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Marv needs money. His unemployed dad is so poor that he makes Marv give up half his last six bucks so they can both go on three-dollar dates; he's just lost his scholarship after getting caught writing a term paper for Betty, the prettiest (and only) girl in his class; and Betty herself has told him he doesn't stand a chance with her unless he can give her what she wants most: money, money, money. But Marv has mob ties and Marv knows where to find a million dollars cash... Written by
**SPOILERS** Not at all popular with the girls in high school young Marvin "Marve" Grant, Tom Pittman is at the end of every school bullies fist for showing them up with his vast knowledge and dedication to study that made him a straight A student.
One afternoon the class bully's girl Betty Alexander, Virginia Aldridge, makes a play for Marve. This has her brutish boyfriend Vince Rumbo,almost punch him out. Betty is failing in English and wan't Marve to do her term paper in order for her to pass which Marve does without thinking of what he's getting into. Later at class the English teacher Mr.Carter, Peter Leeds, realizes that the bird-brained Betty couldn't have wrote such an in-dept report of Shakesepare's works and fails her. Mr. Carter also withdraws a recommendation for Marve, who Mr.Carter knows wrote Betty's report, to get a scholarship for college.
Depressed over what happened Marve tries to get back into the good graces of Betty but the only way she would even talk to him is if he can give her jewelry and furs as well as loads of cash which the poor nerd doesn't have.
At home Marve's dad Mr. Grant, Malcolm Atterbury, a widower is down on his luck and in the dumps being a hopeless alcoholic and out of work which doesn't help Marve's already depressing situation a bit. Later in the film Mr. Grant's depression leads him to hang himself.
Working part-time as a shipping clerk Marve overhears his boss. Mr Mathews, Byron Foulger, talk about a big $1,000,000.00 dope deal he's get planned with one of his gangster friends. Marve realizes this is the chance for him to make it big with Betty by giving her all the things that she always dreamed of. As smart as Marve is in school he's a stupid jerk when it comes to girls not realizing that Betty has no interest in him at all and is only using the poor sap for her own selfish gains.
Getting together with a local hood, who doubles as a liquor store owner, Samuel Tallman, Louis Quinn, and his safe cracking brother-in-law Harry March, Stanly Adams, the three plan to rip off Mr. Matthews office safe before he can make the switch and take off with the million dollars. Mave makes a fatal mistake by boasting to Betty later of his plan and the two-timing gold digger gets in touch with the Neanderthal Vince Rumbo to rip off Marve and his fellow crooks after they get Mr. Mathews cash.
Sad ending to a sad story with Betty getting gunned down by an outraged Vince who finally realized what a snake she really is with him getting shot and killed in return in a shootout with the police and the Mathews gang. Marve who had a bright future ends up behind bars with nothing to look forward too but a six by eight foot cell and a social security check when he's finally released from prison in some 30 to 50 years.
It's sad that actor Tom Pittman died on Halloween 1958 in car smash-up on a California highway. Pittman's brief film career included his first movie in 1957 with director's John Frankenheimer's first motion picture "The Young Stranger" and his last cult director Samuell Fuller's very underrated and almost unknown post World War Two Germany classic "Verboten" in 1959 released, like High School Big Shot, the year after Pittman's death.
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