The Cool and the Crazy
Written by Bill Nolan and Ronnie Norman. See more »
Enjoyable for fans of the teen crime genre
This juvenile delinquent movie is definitely a cut above similar films of the era I've seen, thanks to a good script and a strong lead performance by Scott Marlowe. Marlowe had the looks and charisma to be a major star, but never get a chance at a breakout role in a big Hollywood movie. (He did at least have a long career as a supporting player.) When I say it's a good script, perhaps I should qualify that to say except for the ridiculously overblown responses to smoking pot by the "teenagers," who freak out as if they were on a bad acid trip. There's also a romantic subplot with second lead Richard Bakalyan and nice girl Gigi Perrau that goes nowhere and keeps Marlowe off the screen for long stretches. When Marlowe's not on the screen the movie suffers. Also, typical of many of these movies, several of the alleged high school students look like they're pushing 30. But the movie rolls along along at a brisk pace, has some good action sequences, and Marlowe delivers the '50s existential alienation in spades. (Per the title, he's both cool and crazy.)
One added bonus for jazz fans is the unnamed combo we see playing at a local club. The band really cooks. Too bad there's no credit for them. (Kansas City once had a very active jazz scene). As others have commented, the Kansas City locations gave the movie some grit and authenticity, when compared to the vanilla suburban Southern California setting of most '50s teen movies. (The Wikipedia article on the movie has some interesting info on the producer, a Kansas City theater chain owner who wanted to carve a niche for himself in the teen exploitation market. He had earlier hired KC local Robert Altman to make another juvenile delinquent movie).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this