I Accuse My Parents

I Accuse My Parents is a 1944 American exploitation film dealing with juvenile delinquency. Produced by PRC, the film was used to teach morals, specifically that parents should take an interest in their children's lives. It premiered on November 4, 1944 and was released generally on October 27, 1945.


Mild-mannered Jim Wilson (Robert Lowell) appears before a judge in court, apparently being tried for serious felonies. When asked to speak in his own defense, Jim pauses and reflects to say, "I accuse my parents" for not giving him the home life he should have had.

The film flashes back to Jim's high school during an assembly when he was given an award for an essay contest describing the ideal home he supposedly has. Eager to tell his parents, he goes home to a house full of empty alcohol bottles and parents distracted by arguing with each other. Jim is embarrassed when his mother (Vivienne Osbourne) shows up drunk to the graduation planning committee. Later, his father (John Miljan) gives him money instead of celebrating his birthday with him.

Jim gets a job selling shoes and meets Kitty Reed (Mary Beth Hughes). He delivers a pair of shoes to her house and then meets her later at a nightclub where she performs that night. Jim isn't aware that Kitty also sometimes dates Charles Blake (George Meeker), who is up to some shady dealings, and recruits Jim to run errands for him. Jim gets paid highly for his errands, which he never questions but works diligently at, so he is able to buy Kitty gifts.

Charles forces Kitty to break up with Jimmy after he realizes that their relationship is becoming serious, and his threatening behavior forces Kitty to behave as though their liaison wasn't serious and that she doesn't particularly care that Jim's feelings are hurt. Shortly afterward, Jim drives two of Charlie's assistants to a late-night errand, where a night watchman is shot. Jimmy witnesses the crime and, distraught, goes to his father, who ignores him. He confronts Blake himself and is threatened with bodily harm and forced to run do one more job for the mobster. On this errand, he is beaten up by a couple of goons as a lesson to watch what he says about Charlie's doings. Jim flees and ends up at an undisclosed town, with only a suitcase. Seeing a late-night diner, he decides to rob it, but is talked out of the robbery by Al the cook, an inexplicably kindly soul who invites Jimmy to live with him until he gets on his feet again. Al's kindness and attention (and, it is implied, his regular church attendance) begin to positively influence young Jimmy, who only needed a responsible authority figure.

As time passes, Jim's guilt about the night watchman's shooting pushes him to ask Al to go home with him to confess what he knows. Jimmy goes to Kitty's apartment where she admits she was forced to break up with him; soon after, Jim goes to confront Charlie Blake once more. The confrontation turns into a scuffle and the mobster pulls a gun, which goes off, accidentally killing Blake.

It becomes clear why Jim accuses his parents as he finishes his sad tale. The judge finds Jimmy innocent of Blake's death, but sentences him to probation (and, interestingly, remands him to the custody of his neglectful parents, who have presumably been inspired to mend their ways). The judge then turns to the camera and warns the film's audience to be attentive and protective of their own children, lest they suffer sad fates like that of young Jimmy.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode

I Accuse My Parents was featured in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, along with the short film The Truck Farmer.

DVD releases


External links

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