Jody, a juvenile delinquent, escapes from reform school by stabbing a matron and attempting to burn down the building and then takes refuge in a house owned by an ambitious politician David... See full summary »
Jody, a juvenile delinquent, escapes from reform school by stabbing a matron and attempting to burn down the building and then takes refuge in a house owned by an ambitious politician David Patton. Despite the hellcat's ample charms, the would-be officeholder wants nothing to do with her and tries to drive her away. She responds by shortly returning to his house accompanied by a gang of delinquent pals and taking him hostage. A sudden act of violence causes more trouble, leading Jody and her gang to hijack David and force him to drive a getaway car to Mexico. Written by
Overwrought melodrama, but one with a prickly edge
Ann-Margret gets her first dramatic role, that of a delinquent sociopath named Jody who's all out for KICKS! The part stuck her with a 'bad girl' rep for a number of years, but the good news is A-M seems to relish this change of pace and gives an exceptionally strong performance. Unfortunately, the general handling of "Kitten With a Whip" is far too broad and quasi-colorful, and the film fails as a message picture, though its stale J-D clichés and overwrought dialogue ("You're so nothing painted blue!", "Where the hell is T-town?!") turns it into a dizzying dark comedy. John Forsythe plays a weakling politician who gets mixed up with the girl and her creepy post-teenage buddies, and the plot-developments become increasingly far-fetched. Still, the black-and-white cinematography is excellent, Ann-Margret is electric, and the pacing seldom flags. *** from ****
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