10 Best Teenage Drama Movies

Thursday, February 17 by Clara Havens

Some teen movies can be downright dumb, but the movies listed here can certainly qualify for the ten best teenage drama movies. Some of these films have become cinematic classics, iconic teen dramas that have stood the test of time. They have enough substance and convey "teenage angs"t well enough to hold up even after several decades. All of these films take the viewer into that turbulent time that is the teenage years.

  1. "West Side Story." This 1961 teenage drama movie never grows old. Forbidden love is the theme, New York's Lower East Side is the setting. What happens when a teen white boy falls in love with a Puerto Rican girl? This movie won ten Academy Awards including Best Picture and  Best Musical Score.
  2. "Splendor in the Grass." Splendid to watch the young Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty as they begin their careers in this well-made movie as frustrated teen lovers.  This 1961 teenage drama movie won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay, having been written by noted playwright William Inge. And it got Natalie Wood a nomination for Best Actress.
  3. "Rebel Without A Cause." 1955 teenage drama movie that has become a screen classic. Features James Dean and Natalie Wood. A delinquent teen boy is new in town and wreaks havoc on the lives of those he encounters.
  4. "To Sir, With Love." The setting is London's East End. An engineer, played by Sidney Poitier, takes a job in a tough public school thinking it will be only a temporary stint. Excellent acting in this 1967 teenage drama movie.
  5. "Blackboard Jungle." Another movie about a tough public school. Glenn Ford stars as a war veteran who thinks he can handle the kids in a violent inner-city school. He gets more than he bargained for. This 1955 teen drama film is still powerful and relevant.
  6. "A Summer Place." Sandre Dee and Troy Donahue are featured in this 1959 movie. This teenage drama film takes place along the Maine coast. Against a backdrop of adulterous grownups, the teens are dealing with their own feelings of lust and love. Great theme song, too.
  7. "Peyton Place." A small New England town holds dark secrets and scandals. The propriety on the town contrasts with the repressed sexuality that is the movie's theme. 1957 film starring Lana Turner and Lloyd Nolan.
  8. "Twilight." Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in this 2008 teenage drama movie. A teen girl relocates to a small town in Washington State. She falls for a handsome, witty and intelligent boy. There's only one problem: he's a vampire!
  9. "The Blue Lagoon." A very young Brooke Shields stars in this 1980 teen drama movie. A young teen girl is on a lifeboat as the ship she was on is in danger of going down. She becomes marooned on a tropical island, her only companion a handsome teen boy. Young love develops in this wild and natural setting.
  10. "Romeo and Juliet." The classic Shakespeare drama of teenage love. The 1996 production features Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star-crossed lovers in this teenage drama movie. There are always new productions of this classic love story of forbidden love, as it appeals to every new generation of teens.
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COMMENTS

  1. February 17, 2011 6:12 pm

    Anonymous

    “Blackboard Jungle” was unique in that it was the first major film to include a rock and roll song in its score: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and his Comets. The tune comes blasting out over the opening credits.

    I recently posted on my Rockaeology blog at http://tinyurl.com/28f48z8 the story of how the song was selected… from the record collection of a music-crazy fifth-grader who loved Haley’s sound.


  2. February 17, 2011 6:12 pm

    Anonymous

    “Blackboard Jungle” was unique in that it was the first major film to include a rock and roll song in its score: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and his Comets. The tune comes blasting out over the opening credits.

    I recently posted on my Rockaeology blog at http://tinyurl.com/28f48z8 the story of how the song was selected… from the record collection of a music-crazy fifth-grader who loved Haley’s sound.