will be helping students, Carl agrees to supply her with information, and reveals that the police plan to post officers at all late-night gas stations. Forewarned, Paula calls off their next heist and takes the girls to see their fence, Sheila. After Paula haggles with Sheila over payment for their stolen property, Sheila hires them to vandalize their own high school, and implies that a foreign organization is ordering the sabotage. Later, at the Parkins' house, Paula and her friends pair off with pajama-clad boys. When Barney drops by unexpectedly to deliver a gift for Paula from her father, he is chagrined to see the underage girls drinking, smoking and sitting on the boys' laps. Paula's 21-year-old date Manny challenges Barney who, after learning Manny's age, strikes him. After Barney leaves, having warned Paula that she is keeping bad company, Paula breaks up the party so the girls can vandalize the school. However, a guard hears them breaking things inside a schoolroom, and calls the police. Geraldine and Phyllis die during the ensuing gunfight with police, and Paula kills a policeman. She and Georgia then flee to Sheila's apartment, where Paula ruthlessly shoots Sheila when she starts to call the police. The girls then steal Sheila's money and clothing and buy a used car, but when a policeman tries to pull them over, Paula speeds up and crashes through a plate-glass window. Georgia is killed but Paula, who is pregnant, survives. Paula is convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Stunned by the revelation of their daughter's true nature, Carl and Jane realize they have failed Paula, who dies while giving birth in a prison hospital. Jane and Carl now face the judge, hoping to mitigate their past errors by adopting Paula's daughter and raising her properly. However, having declared them to be incompetent parents, Clara determines that the baby's best hope is to become a ward of the state, so she may be adopted by more responsible parents.
William M. Morgan
I. Stanford Jolley
F. Chan Mcclure
O. A. Bayer
William M. Morgan
Walter Lee Morris
William C. Thompson
These aren't kids. These are morons!- Detective
The working title of this film was Teenage Killers. Although the opening credits indicate that Headliner Productions copyrighted the film in 1956, it is not included in the Copyright Catalog. The Los Angeles Examiner review credits Franz Eichorn as director, but no other source lists this name, and the viewed print listed William M. Morgan, whose given name was listed as "Wm." onscreen, as director. Some modern sources credit Headliner Productions executive Roy Reid as producer, writer and director of the film; however, his name does not appear in available contemporary sources. No story or screenplay credit appeared in the viewed print, but most modern sources attribute the screenplay to Edward D. Wood, Jr.
The film opens with an offscreen narrator speaking over a scene featuring the characters "Paula Parkins," "Phyllis," "Geraldine" and "Georgia. " In the scene, each girl pauses by a schoolroom blackboard on which the words "Good Citizenship," "Self Restraint," "Politeness" and "Loyalty" are written in chalk. The narrator states: "This is a story of violence, of violence born in the uncontrolled passions of adolescent youth, and nurtured by this generation of parents. Those who in their own smug little world of selfish interests, and confused ideas of parental supervision, refuse to believe today's glaring headlines. But it has happened. Only people and places have been given other names."
Modern sources add the following information about the film: The Violent Years was based on a story titled "Teenage Killers" by Roy Reid and was made for a cost of $38,000. Harry Keaton appeared in the film as a physician. Additional working titles cited in modern sources are Girl Gang Terrorists and Teenage Girl Gang. According to some modern sources, The Violent Years was re-released in 1966 under the title Female.