Template:Seealso Template:Infobox Film Child Bride, also known as Child Bride of the Ozarks, Child Brides (USA reissue title) and Dust to Dust (USA reissue title), is a 1938 film directed by Harry Revier. Set in a remote town in the Ozarks, it claims to be an attempt to draw attention to the lack of laws banning child marriage in many states. The film is very controversial both for its theme, and for showing twelve-year-old actress Shirley Mills nude during an infamous skinny dipping scene. Although the Hays Code prohibited onscreen nudity, the movie got around this by being produced and distributed independent of the studio system, and by claiming to be educational. Although it was banned in many areas, the movie's controversial nature gave it a certain infamy and it played on the so-called exploitation circuit for many years.

This was one of Revier's final films. He had previously made a series of low-budget, independent movies including The Lost City series and Lash of the Penitentes.

The film was produced by Kroger Babb. This was Babb's first film. He went on to produce other films, including the infamous exploitation film Mom and Dad.

According to an interview with Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame, this movie was screened for the show, but it was considered too awful by the crew.


  • Shirley Mills as Jennie Colton: This was Mills's first movie role. She went on to appear in many films over the next decade, mostly in supporting roles.
  • Bob Bollinger as Freddie Nulty: This was Bollinger's only film role. According to Mills's website, the two young actors became friends, and Bollinger later asked her to marry him, which she declined.
  • Angelo Rossitto as Angelo the dwarf: Rossitto has a long career in movies, strectching from the 1920s to the 1990s. He is perhaps best known for his role as Master in Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome.
  • Warner Richmond as Jake Bolby: Along with Mills and Rossitto, Richmond was one of the few actors involved in this film who had any sort of film career. He appeared in films between 1912 and 1946, including the Gene Autry serial The Phantom Empire.
  • Diana Durrell as Miss Carol
  • Dorothy Carrol as Flora Colton
  • George Humphreys as Ira Colton

Plot Edit

Miss Carol is an idealistic teacher in a remote one-room school house. A native of the Ozarks herself, she is determined to stop the practice of child marriage, in which older men wed teen or preteen girls. Her campaign raises the ire of some local men, led by Jake Bolby, who drag her into the woods one night with the intention of tarring and feathering her. Before they can do this however, Angelo the dwarf and Mr. Colton arrive with a shotgun to save the day.

Following this, Jake Bolby spots young Jennie Colton swimming naked. When her father dies, he decides to take advantage of the opportunity to blackmail her mother into letting him marry the girl, threatening that he will see her hung for murder otherwise. After a courtship of Jenny involving giving her a doll, the two are married. It later turns out that this marriage was unlawful, as child marriage had been banned several days prior, but this point quickly becomes moot. Before Bolby can consummate the union, he is gunned down by Angelo. Jennie leaves his house with Freddie, and the movie ends.

The skinny dipping scene Edit

The movie is perhaps best known for its lengthy skinny dipping scene. The New York Times described this scene as "completely gratuitous" and "obviously Child Bride's main selling point and the reason for its longevity on the exploitation circuit." [1]


The scene begins with Jennie and Freddie approaching a pond in a wooded area. Freddie tells Jennie that he will "beat (her) undressed," but Jennie tells him that they can no longer swim naked together. When Freddie asks why, Jennie replies "because we're not what we used to be."

Freddie asks how they are different, and Jennie turns to answer him, briefly revealing her breasts to the camera. The film then cuts to a lengthy long shot showing Jennie and Freddie, both topless and separated by a stand of trees, as they discuss how these changes will affect their relationship. Freddie asks if he can still kiss Jennie; she replies that he can but only when she is wearing her clothes.

Jennie then removes her dress entirely, runs naked through the woods and dives into the pond. The next two minutes of the movie consist largely of shots of Jennie swimming nude and frolicking with her dog. Jake Bolby appears on a ridge above the pond, and observes the naked girl. An old woman sees what Bolby is doing, and says to him "purdy, ain't she?" Freddie hears this and alerts Jennie to the fact that someone is watching her, and she swims for cover.

Finally she asks Freddie to bring her clothes to her, without looking at her. He uses a long stick to give her the dress, she pulls it on, and climbs out of the pond.

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