5.2/10
187
16 user 3 critic

High School Caesar (1960)

Matt Stevens is the big man at high school. He sweats the students for protection money, acquires copies of tests for a fee, and has rigged the votes so he can beat Kelly in the election ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Ashley ...
Matt Stevens
...
Steve Stevens ...
Crickett Davis
Lowell Brown ...
Kelly Roberts
Judy Nugent ...
Wanda Anderson
Daria Massey ...
Lita Owens
Ken Plumb
Robin League
Beverly Franklin
Charles Leffler
Don Hinkle
Bob Head
Curtis Workman
Judi Vogelsang
Anton von Stralen
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Storyline

Matt Stevens is the big man at high school. He sweats the students for protection money, acquires copies of tests for a fee, and has rigged the votes so he can beat Kelly in the election for student president. Aside from his anointed acolytes, Matt is almost universally despised. His parents are obscenely rich and spend their time travelling in Europe rather than giving him the parental guidance he needs. Things begin to get ugly when some of the teens resist his power and show Matt up at the drag race. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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He had more rackets than Al Capone! See more »

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Drama

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Release Date:

November 1960 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Daria Massey receives an "introducing" credit See more »

Connections

Featured in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

High School Caesar
Music and Lyrics by John Neel and Oscar Nichols
Sung by Reggie Perkins
Recorded on Raynote Records
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User Reviews

Disappointed, But There Are Some Good Things
27 September 2003 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

I watched this movie last night and came away from it a bit disappointed. I definitely do not expect too much from these "teenage gang films" from the late 50's and early 60's but usually they are fun to watch. I found HIGH SCHOOL CAESAR to be short on action which may have taken the fun away. There are some "fun" parts, like the drag/road race but most of the film features a lot of "wooden" dialogue delivered by mainly "wooden" actors which, again, can be fun but not here. Now having said that, I was really taken by and enjoyed the lead performance of John Ashley as Matt Stevens. Ashley, clearly the professional of the cast, delivers a multi-faceted performance which kind of intrigued me. Definitely one of the "cooler" and more "suave" punks you'll come across in this type of film but he is not the low-life, one dimensional, 24/7 always nasty kind of punks you see in these movies. He has another side to him. He has a heart and is a very emotional sort when he is not rigging school elections or shaking down fellow students for protection money. He clearly is troubled and affected by the fact that his parents are never home and spend their time travelling throughout Europe and it was a little strange seeing his fondness for the family maid who he clearly looks at as a surrogate mother while railing on the family butler who he clearly sees as a substitute for his always absent father.

Now, perhaps it's silly to over-analyze a low budget gang film from the era but I found that facet of Ashley's character facinating and his performance even more enjoyable to watch. I thought it was also pretty unique that they would show Ashley as this young, Don Corleone type who holds meetings with his "family" and has payday for his leather jacketed high school "soldiers". I guess it might sound like I enjoyed the film more then I realize but if not for those sequences I mentioned or Ashley's performance, the film would just be a total flop because outside of that, there isn't much. Fans of these types of films may want to check it out, if only to see Ashley's layered performance and perhaps it's a film I should be watching again myself because it does have a pretty good rock and roll score.


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