Unwanted pregnancy drama. Sally is a nice small-town girl who falls for an embittered vagrant piano player. She leaves her safe parental home to follow the unsuccessful musician who never plans to settle. On the way Sally meets a young disabled war veteran and befriends him when the pianist rejects her. Eventually she finds a job as well as solace in the arms of a good boy, but shortly realizes that in return for unrequited love the pianist left her expecting. Sally receives help from an institution where young mothers are prepared to give babies up for adoption. Lupino emphatically speaks about the psychological toll paid by a woman forced to give birth in order to subsequently give the child up. That cost outbalances the benefits for the society, she argues. While the open ending of the film shows Lupino’s affinity with the work of the British New Wave, it went against the grain of a standard ‘well-made’ Hollywood movie of the time. Not Wanted is the first picture directed by Ida Lupino. She replaced Elmer Clifton when he had fallen suddenly sick. Next, she saved the film against the censors. She negotiated with the Production Code Administration officials who demanded change of the title (originally: Bad Company) and pushed for adding years to the protagonist’s age (to avoid portrayal of teenage pregnancy). They also forced the director to avoid showing women of color in the institution. Plus, she could do nothing more but allude to sexual intercourse and labor.
Ida Lupino (1918–1995) was born into a British artistic family. She began her acting career when still a teenager, which gave her very early insight into the mechanisms that drive Hollywood. She got her big break in noir productions starring opposite Humphrey Bogart in They Drive by Night (1940) and High Sierra (1941). At 32, she gave up a lucrative studio contract and founded the independent label "The Filmakers" with two friends, which produced twelve feature films. Lupine directed or co-directed six of the films, she wrote the scripts for five, and starred in three.
1949 Niechciane / Not Wanted
1950 Pokonać lęk / Never Fear
1950 Zniewaga / Outrage
1951 Wygrać siebie / Hard, Fast and Beautiful!
1953 Autostopowicz / The Hitch-Hiker
1953 Bigamista / The Bigamist