Imagine a great movie about adolescence like Rebel Without a Cause or The Breakfast Club with a written commentary rather than an audio one. For years I have used movies about teens to learn and grow from. As a movie fan, and as I got more and more entrenched in the world of teenagers, I found myself looking at teen movies in a couple different ways.With each new teen film, I would just turn off my brain and enjoy the movie. But then I found myself watching the same movie again with my ‘adolescent filters’ on and a legal pad & pen for keeping notes. I saw countless useful pieces in almost every movie, from hedonistic party-driven Dazed and Confused, Porky’s and Fast Times at Ridgemont High to true-life tearjerkers like Stand and Deliver, Lean On Me and Freedom Writers. Classics like West Side Story and American Graffiti or musicals like Footloose, Grease, and Bye Bye Birdie all gave me great material to use in helping parents and other adults involved with teens a venue to learn from. Bits and pieces of these movies found their way into my first book, From Boys to Men: Spiritual Rites of Passage in an Indulgent Age. There were always parts in these movies I liked, and even aspects I could learn from scenes or plots I didn’t resonate with. As I started collecting teen movies for personal use, and occasionally watching movies from other eras, I kept realizing how much useful information was available in these movies and found myself referring to them when talking about teens, and using movie anecdotes, quotes or themes to educate people I was working with. The idea for tracking the adolescent undercurrents through the past 100 years or so originally came to me from a teen, which seems appropriate. More than 26 years of working with adolescents has taught me a great deal, much of which I hope to share in this book. My nephew created a PowerPoint slide show in lieu of a boring book report on Catcher in the Rye. He began the report with a quick look at what was happening in 1951 when Catcher in the Rye was published and quickly became one of the most banned books in American history. In his first few slides, he pointed out that “It’s 1951 and the US is celebrating….the war is over….I Love Lucy started its first season….rock & roll was about to top the charts” Next, my nephew explained that “The US was happy…not realizing problems that were right under their nose. That’s why J.D. Salinger decided to publish a wakeup call.” While writing my first book I started thinking about movies that might have come out around the same time as Catcher or that also showed a different side of the teen story. While most 50’s teen movies were wholesome and positive, I recalled a few that fit the “undercurrents” profile. A couple of classics and a couple of not-so-famous movies came to mind. In 1953 we first saw Marlon Brando as The Wild One, a reenactment of an actual motorcycle gang that had taken over a small southern California town. The wholesome town residents are completely lost in how to deal with a new form of trouble: delinquent and violent young people. There’s a classic quote from the movie, at least for me that explains the undercurrents of The Wild One and growing adolescent unrest in modern America. While dancing in a bar with a local girl, she asks (Brando), “Hey Johnnie, whatcha rebelling against?” Unfazed, Brando looks back at her and replies, “Whaddaya got?” Talk about a rebel without a cause or clue; he was simply rebelling to rebel, frustrated and disenfranchised at the adult world he was forced to deal with during the week. Readers of my book and participants in my workshops really seemed to enjoy the section I was evolving on the undercurrents of growing adolescent discontent. I was beginning to use the movies mentioned above to help give people a frame of reference for what appeared to be going on in society at one level versus what seemed to be manifesting at other levels elsewhere. On-demand movies made this possible.