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Untamed Youth (1957)
Directed by Howard W. Koch

This film starts off with great promise, with sister act Mamie Van Doren and Lori Nelson skinny-dipping. But once they hit dry land, the train wreck starts. Mamie and Lori are arrested because they have no visible means of support. The local judge, played by Lurene Tuttle, offers them a choice of thirty days in jail, working on an agricultural farm, or appearing in this film. So off they go to pick cotton, under the leering eye of John Russell, who runs the joint. Russell and Tuttle have a little something going, which is beyond belief, once you see Tuttle. At first, we assume they are having an affair (which is horrifying enough), but we later discover they've been married for four months.

Tuttle's son, played by Don Burnett, goes to work at the farm and uncovers some odd things. For instance, Russell is serving the workers dog food disguised as beef stew. One of the female workers, who is five months pregnant, croaks (although personally, I think it was the dog food that did her in). Meanwhile, Mamie breaks out in song every now and then. Russell tries to put the moves on Mamie, and when she tries to escape, he sets his two Dobermans on her, but she somehow manages to end up on top of a building. By the way, the Dobermans out-act most of the cast.

Eventually, Nelson convinces Tuttle that Russell is a heel. An angry crowd of workers descends on Russell, making the usual unintelligible "ohoyohuyoyooyoy" noises, and demanding an upgrade to Kibbles 'n Bits ?. Tuttle arrives and has Russell arrested, commutes the sentences of everyone on the farm, resigns, and then goes off to play John McIntire's wife in Psycho. Nelson and Burnett live happily ever after, and Mamie goes on television and sings a calypso song.

I suppose there is some social message in this film, but it escaped me. Mamie sings several songs, but they're just not very good. However, there are a few scenes where she wears a tight top, so I suppose that was worth the price of admission in 1957. Nelson is cute, even when she has to deliver crappy dialogue like saying "you're real gone" to Burnett. There is a good catfight between Nelson and '50s **** queen Jeanne Carmen, who starts out as Russell's "housekeeper," if you get my drift. Carmen asks Nelson not to punch her in the mouth because she doesn't want her dental plate damaged. I'm fairly confident that's the only time in film history that line was uttered. Russell is properly slimy and villainous, but his faux romance with Tuttle is enough to make anyone nauseous. Singer Eddie Cochran has a bit as one of the farm workers, and belts out "You ain't gonna make a cotton-picker outta me." Nor an actor, apparently.

A rare case of Siamese twins conjoined by a little man.

Mamie sings a song while standing on a cartful of melons; I believe there is some symbolism here.

John Russell reacts to Lurene Tuttle's "old person smell."

Ben Mankiewicz (center) stars in Cotton Comes to TCM.

Right after Allen Funt said "Smile, you're on Candid Camera," he was taken into custody.

"Is this some kind of bust?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Rich for the great reviews on the old JD flicks - I also read

your review on that all time stinker Mesa of the Lost Women and hoping you branch into old 50's horror/sci fi movies if you get time the in future!


Edited by: vickeez on Nov 20, 2013 11:23 PM

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That was just great! I'm not sure which made me laugh more,


"Cotton Comes to TCM" starring Ben M (a movie I would pay to see, by the way)


or this Richism:


>Singer Eddie Cochran has a bit as one of the farm workers, and belts out "You ain't gonna make a cotton-picker outta me." Nor an actor, apparently.


You owe me another keyboard, buddy!

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>Thanks for stopping by. I do have similar threads in each of the Sci-Fi and Horror Forums on these boards, so feel free to check them out.


What? I had no idea!


I see a great deal of reading in my future!!!!!

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Hi, I've been enjoying all your threads, but I was wondering why the links on the very last page lead to the general forum. I'm talking about the list of links that are supposed to lead to your old reviews of Manster, Mesa of Lost Women, Screaming Skull, etc. They just go to the forum's front page, there's no reviews at all. Many thanks for all the laughs anyway!

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> I was wondering why the links on the very last page lead to the general forum


Apparently a bug in the old program.


Try this:


First, copy each address and paste it to a new address box. Like this:




Next, remove: *jive/tcm/* from that address, and that will give you this:




Then click on that new thread address and it should take you to the old post:

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  • 2 months later...

High School Hellcats (1958)
Directed by Edward Bernds

High School Heckcats would have been a better title, since there is not much hell going on here. Still, this is not a bad 1950s flick, centering around the new girl in school (Yvonne Lime) who joins a female gang, the Hellcats. The Hellcats are led by Jana Lund, who forces Lime to undergo a series of initiations to prove herself. First, she convinces Lime that all the girls are going to wear slacks to school the next day. "But isn't that against the rules?" protests Lime. "I make the rules here," counters Lund. Oh yeah, baby, rule me with an iron hand. Naturally, Lime is the only one who shows up in health class wearing slacks and is called out for it. How traumatic. This reminds me of the days when any guy who wore white socks to school would get the crap kicked out of him. Lime runs out of school and into a coffee shop, where pretty boy Brett Halsey is working behind the counter. They quickly hit it off. Lime's next initiation is to steal about two dollars worth of stuff at a jewelry store. That's right, two dollars. Halsey gets wind of this and figures she is hanging out with the Hellcats. As her final initiation, Lime has to ask a guy named Rip (but not Torn) to a party. Lund is impressed that Lime has passed all her "tests," and starts considering Lime for the number two position in the Hellcats. This tees off the current number two, played by Suzanne Sydney. Sydney is moody, a little chubby, and unattractive; therefore, you know it's only a matter of time before she turns psycho.

