Not Wanted

(Ida Lupino, USA, 1949)


Not Wanted emerged as a highlight of the fascinating – indeed revelatory – Ida Lupino retrospective at the Melbourne International Film Festival 1996.

American film critic Ronnie Scheib introduced it as a typical first feature by a director keen to impress – lively, witty and economical.

As one of Lupino's many portraits of passive, beleaguered young women (here the social problem is single motherhood), Not Wanted is also dreamlike, and at times chillingly hallucinatory.

And will I ever be able to forget the sight of Leo (father of Sean) Penn uttering droll, beat-poetry aphorisms as he slams out some mean boogie-woogie on the piano?

© Adrian Martin August 1996

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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