An unruly teenage gang, led by Mark Damon, gets their kicks by crashing square teen parties around town. At an innocent teen gathering, Damon charms rich spoiled brat Connie Stevens into ...
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An unruly teenage gang, led by Mark Damon, gets their kicks by crashing square teen parties around town. At an innocent teen gathering, Damon charms rich spoiled brat Connie Stevens into accompanying him to a motel party and she drags along her decent young date (ex-child star Bobby Driscoll). While there, Damon discovers his alcoholic mother (Doris Dowling), who falls down a flight of stairs while struggling to get away from her son. Along the way, we get to know the kids' parents who provide us with an insight as to their children's troubled lives. Both Farmer and Driscoll's last movie before moving to television work. Written by
Climax of movie involves various characters invited to or crashing party at the much-mentioned Lodge Motel - but when characters finally arrive, sign outside hostelry reads Pacific Hill (or Hills) Hotel. See more »
Nicely produced, smoothly directed production from Paramount Studios, and a cut above the usual teen movies of the day (1958). Twig's (Damon) a hell-raising pack leader, getting kicks from crashing parties with his buddies. Good girl Babs (Stevens) is attracted to him despite her strait-laced rather meek boyfriend, Josh (Driscoll). Whether she will stay with the conventional Josh or risk a less conventional tie-up with the fun-loving Twig carries much of the plot. At the same time, there are subplots involving the parents of the three youngsters, where we supposedly get insight into the kids' respective behaviors. Naturally, by 50's standards, Twig has the most dysfunctional home life, while good boy Josh has the most stable, with Babs' parents somewhere in between.
It's an interesting cast, as other reviewers helpfully point out, but shouldn't overlook the exotic Doris Dowling (Twig's slutty mother). She of the wicked eyes had a promising career in noirs before moving to Italy (1947) to appear in several neo-realist classics before moving back. For sure, once you see her, you don't forget. Here she's perfectly cast with a decidedly unconventional look. Also, be sure to catch director Girard's imaginative camera work that spins with the wild dancing of the first party crashing. Such unconventional technique was unusual for the time, and rivets us to the mounting frenzy that we know has to end badly.
All in all, the movie's well-done, but very much a product of its time. Then too, if possible, catch this film along with its Damon-Stevens companion Young and Dangerous (1957). Between them, you get a good glimpse of 50's social norms, before the eruption of the 60's counter-culture.
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