Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Street Corner - Premarital Sex Gone Wrong

By Steve D. Stones

The title of this 1948 exploitation classic is a bit misleading. The title itself and the artwork on the DVD cover of a girl leaning against a street corner pole leads the viewer to believe that it is a film about female prostitution.  It's really more of a morality tale mixed with sex education clips.

Kroger Babb produced a film in 1945 - Mom and Dad, which showed a graphic depiction of child birth on the screen. Street Corner was made just a few years after Mom and Dad, and may have tried to top Babb's film by showing several child birth sequences, including a caesarean birth sequence that is not for the squeamish or those with a weak stomach.  This sequence was difficult for me to sit through. It makes the viewer sympathize with what a woman goes through to give birth, which is likely the point of the sequence.

Teenager Lois March and her boyfriend Bob Mason are two naive lovers who want to get married on prom night. Mason is leaving for college soon, and the two decide to put off marriage for a short while. Mason feels it is important to at least start college before diving into marriage.

While in a local diner, Lois hears on the radio that Bob has been killed in a car accident. Knowing that she is pregnant with Bob's child, she becomes ashamed and hopeless after his death. She decides to visit an abortion clinic to terminate the life of the child. She feels she cannot face her family and friends with the news that she is pregnant out of wedlock.

Street Corner ends with a very lurid sex education segment hosted by a medical doctor, played by Joseph Crehan. Here the viewer is subjected to a series of films showing natural child birth. The most graphic of the films included shows a C-section (caesarean) procedure that is difficult to sit through. It would likely only appeal to medical students, and not viewers of 1940s exploitation films. Other sequences show close up views of a vagina and penis with syphilis and gonorrhea.

The DVD of Street Corner put out by Video also includes a short 1943 film - Easy To Get. This is another sex education film, but aimed at servicemen in the military. This is a venereal disease prevention film that warns servicemen of the dangers of picking up women at clubs, bars, restaurants and dance halls. The film also includes graphic close up shots of the penis in various stages of gonorhea. The narrator also emphasizes the importance of using a condom.

Watch a clip from Street Corner here. Happy viewing!

No comments: