A tough kid comes to a new high school and begins muscling his way into the drug scene. As he moves his way up the ladder, a schoolteacher tries to reform him, his aunt tries to seduce him,... See full summary »
Collins College needs a new department head for their science department. Doctors Carter and Zorch consult Thinko, the campus computer, and come up with Dr. Mathilda West, who has degrees ... See full summary »
Mamie Van Doren,
Carol Hudson, a transitive call-girl, is brought in from Detroit to New York City by a crime-czar,Vince Malone, to help frame Whitey Brandon, an incorruptible vice-squad who is about to ... See full summary »
Edward L. Cahn
Mamie Van Doren,
An out of work Method actor is hired by a male model, an ecdysiast, and a car salesman who live together to save money. They want the actor to listen to their problems and go see a ... See full summary »
Chuck Wheeler gets out of the Pen and sets up an elaborate heist of Vegas casino money travelling by armored truck. He enlists the help of shady club owner Joe Darren and his ex-cellmate's ... See full summary »
Edward L. Cahn
Mamie Van Doren,
Lee Van Cleef
Jeff Carr, a special investigator, arrives in Tomahawk. His assignment is to discover who has been holding up the local stagecoach and is guilty for a series of killings that terrorize the ... See full summary »
A young man steals a car and ends up involved in a pedestrian fatality. The only witness is a girl he had just met. He threatens her life if she talks, so when she refuses to tell what she knows she is sent to reform school.
Sisters Jane and Penny are arrested for hitchhiking on their way to Los Angeles when they stop for a quick skinny-dip in a rural town. Local agricultural magnate Tropp is a sponsor for a ... See full summary »
A tough kid comes to a new high school and begins muscling his way into the drug scene. As he moves his way up the ladder, a schoolteacher tries to reform him, his aunt tries to seduce him, and the "weedheads" are eager to use his newly found enterprise, but he has his own agenda. After an altercation involving fast cars, hidden drugs, and police, he's accepted by the drug kingpin and is off into the big leagues. A typical morality play of the era, filled with a naive view of drugs, nihilistic beat poetry, and some incredible '50s slang. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
My old man was a bread stasher all his life. He never got fat. He wound up with a used car, a 17-inch screen and arthritis. Tomorrow is a drag, man, tomorrow is a king-sized bust. // They cried, "Put down pot. Don't think a lot." For what? Time how much and what to do with it. Sleep, man, and you might wake up diggin' the whole human race, givin' itself three days to get out. Tomorrow is a drag, pops, the future is a flake. // I had a canary who couldn't sing. I had a cat that let me share my ...
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Notes on some misused talent in campy teen-exploitation flick
There's not much to be said about High School Confidential, a teen exploitation movie from the end of the fabulous fifties, except that it's hard to think that it wasn't just as laughable upon release as it is today. But some comments on its cast members may be in order:
Russ Tamblyn was a child star, then primarily a dancer. This `dramatic' role fell to him between his memorable assignments in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and West Side Story. He's not at all bad here (in an badly written and implausible role), but was never able to establish himself as a serious actor, though he continued to work, showing up notably decades later in Twin Peaks.
John Drew Barrymore had just taken up his middle name to distance himself from his legendary father; in earlier roles (The Big Night, While the City Sleeps), he was billed as John Barrymore, Jr. Here he brings off an eerily precise impersonation of Elvis Presley, speaking both in hillbilly accent and in basso-profundo register. (Alas, he does not sing.) It's clear he inherited the family talent, which he was to squander, because he also inherited the predisposition to chemical experimentation.
Jan Sterling seemed destined for a bigger career than she ended up with. The high points of her filmography Billy's Wilder's The Big Carnival/Ace In The Hole being the most impressive of them were behind her, and she was taking secondary roles to the likes of latter-day Joan Crawford ( in Female on The Beach). Here, as a schoolteacher, she not only does a riff on Eve Arden's Our Miss Brooks character, she even looks like Arden.
The late fifties were the blazing noon of Mamie Van Doren's fling at playing third-string sexpot (after Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield). All Dagmars and platinum hair, she was rarely called upon to display what might have been a comic talent, visible here in fits and starts. Her role as a married nymphomaniac whose attempts at fulfilment absent her husband seemed doomed to disappointment is practically a clone of the part she played in The Beat Generation, a slightly more interesting vehicle that covers much of the same ground as High School Confidential.
High School Confidential remains notable from a view of drug trafficking and the process of addiction that had advanced not a whit since Reefer Madness in the thirties. And of course its view of teen-aged life in the second Eisenhower administration bears not the slightest resemblance to any reality then or now. That said, it's fun to watch.
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