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EVE PLUMB STARS IN 'DAWN: PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE RUNAWAY'

year: 1976 rating: ***
“I wish you were a radio,” says DAWN to a meddling parole officer, “so I could turn you off.” And if you can survive a few bad lines like this you’ll do just fine, because PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE RUNAWAY is an entertaining made-for-TV movie where Eve Plumb… the troubled middle child Jan from THE BRADY BUNCH… makes a new life on the streets of Los Angeles.

Signed by Suzanne Crough
On the bus ride we get flashes of Dawn's recent past: Although her suburban mom’s a neglectful drunk, there’s no worthy explanation to why a sweet blond-haired fifteen-year-old would make the leap from a small town to the big city, where our hopeless heroine wanders the sleazy streets and (way too soon) meets the man of her dreams.

Eve Plumb and Suzanne Crough
Enter Leigh McCloskey as Alexander, a starving artist with dreams of escaping the street life, providing a safety net yet without enough money for both to survive. Either way, Dawn winds up a hooker under pimp Bo Hopkins, who loves being mean and seedy. And although a 1970’s TV-movie can’t do the subject matter justice, there’s no other decade worthy of such groovy melodrama: The marquee-laden streets of Hollywood Boulevard is a character in itself backed by a rocking RUNAWAYS track... pun obviously intended.

Leigh shakes Eve's Plumb but good
As the story progresses, Alexander’s male hustler day job is shown in glimpses (he'll get his own sequel two years later) as Dawn’s nightlife gets distracted by parole officer Georg Stanford Brown, teaming with Alexander to set things right, turning an edgy exploitation into an After School Special. But there’s still an edge throughout: Hopkins makes a worthy antagonist while Plumb’s acting picks up the worse her life gets.
Eve Plums in DAWN: PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE RUNAWAY
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