December 12, 1988 12:00 PM

Selected by Michael Barson

Back in the ’50s, teenagers had plenty of cinematic role models if they wanted to rebel, express their individuality and, especially, act real dumb. And to the extent that the child is the parent of the adult, this collection of 31 posters for such movies, gathered by a New York City film buff, may explain something about how the dads and moms of today got to be the way they are. The title film, for instance, a 1959 heavy breather starring Key Clayton and Barbara Wilson, was billed as “The white-hot story of what happens to boys and girls who come to Hollywood…seeking success and clawing their way to the top.” Island Women, a 1958 epic with Marie Windsor and Vince Edwards, was also “white-hot,” and it revealed “the whole ripped-bare story of the beach babes of the Caribbean.” Connie Stevens starred in The Party Crashers, which raised the question, “Who are the delinquents—kids or their ‘respectable’ parents?” Dragstrip Girl—”Car crazy! Speed crazy! Boy crazy!”—featured Fay Spain and Frank Gorshin, and some unusual casting put William Bendix and Hoagy Carmichael in Boys Prison, “The story of the teenage terror!” The posters are printed in postcard format and are detachable. It’s hard to imagine, though, who could bear to part with the timeless poster from Untamed Youth, “starring the girl built like a platinum powerhouse,” Mamie Van Doren. (Pantheon, paper, $8.95)

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