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A police captain (Aldo Ray) is caught between businesses operating on the Los Angeles Sunset Strip who don't like the punks hanging out, and his belief in allowing the kids their rights. But when his daughter (Mimsy Farmer) gets involved with an unruly bunch, his attitude starts to change. Written by
Like the tag-line says: "The Most Shocking Film of Our Generation!" Well, that may be an exaggeration, but the film is still an entertaining relic from the 60s, and a classic from good old AIP.Producer Sam Katzman, known as the ''King Of The Quickies'' was responsible for this then-topical exploitation epic. Katzman's films (dating as far back as the 1930's) may have been on the ''frugal'' side, production wise, but his 60's output (''Hot Rods To Hell'' ''The Love -Ins'' and ''The Young Runaways''), all dealing with rebellious youth, were nicely produced and well photographed, thanks to his production team, some of whom worked for MGM in the old days, as well as iconic TV shows like ''The Twilight Zone''. The story was written to exploit the real life riots on the Sunset Strip back in 1966., and this film reached theaters within weeks of those events. It was combined with an also true incident involving the daughter of an LA Policeman who was raped (though this had no real-life connection to the Riots on the Strip). Aldo Ray is good as the police lieutenant charged with keeping the peace between the "establishment" and the "longhairs". Mimsy Farmer is his lovely, lost daughter, burdened with an alcoholic mother, Hortense Petra.( Mrs. Sam Katzman, who had small parts in most of his films) and bitterness for the father she hasn't seen in years. She becomes involved with a small group of kids who include beautiful but amoral Laurie Mock, teenyboppers Tim Rooney and future ''Rocky'producer, Gene Kirkwood.Worst of all is would-be rapist Schuyler Hayden. Music, supplied by such groups as The Standells, The Chocolate Watchband and The Enemies, is good, as is the background score by Fred Karger (two-time husband of Jane Wyman). Yes, the story is on the weak side, but the acting is fine, especially by future cult star Farmer, and Mock. The production is also praiseworthy, given the low budget. Look for Anna Mizrahi (soon to be the wife of acting guru Lee Strasberg, as Helen Tweedy, the sympathetic wife of Ray's partner, Michael Evans) and ball players Jim Lefebvre and Al Ferrara as cops. The film has achieved well deserved cult status because of the bands who supply the music. But, also of more than passing interest, is Mimsy's very sexy, choreographed ''freakout'', which is filmed (by MGM'S Paul Vogel) in beautiful psychedelic colors, and excellently scored by Karger. Indeed, Farmer's popularity in Europe is a direct result of this film. Low-Budget or not, it's extremely well photographed and edited, which is why it holds up as well as it does today. MGM is finally releasing the movie on a limited, ''On Demand'' basis, and if the print used for the DVD is as vibrant as the one shown on various pay-TV stations, it should be great!. It will be WIDESCREEN as well. I, for one, can't wait. Postscript-6-25-2011: I just received the DVD from Screen Archives Entertainment today. I'm happy to report that it exceeds my expectations. Although there have been bootleg copies circulating for some time now, (no doubt copied from pay-TV broadcasts) and they don't look at all bad, this official release beats them all. Though the DVD itself states that the best available elements were used for the transfer, (another way of saying that no restoration was done), the film is presented here for the first time in Anamorphic Widescreen, and it looks terrific. The color is vivid, print damage is miniscule, and the picture is sharp. The 2 channel sound is equally impressive. Sadly, no trailer was included. Incidentally, the TV version of this film ran 7 minutes longer, and it's a shame that one wasn't used. Still, for fans of the film, this is a MUST HAVE.
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