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Wild for Kicks (1960)
"Beat Girl" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  20 October 1961 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 476 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 16 critic

Paul, a divorced architect, marries Nichole, a woman from Paris. His teen daughter Jenny has fallen in with the English beatnik scene and likes to hang out in cave-like clubs to listen to ... See full summary »

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Title: Wild for Kicks (1960)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Linden
Noëlle Adam ...
Nichole
...
Kenny King
Gillian Hills ...
Adam Faith ...
Dave
Shirley Anne Field ...
Dodo (as Shirley-Anne Field)
Peter McEnery ...
Tony
Claire Gordon ...
Honey
...
Plaid Shirt
Michael Kayne ...
Duffle Coat
Anthony Singleton ...
Green Pants
Robert Raglan ...
F.O. Official
Nade Beall ...
Official's Wife
Margot Bryant ...
Martha
...
Simon
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Storyline

Paul, a divorced architect, marries Nichole, a woman from Paris. His teen daughter Jenny has fallen in with the English beatnik scene and likes to hang out in cave-like clubs to listen to jazz and rudimentary rock'n'roll. Jenny takes an immediate dislike to her mother-in-law, who is not that much older than she, and goes out of her way to make life miserable for Nichole. When Jenny discovers that Nichole is a friend of one of the strippers from the dance hall across the street, she investigates and uses Nichole's sordid past to embarrass her father. Meanwhile Jenny attracts the lecherous eye of Kenny, the owner of the dance hall. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A tense dynamic drama of slap-happy beatniks and their insatiable thirst for rhythm, sex & sensation. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wild for Kicks  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gillian Hills receives an "introducing" credit See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Dave: Funny, only squares know where to go.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Beat Girl Song
(uncredited)
Music by John Barry
Lyrics By Trevor Peacock
Performed by Adam Faith
See more »

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User Reviews

Dated and slightly trashy but still very cool and enjoyable for what it is
25 May 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Architect Paul Linden has been travelling away in Europe for over three months and returns with new, much younger French wife Nicole in tow. Nicole's first challenge is Paul's sixteen year old daughter Jennifer, who is going through a typically teenage difficult period of being rebellious as she discovers her new sexuality and has places where her and her friends can hang out away from adults and squares. When Nicole starts trying to get to know her better, Jennifer reacts by digging for dirt on her stepmother.

This film got a rare screening on BBC4 recently so I watched it out of retro-curiosity. For my money Beat Girl turned out to be a surprising good film, partly because I was watching it on its own terms. What I mean by this is that I quickly accepted that this was not going to be a sharp examination of teenage alienation but rather a bit of an exploitative b-movie of rebellion, beatniks, stripping and jive music. In this area it works really well and is actually one of the better "troubled youth" b-movies that I've seen. Sadly this is not because it gets the adult characters right – because where it matters, it doesn't. The parents are clunky authority figures and Nicole is little more than a plot device.

No, where Beat Girl works is in creating an enjoyable sense of grimy rebellion and sass that is what these films is supposed to be all about. The locations and music are a large part of this because it does give the film an authentic feel to be in seedy strip-clubs and laidback coffee houses, while the music is roundly cool and of the period. One of the main things that the film is worth seeing for is a wonderful turn from Gillian Hills in her debut film role. She is sexy with genuine fire behind her eyes and a great attitude – I'm not really into bad girls but I fell in love right here! Only marginally sexier is dancer Pascaline who does a strip so hot that I had to check two things: the first being that this was made in 1960, the second being my watch, to confirm that, yes, BBC4 were screening it before the watershed! Anyway, back on Hills, she is great and drives the film with her harsh and convincing teenage girl. Alongside her Adam and Farrar are a bit clunky while her various peers seem quite clichéd and dated in a way that Hills' fire prevents. Lee has a real sleazy menace and there are appearances from Reed and Faith to increase the "oh look its" count. Overall Beat Girl is a dated and slightly trashy rebellious teen b-movie. In terms of message and plot it is not great but it is worth a look due to the cool points that the locations, direction, music and very hot Hills give it.


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