Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WIP Wednesday: "Girls Town" (Charles F. Haas, 1959)

While more of a Juvenile Delinquent film, Girls Town definitely has its WIP qualities. Mamie van Doren plays Silver Morgan, a tough bebop chick with a record. When one of the local rich kids is killed, Silver is blamed. Being on probation, and having struck a teacher, she is committed to Girls Town. Silver, the new girl, runs afoul of the the HBIC, Vida, and her muscle, Flo. As is typically true of the HBIC, Vida likes things as they are and acts as enforcer for the nuns who run the place. Of course, there is also the crazy girl, Serafina, who becomes Silver's friend. Silver also has a night AWOL with one of the delivery men, who turns out to be a private detective trying to get a confession from her.

While all this goes on, we have the battle of the "hunky" males, played by Mel "The Velvet Fog" Tormé, JD staple Dick Contino, and Paul Anka. Tormé's "Fred" was friends with the dead boy and wants to find out what happened. He discovers that it was actually Silver's sister that was last seen with his friend. Contino's "Stan" leads a rival gang, and is on Silver's side, sort of. Anka's "Jimmy" is a pop singer who does his good deeds by performing for the inmates at Girls Town. He tries to befriend Silver, but has become the object of Serafina's affection. Her craziness gets the best of her, and Silver blames Jimmy. The whole thing ends with Jimmy and Silver's big break out to save the sister from the evil Velvet Fog. Silver turns away from her life as a gum chewing, scat singing, bullet bra wearing, ne'er-do-well and to that of a true good girl. Aw...

In all honesty there are two reasons I like this movie; Mamie van Doren, and that I saw it on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It is not terrible, but I do rather dislike Silver's conversion at the end. It gets pretty cheesy at times, and a touch melodramatic, but you can't blame a teen movie for that, now can you? If you can catch the MST3K version of it, you'll enjoy it more. They did a pretty good job.


dfordoom said...

I adore Mamie van Doren and I adore juvenile delinquent movies. I must see this one.

Darius Whiteplume said...

It is worth finding. Drag races and beer bashes. The MST3K version is a lot of fun. I don't see it on Netflix, Hulu, or Fancast, unfortunately.

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