15 user 9 critic

Billie (1965)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Family, Musical | 13 December 1965 (UK)
A 16-year-old tomboy and high school athlete finds herself caught between being beating boys at sports and having a boyfriend, while her conservative father opposes women's rights in his campaign for mayor.


Don Weis


Ronald Alexander (screenplay), Ronald Alexander (play)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Patty Duke ... Billie Carol
Jim Backus ... Howard G. Carol
Jane Greer ... Agnes Carol
Warren Berlinger ... Mike Benson
Billy De Wolfe ... Mayor Charlie Davis
Charles Lane ... Coach Jones
Dick Sargent ... Matt Bullitt
Susan Seaforth Hayes ... Jean Matthews (as Susan Seaforth)
Ted Bessell ... Bob Matthews
Richard Deacon ... Principal Arnold Wilson
Bobby Diamond ... Eddie Davis
Michael Fox ... Ray Case, Reporter
Clive Clerk ... Ted Chekas
Harlan Warde ... Doctor Hall
Jean MacRae Jean MacRae ... Nurse Webb


Fifteen year old tomboy Billie Carol, the younger of two daughters of Harding mayoral candidate Howard G. Carol and his wife Agnes Carol, is naturally athletic. She attributes her speed to being able to hear what she calls "the beat": music she hears in her head, speeding up that music which makes her go faster in whatever activity. She catches the eye of her high school's track and field coach, the school which only has a boys' track and field team which she is asked to join. Her father encourages her to do so despite he having recently made a campaign speech to a group of young women on his stance that women should not compete with men. This dichotomy causes a problem in his campaign. Another potential problem in the campaign is some unknown information about his older daughter, twenty year old Jean, who is home from school and who he still sees as his little girl. Billie, on the other hand, is often viewed by Howard as the son he never had, which often causes problems in his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Billie's Got the Beat!


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Donna McKechnie. See more »


Coach Jones: I haven't found the teenager yet I couldn't take in a fair but dirty street fight.
See more »


Version of The Comedy Spot: Time Out for Ginger (1962) See more »


Music by Dominic Frontiere
Lyrics by Diane Lampert
See more »

User Reviews

Patty Has The Beat
30 April 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Based on a decade old play Time Out For Ginger which was a one set comedy in the living room of the house of the protagonist Carol family, Billie was considerably expanded with many new characters introduced and the story takes us all over the small town where Jim Backus is trying to unseat Billy DeWolfe as mayor.

Expanded I say, but hardly updated. You would absolutely never know there was a counterculture revolution of the Sixties going on in seeing this film. It could have been and maybe should have been made in the Fifties.

Patty Duke plays the title role and the film property is produced by John Ross who was her legal guardian and career Svengali at that point. He was taking Patty's American character from the Patty Duke Show on television and making her a track star as well.

A little bit of Annie Get Your Gun is also tossed into the mix as Duke who damages a lot of the male egos on the track team has some problems landing the boy of her dreams. Warren Berlinger initially gets some pointers from Duke and she helps him make the team. But later the male dominant ego gets the better of him.

Berlinger is way too old for his part and looks it. He was 28 when he was doing Billie. Robert Diamond late of Fury was also having trouble transitioning to teen roles. He was 22 and also looks it. Diamond plays another track team member and Billy DeWolfe's son. Patty was 18 doing this, but her small build makes her look younger.

There's a subplot involving Patty's older sister Susan Seaforth who is married to Ted Bessell, but hasn't broken the news to Backus and mother Jane Greer. Why escapes me, but Backus tries to fix her up with his campaign manager Dick Sargent, this being while Seaforth is a little bit married and a little bit pregnant.

Billie's secret of her success on the track field is that she has the 'beat'. A certain innate natural rhythm that star athletes have, we all have whether we know it or not. Find your beat and ratchet it up and you too can be a star. Bearing that in mind there is a whole lot dancing in Billie and the choreography was nicely done.

Billie is a nice film that was way out of step with the times when it was released.

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Release Date:

13 December 1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ginger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Chrislaw Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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