The Fifties teenager is one of the most recognizable images from that decade. From James Dean, tormented in his screaming red jacket in Rebel Without a Cause, to John Travolta, embodying a Seventies’ black-leather fantasy of the Fifties teen in Grease, the images tell us what we all know: that the 1950s gave birth to teen culture. The sheer volume of teenagers seemed to demand that they have a culture of their own. Between 1946 and 1960 the number of teenagers in the United States increased from 5.6 million to 11.8 million (Clark 69). Yet, the increase of teenagers in America did not give rise to optimism about the future, but, rather, produced fear in Americans writ large as the increased numbers carried the threat of violence.
This is how an essay (for Images) by Cyndy Hendershot starts. It focuses on the teens you get to see in horror movies from the fifties (what I tend to call “50s sci-fi”). After an introduction (page 1) the author focuses on four movies: The Giant Gila Monster, The Blob, I Was A Teenage Werewolf and Monster on the Campus.
Well worth reading.
Which you can do here.