5.6/10
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20 user 17 critic

The Beat Generation (1959)

A detective is assigned to track down and capture a crazed serial rapist.

Director:

Charles F. Haas
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Cochran ... Dave Culloran
Mamie Van Doren ... Georgia Altera
Ray Danton ... Stan Hess
Fay Spain ... Francee Culloran
Louis Armstrong ... Louis Armstrong
Margaret Hayes ... Joyce Greenfield (as Maggie Hayes)
Jackie Coogan ... Jake Baron
James Mitchum ... Art Jester (as Jim Mitchum)
Cathy Crosby ... The Singer
Ray Anthony ... Harry Altera
Dick Contino Dick Contino ... Singing Beatnik
Irish McCalla ... Marie Baron
Maila Nurmi ... The Poetess (as Vampira)
Billy Daniels ... Dr. Elcott
Maxie Rosenbloom ... The Wrestling Beatnik
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Storyline

Soon after, we learn that Hess is a serial rapist at large in Los Angeles. His modus operandi is to gain entry to the home of a married woman whose husband is away by pretending to be there to repay money loaned by the husband. Once inside, he feigns a headache, pulls out a tin of aspirin, and asks the woman for water. While she is distracted by this errand, he sneaks up behinds her, and then assaults and rapes her. He leaves the tin of aspirin behind as his calling card, leading the police to call him "The Aspirin Kid." Leaving the scene of the first assault portrayed in the film, he is nearly hit by a car. The driver, who is a police detective named Culloran (Steve Cochran), gives him a lift, and the two engage in conversation. The rapist calls himself Arthur Garret, and as the two talk, he learns that Culloran is married, and sees his address on an envelope on the car seat. After getting out of Culloran's car, he writes down the name and address, and the word "married," ... Written by Watch_Movies

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind the Weird "Way-Out" World of the Beatniks! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 July 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Rebel Age See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Audience members were given free "beatnik dictionaries", which humorously defined "beat" terms and catch-phrases. See more »

Quotes

Georgia Altera: Would you rather be dead with him or alive with me?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Vampira and Me (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

To the Moon
Lyrics by Lewis Meltzer
Music by Albert Glasser
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Beat Generation (1959)
3 January 2012 | by MartinTellerSee all my reviews

An obsessed cop tries to track down the "Aspirin Kid," a beatnik serial rapist. MGM was not a noir studio, and I don't really know if you could call this noir but if it is, it's one of the most insane noirs I've ever seen. Like crazy, man. I hardly know where to begin. Dig this groovy cast, Daddy-O... Vampira, Mamie Van Doren (who steals the show) and real-life husband Ray Anthony, Charles Chaplin Jr., James Mitchum (a dead ringer for the old man), Jackie Coogan and performances by Cathy Crosby and Louis Armstrong. I think I can safely say it's the only noir that climaxes at a beat "hootenanny" where a guy randomly tries to wrestle the hero, who later chases the bad guy underwater while dodging harpoons. Yeah, this sh*t is nuts. The portrayal of beatniks is the standard Hollywood ridicule and parody. Has there ever been a positive image of beatniks in an American film? Even FUNNY FACE is pretty condescending. Steve Cochran (looking quite Clooney-esque at this stage in his career) is practically psychotic, setting up an interesting parallel with the villain (Ray Danton, turning the sleaze up to 11) as both are portrayed as misogynistic creeps. Being a late-period noir, there's more freedom to openly address subjects like rape and abortion. Although there is no graphic imagery, the screams of the victims are harrowing enough. The film is campy and trashy and yet also has a moral center... one which backfired for me when it came to the vile anti-choice message. It's hard to make a case against hatred towards women while also telling them they need to keep their rape-spawned babies. It was a pre-Roe v. Wade world, though. The Van Doren character sends mixed messages about the film's stance as well.

This review is rambling because frankly, I don't know what to make of this movie. It's all over the place. In most respects it's pretty bad but also weirdly compelling, and sometimes even hilarious, whether intentionally or not. I can't honestly say I liked it, but I sure as hell couldn't stop watching it.


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