Directed by Ida Lupino (USA, 1949, 91 min.). Digital.

In Ida Lupino’s directorial debut, the life of a young and naive “unwed mother” (Sally Forrest) spirals out of control after her musician beau (Leo Penn) ditches her for an out-of-town gig, despite the presence of another man (Keefe Brasselle) determined to win her heart.

In 1948, legendary screen actress Ida Lupino left Warner Bros. to co-found The Filmmakers, an independent production company conceived as an alternative to the dominant aesthetics of Hollywood. With the low-key, intimate Not Wanted, Lupino tackled the taboo topic of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, immediately venturing into terrain where big-budget mainstream fantasy-spinners feared to tread. 

In many ways, this extraordinary first directorial effort, while uncredited, already bears the stamp of Lupino’s unique vision: the remarkable empathy felt for the lead character (Sally Forrest as the dazed, traumatized young waitress thrust into the world of unwed motherhood), the hallucinatory moments (note the amazing subjective camerawork of the childbirth sequence), and the deft location shooting (as Forrest wanders through the bus stations and boarding houses of small-town America).

Co-presented with the Boston Women’s Film Festival.


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