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"There Goes My Baby" (title of a 1965 song) is one of the many movies that deals with the end of an era in this case: the American innocence established between the end of WWII and the murder of President Kennedy. The movie shows us the last day and evening of the class of '65 where the boys and girls are together before they take off to the real world i.c. college, tour of duty in Vietnam, discovering the real America by car, becoming a music-star or a member of the flower-power movement in San Francisco... Each of these students have their hopes and dreams. Each character represents a different aspect of the American society. At the end of the movie not many dreams have come true. The difficulty of this kind of movie is that there are several students that are being followed so each story is very thin spread during the course of the movie. There is no real depth of caracter or background. The movie never explains why these students act the way they act or what their motive is to do something. Nevertheless the performance and drive of each actor is superb especially Dermot Mulroney, Rick Schroder and pre-E.R. Noah Wyle. They are all very convincing in their role and they glue very well together. A great asset of this film is the use of the music from 1965. Dialogue is not needed because the songs of that era say it with more passion and determination than any scripted dialogue could ever do. This movie is a-must-see for everyone who wants to know how it was in 1965 when America lost her innocence. After seeing this movie it seems that the golden sixties were never that golden and the youth had as much trouble as they have today! Highly recommended.
So,much like Steve-O who just posted his review today,I just last night
(3/31)@ 11pm watched this film. Unlike Steve,I like it quite a bit
Although I will agree that,yes,we've gone down this memory lane before at the movies and truthfully I'd never even heard of it. It was pretty entertaining but this particular plot was done on a stronger level in the TV movie "The 60's" a few years back and as mentioned "American Graffitti". Still,I think it could be a good introductory film for young people to watch as a way to teach them about this era.
A great plot idea to set it around the closing of the favorite high-school hang out,complete with one of those fun but at times annoying DJ's (The Beard),who used to talk in rhyme! Places like "Pops" stand as a symbol of the innocence of the previous era that was soon to be lost.
Now,Rick Schroder is a good actor,not great like say Johnny Depp or (I can finally say without laughing)Leonardo DeCaprio. He's almost first billed but doesn't do as much as I though he would. His emotional breakdown at "Pops" was done quite well along with the scene with his character's father.
Pirate is he school's delinquent who is always at odds with Principal Maran (they call him moron of course). The actor who plays the principal is okay but should have played it a bit stronger. Pirate,for being a delinquent,sure is a quiet one...at least until later.
The early days of Vietnam protest and the Watts riots are recreated very well also but are not as graphic,as done in other films. I found it a bit odd to put "Turn-Turn-Turn" by The Byrds over the riot scenes. Could they not find an appropriate song by an African-American act?? I could say the song might be lyrically relevant but musically,it's too light for such scenes.
In the middle of this a young man named Morrisey burns his draft card and is,roughed up by the police and then later hangs himself. The scene that comes later of Pirate and crew (no joke intended)burning the statue in front of their school,is truly the strongest scene in the whole film. I would say the Watts riots as first,but again,The Byrds song kind of waters that scene down.
The young ladies in this movie are good at portraying the females of the time,who are the last generation to grow up with "finish school,find a man,get married & have kids". The actresses do an admirable job and the emotions from them really felt genuine to me.
The music is great of course because,hey,these are classics. Although some have been used countless times before in movies.
Overall it's not a bad little film but I do once again agree,it could have been so much more for a movie depicting the beginnings,of the most turbulent of times,in our country's history. By the way,this movie was filmed & then shelved in 1990.
8 stars because...again..a stronger sense of the mood of times,as they were,would have made it a 10 star. (END)
This movie rocks! I hear that most of the cast look back on this movie and say that they wish they hadn't made it, but I can't see why they would say that. This is a fine example of a movie about the "innocent" years of the sixties, full of emotion, and spirit. It's nearly impossible to find a copy of this, but if you can, it's definatley worth a rent. A remade American Graffiti.
