Here's the trailer for Robert Altman's first film, the independently produced 1955 teen hoodlum flick 'The Delinquents' (released in 1957). It was shot in Kansas City where Altman was then based, making industrial films and directing semi-amateur theatrical productions. The film apparently starred Tom 'Billy Jack' Laughlin (he's not credited in the trailer), who Altman later called 'an incredible pain in the ass'. This hoodlum/teen stuff seems to have loomed large in the decade following the war and the savvy youngish director wasn't shy about capitalizing on it. A larger chunk of the movie is posted below. It features crisp black and white photography (much better quality than the above trailer), loose Altman-esque performances, a bold opening pre-credit sequence and the only footage known of the legendary Kansas blues singer Julia Lee, singing 'A Porter's Love Song To A Chambermaid'--which I've only ever heard performed by Fats Waller...but that's another story, another post...and another decade.

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