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The Cool Ones (1967)

A young, millionaire rock promoter decides to create a new boy/girl duo team for his teen TV dance show by teaming up an ambitious go-go dancer and a has-been pop star and presenting them to the public as a new romantic pair.


Gene Nelson


Joyce Geller (screenplay), Gene Nelson (adaptation) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Roddy McDowall ... Tony Krum
Debbie Watson ... Hallie Rodgers
Gil Peterson ... Cliff Donner
Phil Harris ... Fred MacElwaine
Robert Coote ... Stanley Krumley
Nita Talbot ... Dee Dee Howitzer
George Furth ... Howie
Mrs. Miller ... Mrs. Miller
The Bantams The Bantams ... The Bantams
Glen Campbell ... Patrick
The Leaves The Leaves ... The Leaves
T.J. and The Fourmations T.J. and The Fourmations ... T.J. and The Fourmations
Jim Begg Jim Begg ... Charlie Forbes
James Millhollin ... Manager
Phil Arnold ... Uncle Steve


Hallie Rogers is a pent-up go-go dancer itching for her big break. She's up for a spot on the network rock'n'roll show "Whizbam," a detailed send-up of both "Shindig" and "Hullaballo," but the studio bosses keep giving her the shaft. So Hallie wigs out, escapes from her go-go cage, and steals the mike from Glen Campbell, who's singing onstage at the time. While Glen does all he can to stop this crazy girl on live TV, Hallie shakes and shimmies her way out of impending handcuffs. The audience goes wild, imitating her moves, and when a misdirected camera sends a message out to the nation, a new dance craze is born - the Tantrum! Tony Krum, a teen tycoon begins to manage her booming career. Hallie gets fired from "Whizbam," but her go-go dancing pals take her to Palm Springs, where they see the Leaves perform. She soon meets out-of-step teen idol Cliff Donner, with whom she forms a duo. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one ever made the scene like The Cool Ones See more »




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Release Date:

12 April 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cool Baby, Cool! See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Was announced initially as a starring vehicle for Nancy Sinatra, though her role ultimately went to Debbie Watson. See more »


Cliff Donner: What the hell ever got into her to let herself get bullied into a hairy scheme like that?
Dee Dee: She's young, ambitious and therefore dangerous. It takes a few years on a girl to know how to mix a cocktail of ambition and desire.
Cliff Donner: Yeah, I guess so. In the meantime a man could bleed to death.
See more »


References Password All-Stars (1961) See more »


Have a Tantrum
Written by Lee Hazlewood
Performed by Gil Peterson and Debbie Watson
[Cliff and Hallie perform the song at Whiskey a Go-Go]
See more »

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User Reviews

More Corny Than Cool
29 June 2014 | by atlasmbSee all my reviews

You hear that "The Cool Ones" is "The groovy movie with the hip hit tunes" (an official tagline), so you want to dig the scene, right? Not really. The scene is a confusing mixture of pop cultural references as written by a committee of older businessmen. If you were not around in 1967, when the movie was released, you will probably have difficulty knowing what references really were "cool" in 1967 and which were manufactured, or warmed over fare from years before. If you were around in 1967, the movie is somewhat fun--despite being bad--to pick apart and reminisce about.

In my opinion, this film is a musical. Musical numbers are staged in the middle of scenes, and the characters break out in song when not on a stage. Trying to create a teen movie musical is a bold undertaking, but this is no "Bye Bye Birdie". It features a young go-go dancer(Debbie Watson playing Hallie Rogers) and a former singing idol (Gil Peterson playing Cliff Donner) who meet in a supposedly hip club called "Stan's Cellar" and are persuaded by a young pop music guru (Roddy McDowall) to combine forces to capture the imagination of gullible teen fans. They even create what they hope will be a new dance craze: The Tantrum.

Donner is supposed to be a jaded singer who once had screaming fans. He performs in the "Cellar" with a group called The Leaves. Some of the numbers performed by musical groups in this film are not bad and are authentic to the theme of the movie. But Donner is often stuck singing old tunes that are arranged in a (not so) cool way: "What is This Thing Called Love", "Secret Love", and--incredibly--"The Birth of the Blues". There is one scene where Glen Campbell sings "Just One of Those Things". Not cool. No teen with an edgy persona in 1967 would be embracing those gems. This is three years after the Beatles conquered America!

Surprisingly, the choreography is often of good quality and on a par with other musicals.

Things to look for, even if some seem out of place in a movie about "cool ones":

*The Petula Clark poster on the wall.

*The dance performed to music reminiscent of "The Hand Jive".

*The kids snapping their fingers like the cast of "West Side Story"--cool man!

*The red Mustang. Now that was a cool car!

*The mod look--the colorful London-based chic that some of the kids dress in.

*Small smatterings of psychedelia.

*The "dirty old man" who looks all of 27.

*The "draft board" reference.

*The unexpected occasional lapses into slapstick.

*The laughable computer reference. The public had so little knowledge of computers that anything will flashing lights and beeping sounds could pass. And they often performed feats that are nothing short of mystical.

*Actor Phil Harris who seems to be playing the part of "obligatory adult whose purpose is to thwart the coolness of teens".

*Actress Nita Talbot, who plays Dee Dee Howitzer and somehow manages to have screen presence despite a limited role.

*The proposal scene in the back of a bus. One might be reminded of the iconic back-of-the-bus scene in "The Graduate", also released in 1967.

This is no time capsule of 1967 in particular, but as a reminder of many disparate cultural references from the previous decade or more, it could be a fun watch.

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