Long before Peter Pan and the lost boys of Neverland became a cultural touchstone, young people venturing out into the world on their own, for the first time, has been a subject of cinematic fascination.

A new exhibit at New York's Museum of Modern Art, "Unaccompanied Minors: Views of Youth in Cinema from the Collections," features prematurely emancipated youth as a subject in classic motion pictures from the U.S., Great Britain, France and beyond. The works in the exhibition track the trope of the unaccompanied minor in film from Shirley Temple in 1935's "Curly Top" to Kirsten Dunst in Sophia Coppola's indie drama "The Virgin Suicides."

Check out eight images from the exhibition in the slideshow below, and head to MOMA from now until August 14 to see the full collection.

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  • Alice in Wonderland

    <em>Alice in Wonderland.</em> 1948. Great Britain/France. Directed by Dallas Bowser, Vincent Perane, Lou Bunin. Pictured: Carol Marsh. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.

  • The 400 Blows

    <em>Les quatres cents coups (The 400 Blows).</em> 1959. France. Directed by Francois Truffaut. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.

  • Hollow City

    <em>Na cidade vazia (Hollow City).</em> 2004. Angola. Directed by Maria João Ganga. Image courtesy of the Global Film Initiative.

  • Thirteen

    <em>Thirteen.</em> 1997. USA. Directed by David D. Williams. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.

  • <em>The Virgin Suicides.</em> 1999. USA. Written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Image courtesy of PhotoFest.

  • Days of Heaven

    <em>Days of Heaven.</em> 1978. USA. Written and directed by Terrence Malick. Pictured: Richard Gere. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.

  • A Perfect World

    <em>A Perfect World.</em> 1993. USA. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Pictured: Kevin Costner and T.J. Lowther. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.

  • Curly Top

    <em>Curly Top</em>. 1935. USA. Directed by Irving Cummings. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.