The gang make themselves at home in a house while the owners are out of town. The party turns into a disaster when, during a stunt with the lights turned out, Lund goes tumbling down a flight of stairs and kicks off. The Rip person tells everybody to keep their mouths shut; incredibly, there is still half a movie to go.

When Lund is finally classified as missing, a police lieutenant shows up at school and questions the girls. They all give the same story, although Sydney looks like she is about to crack. When Lund's body is finally discovered, Halsey can't seem to put two and two together, even though Lime is a nervous wreck.

Sydney is convinced that Lime is going to squeal, so she arranges a meeting with her at the gang's hangout. Sydney confesses that she tossed Lund down the stairs, and now she is going to off Lime as well. Sydney pulls out her switchblade. The cops arrive just in time to spoil what could have been a good knife fight. Halsey brings Lime home to her parents. All is forgiven, except for various charges against Lime, like failing to report a dead body at a party.

This film has promise, but the dialogue generally sucks and is predictable. When a nerd substitute teacher asks the girls to "please take your seats," Lund responds with "well, where do you want us to take them, Teach?" Paging Sister Mary Elephant. Also, with a name like "Hellcats," you would think there would be some mayhem, but these chicks are way too tame. They should at least be knocking over a liquor store or sabotaging the senior prom. A few catfights with hair-pulling or dress-tearing would have helped, or at least a few good b**** slaps. Even the babes in the horrendous The Violent Years were more menacing. Lund is not very threatening as the leader, but I have to admit that Sydney certainly weirded me out. Halsey, who usually seems wooden, does a decent job as the nice guy trying to help Lime. Lime's parents are the stereotypical 1950s mom and dad ... that is to say, they are idiots.

If Reed Hadley and Clark Gable had a child, it would look like this.

Kids, this is what your parents do the minute you are out of the house.

"Jeez, have you ever considered using mouthwash?"

This is what happens when you don't pay attention during reading class.

"Look, I'll try to explain this one more time. You take half the coefficient of the middle term, then you square it. Then you add it to both sides of the equation ... "

A short-lived 50s fad ... pretending to cop a feel.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hot Rod Rumble (1957)
Directed by Leslie H. Martinson

This is a film about a loser, who keeps on being a loser, until there are about five minutes left in the movie. You may not want to stick around for that.

The loser is played by Richard Hartunian, not exactly a household name. Hartunian is a member of the Road Devils racing gang. Supposedly they drive hot rods, but these clunkers look more like castoffs from a demolition derby. Hartunian is the first to appear on screen, which you should take as a warning to get the hell out while you can. He saunters into the local hangout, looking for his chick. The other gang members really would like to get rid of this guy (and I was encouraging them), especially Brett Halsey, who is ready to rumble. Finally, Hartunian's babe shows up; she is played by cutie pie Leigh Snowden. She tells Hartunian to take a hike. Another guy offers to take Snowden home. Meanwhile, Hartunian's buddy, played by Wright King, tries to put a few moves on Snowden in a clothes closet. Are you keeping score? Snowden and the other guy drive off, but are pursued by another car and run off the road. Snowden survives, but her date buys the farm. We see the culprit is King, who carries Snowden into his car, where she loses an earring. Hey, do you think that might be important later on? Then he carries her back to the original car. Apparently, he does not know what he is doing, which is probably why he was cast in this film.

Naturally, Hartunian is suspected, and Snowden refuses to have anything to do with him. His fellow gang members turn on him even more. During a qualifying race, one of them sabotages his engine. Later, they beat the snot out of him. Eventually, Hartunian rebuilds his engine, enters the big race (there always seems to be a "big race"), and wins. Snowden finds the missing earring and realizes that Wright is the bad guy. Snowden and Hartunian drive off together. The audience is left waiting for the "hot rod rumble," which never comes.

Snowden is the best reason to watch this movie. She is pretty, appears to have a brain, and knows how to take care of herself. Unfortunately, she is missing from too many scenes. Halsey frowns a lot, as usual. Veteran character actor Ned Glass has a nice bit as a junk dealer.

The major problem with this movie is Hartunian. He mopes around, waves his arms, and behaves like a moron. I kept waiting for him to yell "Hey, Stella!" Also, his looks are less than stellar, bordering on grotesque. It is hard to imagine any chick going for this guy, or even remotely feeling sorry for him. At one point, he asks "Why is this all happening to me?" People who paid to see this movie were probably asking themselves the same thing.

"You see, it's like this. My parents are Siamese twins."

"So what if your eyebrows suck? Look at this stupid grin I was born with!"

Hartunian realizes he has been paid a visit by Geraldine Jones' boyfriend.

Leigh Snowden shows off her biceps ... and a few other things.

"This is John Cameron Swayze. We're going to strap a Timex to Hartunian's face and see which one can take a licking and keep on ticking."

"Say, is that a spark plug in your pants, or ... "

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  • 2 months later...

You're not going to be happy until you turn us all into hoodlums, are you?


Hey! Don't be a square, Daddy-o! Rich is one cool cat who's always on-the-beam and his stuff is a real gas to read!


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