A Very Young Lady

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Comedy, USA, 1941, 80 min.

Synopsis Tomboy Kitty Russell would rather ride horses and dream of owning a motorcycle than pay attention to her classes at the Spring Valley School for Girls, much to the despair of her teachers. The handsome school principal, Dr. Franklin Meredith, listens to the advice of teacher Alice Carter, who urges him to induce Kitty to attend one of the school's tea dances, to which the neighboring Carver cadets are invited. Kitty's father sends her a pretty party dress, and on the day of the dance, Meredith praises Kitty's newly found feminity and gives her a bouquet of flowers. Although Kitty spends the afternoon dancing with Carver cadet Tom Brighton, she thinks only of Meredith. She develops a crush on the prinicipal, and because her friends tell her that giving flowers is a sign of love, believes that Meredith returns her feelings. One night, Kitty sneaks out of her dormitory, and when Meredith finds her outside his house, she pretends she is sleepwalking. She falls off the wall on which she is walking, and Meredith catches her. Miss Steele, a priggish teacher, finds them and escorts Kitty home. Soon after, Kitty accepts Tom's pin, even though she confesses to her roommate Madge that she is actually in love with an older man. One afternoon, Miss Steele finds a love letter, obviously written by a student, in a classroom waste basket. The letter's author rhapsodizes about a meeting in the moonlight and being held in her beloved's arms, and the scandalized Miss Steele demands that Meredith investigate immediately. Through checking the handwriting, Alice determines that Kitty wrote the letter, but when Meredith confronts her about it, she refuses to discuss it. Meredith warns her that she will be brought up on charges in front of the teacher's council, and the girl, who wrote the fanciful letter about Meredith himself, runs from the room. Kitty runs away that night, and when she is discovered missing, Madge reveals that Kitty mentioned her love for an older man. Fearing that Kitty has eloped, Meredith searches for her and finds her at a train station with Sheriff Bill Stone, who had given the youngster a ride. After establishing that Stone is not Kitty's older lover and that the child had merely tried to run away, Meredith returns her to the school. Miss Steele and Oliver Brixton, another conservative teacher, insist on conducting an official investigation, during the course of which Kitty confides to Alice that Meredith is the object of her overwrought affections. Realizing that the girl's crush is harmless, Alice succeeds in calming down the other teachers and convincing them to forget the matter. Kitty, however, believes that Meredith still loves her and will ask her to marry him after graduation in June. Several months pass until the night of the graduation dance arrives. Kitty tells Tom that she has another admirer and returns his pin, but his pleas that he will "go to the dogs" without her convince her to stick by him. Kitty then informs the bewildered Meredith that he must give her up so that she can save Tom, and also that Alice has been in love with him for a long time. At the dance, Kitty and Tom are reconciled and Meredith finally begins romancing Alice.

Directed by Harold D. Schuster  

Starring Jane Withers, Nancy Kelly, John Sutton, Janet Beecher, Richard Clayton, more...

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