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video series review by Gary Johnson

Sally Forrest and Keefe Brasselle in Not Wanted.
(©1997 Kino on Video. All rights reserved.)

Of the three movies in the "Ida Lupino--Queen of the B's" video series, Not Wanted comes as the biggest surprise. It resembles some of the roadhouse exploitation movies of the '30s that passed out racy subject matter under a thin veil of sermonizing. But Not Wanted rises above the exploitation genres by avoiding simple moralizing. It gives us a complex situation and leaves the complexities intact. Producers of recent made-for-TV subject-of-the-week movies could learn a few things about filmmaking by watching Not Wanted. The subject never overpowers the characters. Sally Forrest as the unmarried mother always remains the focus of the drama, as her situation is explored with sensitivity and compassion. As we witness her domineering mother giving her orders, we can sense the emptiness in our heroine's life. Her desire for attention forces her to chase a sneering musician who clearly has no interest in her other than sexual. He never stays in one place long, and after Sally expresses her love for him, he catches the next bus out of town. What really makes this movie work is the presence of Keefe Brasselle as a gas station manager. He meets and befriends Sally and offers her a job at his gas station. He wants to get to know her better, and his intentions are strictly honorable, but something within Sally desires the danger and belligerence of her first boyfriend, making Keefe seem a poor substitute. Brasselle's acting career in Hollywood was relatively short, peaking with The Eddie Cantor Story in 1953, but in Not Wanted, Ida Lupino uses his vulnerability to good effect. Not Wanted also features a surprising use of subjective camera during the child birth scene. The doctors and nurses loom over our heroine as ominous shapes that move in and out of focus. In addition, the movie features excellent use of tracking shots in the final scenes as Sally Forrest runs from Keefe Brasselle (and the future that he implies). An excellent and surprisingly poignant movie.

Ida Lupino Intro Page

Not Wanted

The Bigamist

The Hitch-Hiker


"Ida Lupino--Queen of the B's" is a new three-cassette video series from Kino on Video. These videos include Not Wanted (1949), The Bigamist (1953), and The Hitch-Hiker (1953). Suggested retail price: $24.95 each. For more information, we suggest you check out the Kino Web site:


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