My Teenage Daughter

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My Teenage Daughter
"My Teenage Daughter" (1956).jpg
British quad poster by Brian Robb
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Written byFelicity Douglas
Produced byHerbert Wilcox
Starring Anna Neagle
Sylvia Syms
Norman Wooland
Cinematography Mutz Greenbaum
Edited byBasil Warren
Music by Stanley Black
Herbert Wilcox Productions
Distributed by British Lion (UK)
Release dates
  • 20 June 1956 (1956-06-20)
1957 (USA)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office£181,467 (UK) [1]

My Teenage Daughter, later Teenage Bad Girl, is a 1956 British drama film directed by Herbert Wilcox and starring Anna Neagle, Sylvia Syms and Norman Wooland. [2] The screenplay concerns a mother who tries to deal with her teenage daughter's descent into delinquency. It was intended as a British response to Rebel Without a Cause . It was the last commercially successful film made by Wilcox. [3]



Valerie Carr is a widowed magazine editor who lives in London and has two teenage daughters, Jan and Poppet. Jan falls for the wealthy Tony Ward Black, who takes her dancing and for drives in his Bentley. Valeria gets a job editing a magazine for teenagers.



Neagle and Wilcox commissioned playwright Felicity Douglas to write a script about the generation gap. [4] It was known during filming as I Have a Teenaged Daughter. [5]

Janette Scott and Shirley Eaton were announced as possible's to play the daughter of Anna Neagle. [6] Wilcox ended up casting Sylvia Syms after seeing her in a television play, The Romantic Young Lady. She recalled, "I was crashingly ignorant and very young, and Anna and Herbert cosseted me and spoiled me. They made my part bigger as I went along... Their generosity was incredible. They didn't play me much but it was more than I was paid for my subsequent films [under a long-term contract with Associated British]." [7]

Julia Lockwood, who plays Anna Neagle's youngest daughter, was the daughter of Margaret Lockwood. [8]


Variety called it "an unabashed sentimental drama, obviously conceived as unsophisticated entertainment... should prove a stout b.o. proposition where the name value of Anna Neagle has potent marquee appeal." [9]

Syms said when the film came out "I was, as they say, an overnight sensation" but she "had saddled myself with a seven year contract" with Associated British. [7]

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  1. Vincent Porter, 'The Robert Clark Account', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol 20 No 4, 2000 p509
  2. "BFI | Film & TV Database | MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER (1956)". Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  3. Harper & Porter p.158
  4. STEPHEN WATTS (21 August 1955). "Neagle-Wilcox on Youth—Profits-- Random Round-Up of New Ventures". New York Times. p. 101.
  5. "London". Variety. 13 July 1955. p. 62.
  6. "Teenage Topics". Nottingham Evening Post. 12 August 1955. p. 8.
  7. 1 2 McFarlane, Brian (1992). Sixty voices : celebrities recall the golden age of British cinema. BFI. p. 205.
  8. Tims, Hilton (1989). Once a wicked lady : a biography of Margaret Lockwood. p. 178-179.
  9. "My Teenage Daughter". Variety. 27 June 1956. p. 6.