It certainly would help if you, (as I was) a teenager during the mid to late 60's to enjoy this movie. The writer and director skillfully encapsulated all the issues of the time into a two hour movie that chronicled one graduation day/eve in 1965. All the emotions, political troubles, moral issues, family belief structures and youthful life styles and were portrayed through the friendship of these few individuals. This movie was one of the most nostalgic films I have ever watched.
It's the summer of 1965 in Los Angeles. And a group of photogenic high
school students contemplate their lives and their futures in this
nostalgia flick aimed mostly at baby boomers. Teenage angst, emotional
turmoil, and general confusion comprise the fuel for a plot that
centers largely around a colorful burger joint called "Pops Paradise".
Hollywood has been down this cinematic road before, many times. The screenplay here is conventional. Characters tend toward stereotypes. The kids are idealistic; the school principal is unrealistically belligerent and unsympathetic; and Pops has the requisite cool jiving disc jockey. The script's dialogue is fairly poor in that there is very little subtext.
Even so, the film has terrific 1960's production design. One of the main characters drives a black 1957 Chevy, the vehicle icon of that era. And, many scenes occur at Pops wherein a parade of old cars slowly encircles the front entrance. Clothes and hairstyles are typical for that era. Overall quality of acting for the ensemble cast is acceptable. Kelli Williams, in particular, gives a nice performance as a budding flower child.
Arguably, the best element of the film is the rock'n roll music. "One Fine Day", "California Dreaming", "Mama Said", "Barbara Ann", "Loco-Motion", and The Diamonds' "Little Darlin" are among the great songs, together with the title song by The Drifters.
Although the film's screenplay is sub-par, elaborate production design and some great oldies but goodies give "There Goes My Baby" great 60's atmosphere and the realistic feel of a turbulent era that now seems far off and illusory, in retrospect.
Although it might not seem, it's a picture of what happens, at least once, in our lives... As the countdown begins for the demolition of Pop's Paradise, great friends get closer and closer to separation, as they will start heading for their own lives, following their "objectives", their dreams, after finishing high school. It all happens in the mid 60s, among social and political tension, which characterized the problems in the U.S.A. during those times. Full of spirit, it will show you courage, friend and leadership, and make you feel somehow nostalgic. The soundtrack couldn't be better, as it gathers some of the greatest hits of that decade, like The Drifters or Beach Boys.
I look at this movie, which tries to collect all of this rebel youth
spirit and embody it within a six or seven characters, as most movies
about the 60s often seem to do. The result is often clichéd and I'm
wondering whether, in the end, these movies are encouraging a sort of
myth. Yes, there was the civil strife that lasted at least twenty
years, starting with the culmination of the civil rights movement in
the mid fifties and continuing to the end of the Vietnam War. That's a
long time for a lot of anger, confusion, and energy to come out. And,
of course, it did. But how much of it was done in this sort of way,
this almost ritual arrangement of characters and themes? This movie
made it look like, first, that all of the youth (at least in this town)
were in favor of simply one side of questioning their parents or
teachers (or other's) judgments and rebelling non-stop against that. Is
that the way things went on after being saturated in this struggle for
change on so many fronts (civil rights, the war, the feminist movement,
etc)? Movies like this tend to be less realistic in their efforts to
mark a particular decade, or a particular era, with this desired
representation. And "There Goes My Baby" does with particularly little,
if any, relent.
This is the story of six friends on the eve of their high school graduation in 1965. Post high-school plans for one involves going into the Army, after having enlisted. For two others, it means hitting the road and "discovering this Country" and sort of getting lost in that hippie culture (at least as embraced by the character, Sunshine). For two of them, it's off to college. And for yet another, it means trying to get famous (an odd one out in this particular mix of characters). But, things suddenly change when, in such a short span of time, they each seem to have their little flirtations with the bigger restlessness of the decade (riots, protests, and so forth) that cause them to rethink things (although, some already realize what's what). It just seems to easily, and done with an abundance of corniness that should have been held at bay if this movie was to be as effective as the filmmakers anticipated. There are far too many ultra-patriotic speeches that seem more laughable than dramatic. And as such, it makes the entire film even more ridiculous.
