Never Fear (The Young Lovers). 1950. USA. Directed by Ida Lupino. Screenplay by Lupino, Collier Young. With Sally Forrest, Keefe Brasselle, Hugh O’Brien, Eve Miller. 81 min.
Bringing To Save and Project to a dramatic close, MoMA presents the world premiere theatrical run of Ida Lupino’s Never Fear (aka The Young Lovers) (1950), newly restored from the original camera and soundtrack negatives in its own archives. With the polio epidemic striking terror in the hearts of millions—in 1949, it caused more than 2,700 deaths in the US alone—Ida Lupino made this semi-autobiographical melodrama about a dancer-choreographer (Sally Forrest) who struggles to overcome the disease that has crippled her body and her confidence. The film’s unusually hard-eyed realism was born of Lupino’s own dark memories of polio as an aspiring teenage actress, as well as her use of documentary locations and nonprofessional actors—most tenderly in the famous wheelchair square dance filmed (by veteran John Ford cinematographer Archie Stout) with actual rehab patients at the Kabat-Kaiser Institute in Santa Monica.
New digital preservation by The Museum of Modern Art with funding provided by the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation