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The Young Stranger

The Young Stranger

The Young Stranger is a 1957 low-budget drama film, the directorial debut of John Frankenheimer. Starring Academy Award winning actress Kim Hunter and James MacArthur, it was based on the teleplay Deal a Blow by Robert Dozier.

Plot

Teenage delinquent Hal Ditmar is the son of a wealthy film producer, Tom Ditmar. Hal lives with his mother and father yet does not work and contributes nothing to the household. Hal gets into an argument in a theater, which ends with Hal hitting the theater manager. Neither the police nor Hal's father believe his claim that he acted in self-defense; however, when Mr. Ditmar discusses the matter with Sgt. Shipley, the police consider the delinquent act more serious than does the father. Mr. Ditmar takes Hal home and berates him. The next day, Hal is teased at school and considered a bad influence by other parents. Because his father won't believe him, Hal questions his father's love for him; however, Hal's mother tells him that his father once told her Hal was the only thing he did love, implying that Mr. Ditmar did not love her. At dinner, Mr Ditmar tells Hal the police want to see Hal the next day, but does not tell him why. At bedtime, Mrs. Ditmar tells Mr. Ditmar she has considered separation for five years. Mr. Ditmar tells her he loves her, but she leaves the bedroom. The next day, the police offer to keep Hal's transgression out of juvenile court if he will confess. Hal refuses. The theater manager drops the charges because of Mr. Ditmar, and to give Hal a break. Asked to at least apologize, Hal arrogantly refuses. Mrs. Ditmar apologizes for Hal and promises no more trouble.