Bonnie, Toni, Michele and Liz are on the Riviera to visit their respective husbands and boyfriends in the U.S. Navy. Bonnie tries to resume her canceled honeymoon, Liz wishes her ... See full summary »
After being in Hollywood for a month with lots of compliments but no offers, girl next door Libby Caruso decides to give up on having a singing career and focus on what she believes is her ... See full summary »
Danny Churchill is a young heir who tries to help Ginger, an attractive postal worker in rural Nevada, save her father's ranch from closing due to being heavily in debt with some Reno ... See full summary »
Set in Palm Springs, California during a long, fun-filled weekend where several Los Angeles college students flock to spring break, centering on Jim who finds romance with Bunny, the ... See full summary »
Four college coeds, virginal Jennie, outgoing Carole, wealthy and spoiled Southern belle Sandra and horny Laurie, travel to Fort Lauderdale for their Easter week of Spring Break, and become... See full summary »
Premarital sex, secrets, and society. At 17, shy Susan Slade is on her way to California after a ten-year stay at a remote Chilean mine where her father was chief engineer. Onboard ship, ... See full summary »
Arthur Bartley and Janet Willard are fairly typical 1950s teenagers. Their lives are turned upside down however when Janet becomes pregnant. Desperate to tell his parents of the predicament... See full summary »
Brandon De Wilde,
A young woman who owns a coffee shop falls for a handsome young customer, unaware that he is a gangster. The association results in her being tried and sentenced to a long prison term. ... See full summary »
Merritt, Melanie, Tuggle and Angie are four Midwestern college co-eds who travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for their spring vacation and we follow the episodic series of adventures and romance they all get into with some college guys they meet.Written by
While Merritt is at the controls of Ryder's family yacht, only one throttle is forward on what is obviously a twin-engine boat. That would have made for considerable control difficulties trying to run the boat in that way. See more »
For fifty weeks of the year, Fort Lauderdale, Florida is a small corner of tropical heaven, basking contentedly in the warm sun. During the other two weeks, as colleges all over the country disgorge their students for Easter vacation, a change comes over the scene. The students swarm to these peaceful shores in droves, twenty thousand strong. They turn night into day, and a small corner of heaven into a sizeable chunk of bedlam. The boys come to soak up the sun, and a few carloads ...
See more »
Double Standards Bedevil Coeds in Groundbreaking Spring Break Flick
Forty-five years have elapsed since its original release, but it is amazing how this 1960 film introduced a particular genre that continues to be produced today granted in a far more explicit manner - the spring-break, beach-party movie where attractive teens go through a sun-drenched mating ritual and somehow love triumphs over carnal knowledge. Back then, the concept didn't seem quite as jaded as it does now, and consequently there is an entertaining naiveté about the timeworn story of four co-eds from a snowy Midwestern college who journey to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break to meet boys.
The plot is based on the then-accepted notion that girls in college are only marking time waiting for husbands to come along, but the journey to that goal depends on the girl. The four in question are Merritt, a smart blonde who is not living up to her academic potential as she questions the moral code around premarital sex; Melanie, so deeply insecure she mistakes sex for love with a less-than-honorable Ivy Leaguer; Tuggle, a tall brunette who zeroes in on an even taller, eccentric hitchhiker; and Angie, the supposedly plain one who gets used to being ignored by men.
Directed in a perfunctory fashion by Henry Levin, this is not the type of movie where you are terribly impressed with the performances, but I have to say the acting is certainly miles above subsequent beach-party movies. Elvis' former leading lady Dolores Hart plays Merritt credibly even as she is being seduced by a youthful George Hamilton wanly playing Ryder, a well-to-do Ivy Leaguer with a conveniently located yacht. As the most troubled of the girls, Yvette Mimieux (always loved her name) accurately captures the constantly forlorn, little-girl-lost state of Melanie, a teen-aged Blanche du Bois in the making.
So pert and charming as Angie, Connie Francis actually seems miscast as a plain-Jane, especially when she sings "Turn on the Sunshine" with a stage polish completely out of character. The standout is Paula Prentiss who portrays Tuggle with her unique personality in full bloom and partnered the first of several times with Jim Hutton as the comically obnoxious TV. She is an under-appreciated comedienne with a loopy charm and vibrantly twangy voice all her own - it's a shame her career never really took off the way it deserved to.
I think the film does make a valid, sometimes even perceptive attempt to address the confusion that Eisenhower-era girls had over sex and love. Girls were expected to function under a double-standard where the only way to attract boys was to have something to offer but at the price of their reputations. This point is hammered home when the tone shifts in the last portion to melodrama. At the same time, the film is filled with predictable comic scenes, including a contrived mêlée in an underwater tank with the zaftig and nasal Barbara Nichols as Esther Williams-wannabe Lola Fandango.
Prentiss offers her services and remembrances to the alternate audio commentary track on the DVD, which also comes with a looking-back featurette which includes interviews with Prentiss and Francis. Who knew this film would launch a hundred imitations? The minute you hear Francis sing the title tune, it is hard for a baby boomer not to get nostalgic. If you have an interest in understanding the mid-century moral code enforced upon the youth of America, especially girls, I can think of worse films to see.
35 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this