In this 1964 short film from Sid Davis, a teenage girl has been arrested. It turns out that her boyfriend was a bank robber. Even though she didn’t know that he was a criminal when she got together with him, the theme of this film appears to be that she should have known and, as a result of being foolish, she is now the worst person who ever lived.
In other words, this is a typical Sid Davis production. Sid Davis films were always the most judgmental of all the old educational films. Sid Davis specialized in using holier-than-thou narrators, who would often say things like, “And now, you’ve ruined your life.” In this film, the narrator is a judge who is fond of saying that juveniles are “delinquent in good sense.” As proof, he tells the story of two lovers who were robbed, a babysitter who was murdered, and another girl who was assaulted by a man who asked her out on a date. In each case, the judge seems angrier with the victims than with the actual criminals. As for the case of the unknowing girlfriend of the bank robber, the judge has no choice but to sentence the girl to 3 months of hard time at a juvenile detention center. It’s for her own good because she was delinquent in good sense.
Sid Davis’s film are still popular today, precisely because they are so bizarrely angry and judgmental. If Sid thought 1964 was a dark time for society, one can only imagine what he would think of 2022! Watch Name Unknown below and ask yourself, “In this crazy world of ours, is there room for forgiveness?”