Gang Boy (film #5 on Our Secret Century, Vol. 5: Teenage Transgression CD-ROM (Voyager)). [Category: Public Service]

This 50s film is surprisingly sympathetic in its portrayal of a Chicano gang leader and the events leading up to the formation of the gang. The gang leader, Danny, narrates his story of him and his friends growing up in poverty and neglect, gradually turning into a gang in order to strike back at a harsh world. They have constant run-ins with a white gang and eventually things threaten to erupt in a major gang war. Police and social workers try to organize a truce, and Danny, after much soul-searching, agrees to go along, hoping to ultimately make things better for the younger children in the neighborhood. The film ends happily, with both sides agreeing to a truce, and ultimately forming clubs which do community service work. Like Age 13, you don't totally buy this film's happy ending, but it's not quite as pat as the other film's. The film is also an interesting historical record of west-coast 50s gang life.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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