As others may be attracted to the film for the same reason I was, you do get to see a number of well-known actors in their early days. Look for then-unknown Mark Ruffalo talking to "Stick" (Ricky Schroeder) in one scene where he talks about having found someone to buy Stick's Woody (yeah, that sounds funny).
I was a junior in high school in 1965. This movie brought back so many wonderful memories of that time. I saw this movie for the first time this year (2003) on HBO. As soon as the movie concluded, I went to Amazon.Com and ordered the DVD of this movie. I loved the entire movie. The music was great and the story was good with wonderful characters. I actually 'knew' some of those folks way back in 1965. I was one of them myself. I will watch this DVD many times and I am sure to enjoy it each time. I do think you needed to be high school age in 1965 to TRULY enjoy and appreciate this movie!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Couldn't go to sleep the other night. So I got up, flipped on the tube
& this movie was on.
Film makers bit off more than they could chew. Just as ambitious in scope as "Forrest Gump" was. But Gump read like an fairy-tale where an extraordinarily lucky man guides us through the era. TGMB just relies on tired clichés to tell the story. Almost like a Broadway musical where actors have to ham it up. Every character's purpose was to fill a silly 60's archetype.
Take how we're introduced to Finnegan: Hugging his black maid & receiving a framed picture of MLK. Criminey, talk about heavy-handed. Why not just give him a t-shirt saying "I Heart Black People"?
Sunshine: "Isn't free love groovay, man? Oh no, I didn't have my period."
Mary Beth: "I want to go to Berkeley, not square UCLA." Uh, excuse me? There was nothing square about LA in the 60s. Rather than take the time to demonstrate what made Berkeley unique, we just hear this brat whine about not going there.
Can't even remember the black kid's name. He was just a prop used to show how racially tolerant the other kids are.
Thing is, period pieces don't have to be this cheesy. Take "Dazed & Confused." Look how we're introduced to the football hero, Randall Floyd. We don't first see him on the football field. In fact, we never see him play football. We're introduced to him in class, inviting his nerdish poker buddies to a party.
In "Dazed" feminism isn't a casual by-product of some chick getting knocked up. It's much more organic, more serious than that. It's refined in the ladies' room over a flip discussion about Gilligan's Island. Serious ideas can grow in the most mundane settings. But real life is like that.
Some of the warm comments here note that the themes in this movie are still relevant. I agree! Which is why I feel so disappointed by this piece of Baby-Boomer pornostalgia.
The seniors of Westwood High in Palm Springs, California are headed
into the unknown. It's last day of summer school 1965. Pop's, the local
hangout burger joint, is getting demolished for a new mall. Stick
(Ricky Schroder) is a surfer heading for Vietnam. Pirate (Dermot
Mulroney) wants to find America driving Route 66. Finnegan (Noah Wyle)
is Harvard-bound political rebel and forced to take summer school as
suspension from the dictatorial principal. Mary Beth (Lucy Deakins) has
a crush on him and narrates the movie as an adult. She wants to go to
Berkley but her parents insists on the less radical UCLA. Calvin works
at Pop's and is the only negro in school. He would often visit his
grandmother in Watts and then it explodes in riot. Finnegan is going
out with rich girl Tracy. Pirate's girlfriend and Mary Beth's best
friend Sunshine (Kelli Williams) discovers that she's pregnant. Babette
is desperate to make it as a performer.
This is an overflow of '65 standard stories. The Watts Riot is literary a small chapter in this epic wannabe. It's trying to do too much. It's full of the expected characters. Stick's breakdown is the most surprising scene. The actors are solid but the movie doesn't have a cinematic feel. Floyd Mutrux has no cinematic sensibility and it has the look of a big TV movie.
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