Where the Boys Are

1960

Comedy / Drama / Romance

3
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1996

Synopsis


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816.72 MB
1280*534
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 12 / 19
1.56 GB
1920*800
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 12 / 28

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by icblue02 8 / 10

Not your typical romp on the beach...

This film succeeds in the sense that it isn't a stereotypical beach flick. As a current college student, I can attest that it is rather believable, and, oddly enough, some of it applies to college gals today...nearly 40 years later. Actually, WHERE THE BOYS ARE offers the public a fairly realistic, in-depth portrayal of everyday kids in the 60s, as opposed to other beach movies of the period. Simply put: Frankie and Annette had nothing on these gals!

Contrary to what the title may lead one to believe, the focal point is not terribly superficial. Yeah, sure, the girls head to Lauderdale to nab a Yaley or two, but that becomes somewhat secondary to what actually transpires. Whether it was meant to be or not, this film is one of decisions, learning, and friendships that are strengthened due to the experiences four college girls share during Spring Break in Ft. Lauderdale.

The actors themselves are very believable; none of the main players outdo the others. Hart, Mimeux, Francis, and Prentiss do a wonderful job of conveying many different sides to the characters they portray. The supporting cast is equally skilled and effective in varying roles.

Though this isn't Academy Award winning material, it is definitely worth watching!

Reviewed by clydestuff 8 / 10

That Connie Francis sure can sing!

In 2003 Turner Classic Films had a poll where fans could vote (out of a list)for films they would like to see on DVD. The top five vote getters would be the films getting the DVD treatment. Surprisingly, this is one of the five films that voters preferred along with Days of Wine and Roses, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and The Wind and the Lion. It's a testament to how well this film has held up for the past forty-three years, not an easy task considering it's subject matter.

The basic premise is this: Four college girls escape the freezing north during spring break and head to Ft. Lauderdale because as the title says, that's where the boys are. Not much to make a film about I suppose, but stories have hit the big screen with a lot less plot than that going for them. What Where The Boys Are does have going for it is a witty ahead of it's time script by screenwriter George Wells (based on a novel by Glendon Swarthout), a cast of attractive relatively new stars assembled by producer Joe Pasternak and some nice Florida Scenery.

The cast is headed by Dolores Hart as Merritt Andrews. Although having a high I.Q., Merritt is having trouble in college because she has a tendency to say what's on her mind, and sometimes what's on her mind must have sent a shiver down the spine of many parents in the early sixties. In one class, she dares to suggest that premarital sex (playing house is how she puts it I think) might not only be OK but quite necessary. Daring stuff in those days. It also immediately gives us a more complex character in Merritt which helps lift this film a cut above others in this genre. Dolores Hart is exceptional as Merritt, and because of this she is the center of our attention from the beginning of the film to the end. Ms. Hart is one of those actresses whom was never given a chance to show us her real potential in the short time she was an actress before answering her calling to enter the convent. Pay close attention to her performance as Merritt as I did and you'll understand what we may have missed.

Paula Prentiss makes her big screen debut as Tuggle and immediately shows a fine screen persona with a flair for comedy. She's the one who has vowed to be a "good girl". In other words, no wedding ring, no hanky panky. The parents of the sixties probably loved her.

Yvette Mimeaux plays naive freshman Melanie. She ends up taking Merritt's ideas in class about sex and putting them into action. In 1960's morals, we know she's headed for trouble and was probably the poster girl for parents to point out the evils that would befall you for indulging in a little bit of bedroom parlor games. Mimeaux is OK in the role, it's just a role that isn't written very well and probably the weakest part of the film.

Connie Francis is a revelation as girl hockey player, Angie. We are never given her views on sex so you can paint her in a neutral corner. For some reason (I guess because she's a hockey player)she has trouble getting a guy. I seriously doubt someone who looks like her would have that kind of a problem, but Francis plays the role in a ditsy kind of way. She's adorable, and we love her. Add to this the fact that the girl can sing up a storm and you'll replay the opening titles several times just to hear that heart throbbing voice.

Then there's the fellows. Jim Hutton plays TV Thompson, a hitchhiker who has a thing about hats, that the girls pick up on their way to Fort Lauderdale. He hooks up with Tuggle, and their wit blends together so perfectly, that Hutton and Prentiss went on to make several more films together. Their moments together on screen are priceless. George Hamilton plays Merritt's love interest Ryder. Ryder is a millionaire who goes to Princeton, rides around in his grandfather's yacht and has eyes for Merritt. Hamilton is playing the usual George Hamilton type of role, but for this film it's perfect as Ryder Smith would probably be just like George or vice versa. His scenes with Merritt are very cleverly written. He attempts to find a way to seduce her, but knows she is way too intelligent to fall for the standard come ons. They have good chemistry together. Frank Gorshin plays a nearly blind jazz musician named Basil, whom Angie seems to end up with by default. It works because they both seem to have a whacked out comedy sense. Unfortunately, all poor Melanie can end up with is a couple of wicked evil guys who want her for only one thing and I'm sure you know what that is. John Brennan as Dill and Rory Harrity as Franklin manage to be sleazy enough to do what they have to do, than you can forget them both which apparently most people did as evidenced by their lack of screen credits after this film. Also on hand are a delightful Barbra Nichols as the sea nymph and Chill Wills in a couple of brief but funny scenes as a police captain.

Where this film excels is in the performances and chemistry of it's young cast. Together they make for many enjoyable screen moments. Where it greatly falters is in some of it's very out dated premises about relationships between men and women. Despite the fact that they are all college women, Where The Boys Are would still have us believe that the only thing these women are interested in is finding the right guy who will wrap a ring around their finger. Even Merritt, who is outspoken early in the film, ends up wanting nothing more than to get Ryder and his millions down the aisle. The fact that this film also falls back on the premise that if you hop in the hay with a guy, you'll suffer severe penalties for it. This is hammered home by the presence of Melanie. Because she makes the "mistake" of doing what nice girls shouldn't, she automatically is punished for it. Enough of the film is taken up with this aspect, that it continually brings a cloud cover over the proceedings and bogs down an otherwise enjoyable film.

My advice is to overlook the drama. Enjoy the witty dialog, the on screen chemistry of the stars, the Florida scenery, and listen to Connie Francis belt out Where The Boys Are a few times. Heck, that alone is enough for me to give this film a B.

Reviewed by Ed Uyeshima 6 / 10

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.

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